Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Sugar Hill and Liddington

                                                                                                        Sugar Hill

We followed up Saturday's walk from Aldbourne by going further along the B4192 to park in a lay-by and walk towards Sugar Hill. The last part involved a steady climb. Below is the view looking back from just below the top. In the distance is the ridge we will walk back on and then turn left to walk down the hill back to the car.


On reaching Sugar Hill we turned left and followed a path which gradually got nearer to the road (the line of trees in the photo). We enormously enjoyed the wide open country.


We reached and soon afterwards crossed the road and climbed up to be confronted by this World War II gun emplacement. It was a bit different from the pillboxes you see all along the Kennet and Avon Canal.

There was a nice view looking back towards Sugar Hill, but unfortunately the cloud had begun to thicken.

We carried on along the track to soon see Liddington Castle off to the right. It dates from the Bronze and Iron Ages and was one of the earliest hill forts in Britain, with first occupation dating to the 7th century BC. Perhaps wrongly, we decided not to pay it a visit, feeling that we have seen quite a lot of hill forts on our walks.


A bit further on we turned left on a track with a Ridgeway sign and headed south, with again nice views across to Sugar Hill.


A little further on we turned left and headed downhill towards where we had parked.

Conditions: cool but pleasant.

Distance: 5 miles.

From: 100 walks in Wiltshire.

Maps:  Explorer 157 (Marlborough & Savernake Forest), with slight incursion into Explorer 170 (Abingdon, Wantage & Vale of White Horse).

Rating: four stars.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Aldbourne, Marridge Hill and Preston


                                                                                                        The Square, Aldbourne

We started this lovely walk from The Square in Aldbourne and made a short detour to take a picture of the church of St Michael. It is of Norman origin, but was partially rebuilt in the 14th century and partly restored by William Butterfield in the 1860s. Pevsner's review suggest that there would be plenty to see inside the church, if it were open.

To the right of the large green some filming was taking place involving a yellow car and two actors. The car's number plate was WHO 1, which might be significant, but it appears that the filming was for a documentary.

We walked up the hill along the road towards Baydon. A house on the left sported a fine flagpole and a colourful flag: red and black with a yellow circle. It turns out to be the flag of the Australian aboriginal people. But what is it doing in Aldbourne?

 Further up the hill we turned right along a track which brought us to some gallops.

Now we had a steep climb at the top of which there was a lovely view back towards the village.

We followed a field-edge path for some distance and then climbed a track up Pigs Hill, with nice views off to the right.

At the top of the hill we turned right along a track and were delighted to spot a lovely Red Admiral in the hedgerow.

The track became a road, passing the scattered houses of Marridge Hill. We passed Baydon Manor, which might have been interesting but we couldn't see much of it. We soon turned right to descend along a minor road to reach Preston. It is only a hamlet, but it does sport a pretty former Toll House.

We now climbed steadily to reach the top of Green Hill. On the way there was a lot of this dramatic Black Briony in the hedgerows.


We then turned left along a track to reach the edge of Aldbourne where we continued along a narrow pavement into the village. We enjoyed the old Malthouse on the right.

Conditions: cool but pleasant.

Distance: 5 miles.

From: 100 walks in Wiltshire.

Map:  Explorer 157 (Marlborough & Savernake Forest).

Rating: four stars.