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Wiltshire

Hiking in Wiltshire

Hiking

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Photo: AppleTV.1488 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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This wonderful southern county is the kind of place where you find yourself stopping every hundred yards to take another photograph. Walks in Wiltshire lead you through unbelievably pretty villages where weeping willows stand on riverbanks and ducks meander across the paths. You can explore endless woodlands or climb up above into the hills and, if you fancy it, you can even stop off at the world-famous Stonehenge.

A region of incredible beauty, you’re spoilt for choice when choosing hikes in Wiltshire. You can wander through the ancient woodlands of Cranborne Chase and roam the chalk hills of the North Wessex Downs. If you need a charming sandwich stop, you’ll find plenty of idling rivers with grassy banks and only birdsong for company. 

It’s admittedly hard to know where to begin hiking in Wiltshire if it’s sheer, wondrous beauty you’re after. Frankly, wherever you go in this rural county you’ll enjoy fantastic trails and classic English countryside. Take a look at the routes and start exploring.


Top 20 best walks and hikes in Wiltshire

    Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    1
    1
    Intermediate
    02:54
    6.88 mi
    2.4 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    2
    Intermediate
    04:24
    10.3 mi
    2.3 mph
    550 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    02:25
    5.75 mi
    2.4 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    4
    Easy
    01:20
    3.18 mi
    2.4 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    5
    Intermediate
    03:43
    8.65 mi
    2.3 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    6
    Easy
    01:09
    2.65 mi
    2.3 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    7
    Intermediate
    02:22
    5.50 mi
    2.3 mph
    325 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    8
    Intermediate
    03:19
    7.87 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    9
    Intermediate
    03:14
    7.55 mi
    2.3 mph
    400 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    10
    Intermediate
    01:47
    4.10 mi
    2.3 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    11
    Intermediate
    02:16
    5.28 mi
    2.3 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    12
    Intermediate
    02:27
    5.83 mi
    2.4 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    13
    Intermediate
    02:28
    5.59 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    14
    Intermediate
    02:44
    6.23 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    15
    Intermediate
    01:58
    4.44 mi
    2.3 mph
    375 ft
    375 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    16
    Intermediate
    02:24
    5.48 mi
    2.3 mph
    400 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    17
    Intermediate
    02:32
    5.88 mi
    2.3 mph
    350 ft
    350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    18
    Intermediate
    02:11
    4.94 mi
    2.3 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    19
    Easy
    01:51
    4.45 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    20
    Intermediate
    02:22
    5.33 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View

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More Information

Exploring Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

While the county as a whole is disproportionately lovely, you’ll find some of the best hiking trails in Wiltshire within its Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In total, three fall partially within Wiltshire and the county also has a small corner of the New Forest National Park in the far south.

The North Wessex Downs and Cranborne Chase take up the most room and are filled with stunning hiking trails through old woodlands and across gentle hills. Endless rolling farmland is a common companion on walks in Wiltshire’s nature reserves and the chalk downlands come alive with wildflowers in spring. 

A sliver of the Cotswolds is also within Wiltshire, offering you even more trails through quintessential English countryside, complete with stone houses and vibrant woodlands. 

Trails through ancient history

When you begin exploring hikes in Wiltshire, you’ll very quickly discover you’re walking through an ancient land. You don’t have a choice in the matter, this beautiful county is absolutely chock full of vestiges from times gone by. 

Stonehenge is, without a doubt, the best known example in Wiltshire. It’s the cherry on top of an already impressive cake. This neolithic, giant stone circle has been intriguing archeologists for centuries and doesn’t stand alone. Trails in the Stonehenge area will also take you past ancient long barrows (burial mounds) and Woodhenge, a couple of miles to the north. 

Wiltshire is also famed for its eight white horses. The majority of the county is sat on chalk and the white horses have been carved into hillsides, their chalk outlines vivid against the green grass. The horses aren’t very old compared to much of Wiltshire’s history, with the oldest dating from the 18th century, but they do add a unique angle to your explorations of the area. 

Avebury, in the North Wessex Downs, is the site of another, much wider stone circle which surrounds most of the village. Trails in the Avebury area will take you alongside the River Kennet, across sweeping farmland and through peaceful forests. It’s hard to walk in Wiltshire without feeling its slightly other-worldly atmosphere and with history seeping out of every rock, you might well find yourself returning time and time again. 

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