Pewsey, The White Horse Trail and the Kennet and Avon Canal
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This is a circular route from Pewsey in the North Wessex area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It complements Andy's walk last autumn, which went to the east.
On this walk, we will head north from Pewsey, climbing up to the White Horse Trail and heading west, enjoying the panoramic views across the Vale of Pewsey. We'll then descend to the Kennett and Avon Canal and head east back towards Pewsey, possibly stopping for a brief refreshment at the pub in Wilcot.
Pewsey at the centre of the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire, is about 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Marlborough and 80 miles (130 km) west of London, and can be reached for a day trip from many places between Bristol and London, and using the A34 and A4, South from Oxford or North from Southampton.
The Kennet and Avon Canal reached Pewsey in 1810. Of more lasting effect for the village was the arrival of the Great Western Railway in 1862 which allowed fast travel to London and to the West Country.
Today's event will be led by JimD
Photo credit - Devils Grave : By Andrew Smith, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12325092
What to bring
Water: bring at least a litre
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking, trainers are OK if the ground is dry and there’s little chance of rain
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally no jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Waterproof/windproof trousers: useful as part of this walk can be very exposed
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Food & drink
Plenty of water and a packed lunch is essential for this walk. If you arrive early you will find some shops nearby. Depending on weather, you will appreciate a flask of a hot drink on the White Horse Trail which can be exposed in inclement weather.