Pewsey - White Horse Trail - Kennet and Avon Canal - Circular

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The walk starts at a popular spot on the Kennet and Avon Canal at Pewsey and passes through the village of Oare, on its way to climbing steeply up on to the Wiltshire Downs to join the White Horse Trail. There are fabulous views to the south. After crossing Knap Hill and Walkers Hill, you drop down to the villages of Alton Priors and Alton Barnes on your way back to the canal at Honeystreet. The small church in Alton Barnes has stood for more than a thousand years with Saxon walls still in evidence; its timber roof itself is 500 years old.

As you approach Honeystreet, a look back over your shoulder will reveal the largest white horse in Wiltshire. It is said that the painter commissioned in 1812 to set out the horse ran off with the £20 he was paid in advance.

The Barge Inn offers a refreshment break here. From Honeystreet the walk continues east along the Kennet and Avon Canal past Picked Hill and the village of Wilcot, back to Pewsey Wharf.

The canal is guarded by numerous pill-boxes and tank-traps. They formed part of the GHQ Line (General Headquarters Line), a defence line built during World War II to contain an expected German invasion.

After falling into disrepair in the 1950s, it was restored in the 1990s. After a period of water supply problems, it's now a very popular holiday and leisure destination, with lots of colourful boats to be seen, both hired and privately owned. There is little or no commercial traffic – but watch this space! Will some heavy goods traffic return to the inland waterways?

England - South England - Wiltshire - Vale of Pewsey


Ancient Monument, Birds, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Pub, Public Transport, Wildlife, Woodland
7/6/2014 - Mikey Hunt

Did this walk starting at Milk Hill car park (free) top of the downs in the sun are breezy and cooling...The canal side is hot and some sections overgrown. Take plenty of water with you. Amazing views..

10/10/2010 - p fowler

Suggest parking in Oare village or near bridge in Honeystreet rather than pay exorbitant Pewsey Wharf car park charges.

9/21/2010 - Adrian Perkins

Many thanks to Andrew Long for his updates for this walk. September 2010. Adrian (Admin)

9/12/2010 - Andrew Long

Great walk - views from the White Horse Trail are amazing. Walking along the canal is pretty cool too. You must do this one!