A BRAND new walking challenge that shows off the best of Wiltshire’s beautiful scenery will help raise money for Julia’s House, the Dorset and Wiltshire children’s hospice.
The Great Wiltshire Walk will take in 26 miles of some of the county’s most breathtaking countryside. Beginning and ending at the Kings Arms pub in picturesque All Cannings, walkers will take in landmarks including three White Horses, a hill fort, ancient defences and a stone circle, as well as stunning view.
The walk has been devised by guide Chris Lyne, who has been walking in Wiltshire for more than 30 years. He said: “The walk is a journey through not just Wiltshire’s history but England’s history. Walkers will see Neolithic burial grounds and the stones at Avebury, the Wansdyke, which protected the ancient kingdom of Wessex from the Danes, the Kennet and Avon Canal which was an important part of the development of the Empire and the site of the Battle of Roundway, one of the key battles of the English Civil War.”
The walk, on July 20, comes a week after the 376th anniversary of the Battle of Roundway.
Organisers are promising a chance to savour historic landmarks such as the site of Oldbury Castle, an iron age hill fort near Cherhill, White Horses at Devizes, Cherhill and Alton Barnes, wildflowers, Neolithic monuments and pretty villages while helping to fundraise for the local children and families supported by Julia’s House.
Julia’s House Challenge Events Manager Hannah Miller said: “We have a very popular Jurassic Trek in Dorset that has had hundreds of people taking part every year for the past four years and we thought that north Wiltshire would be perfect for a similar walk. The Sarsen Trail, which followed a similar route, is no longer running so this is an ideal alternative.
“It will give people taking part the opportunity to see the very best of Wiltshire, finishing with the wonderful views of the Vale of Pewsey. At the end we’ll have music and a free hog roast with a celebratory glass of prosecco.
“All money raised from the trek will help us care for life-limited children locally and give respite to exhausted mums and dads.”
Everyone taking part will receive fundraising support from the Julia’s House team, as well as support on the day. Along the route, which will be fully signposted, there’ll be refuelling stops with water and snacks. There will also be medical support available.
Mr Lyne said parts of the route will follow ancient pathways that are thousands of years old. “There are lots of long, level stretches,” he added. “The route has been planned to be conducive to a walk of that length and there are many beautiful expanses of scenery and wildflowers to enjoy.”
Registration for the event costs £30 and all walkers get a free Julia’s House t-shirt and a route map. All finishers will be presented with a medal.
Ms Miller said the charity hopes walkers will each be able to raise £200 for the charity. “We really hope it grows into a much-loved annual event that people will want to come back and join year after year,” she said
Sign up for The Great Wiltshire Walk at juliashouse.org/greatwiltshirewalk.