Friday, 6 January 2012

Etchilhampton Hill back to Devizes via the Wessex Ridgeway.

Ohhh it was a beautiful morning for a brisk 3.75 mile walk from Etchilhampton Hill back to Devizes via the Wessex Ridgeway.   Our group of 12 caught the bus and set off on the three mile journey to the start of the walk.  The picture below shows some of our group and Salisbury Plain in the background, much of which is used for army manoeuvers and out of bounds to walkers.  The Great Bustard, a large bird once common in this area, has recently been reintroduced here.  It obviously copes well with the sound of tank fire and gun shots.   Wiltshire's flag has a image of the Great Bustard upon it, it is our county bird, but we did not see one today!
Looking out towards Salisbury Plain on a beautiful January morning.

Joyce explains the history of the area to an attentive audience.
During the walk we came across a dump for waste stone, infilling in an old quarry.  Joyce, who led the walk gave us a brief introduction to the history of the area.  The Ridgeway is the line of the old road from Devizes towards Salisbury, but the route was changed in the last century to accommodate motor vehicles and to avoid the climb up the hill.   The last time we walked this route,  we climbed the hill in thick fog and couldn't see the  much of the beautiful Wiltshire countryside.
Scraping  mud off our boots at the end of the walk.  Roundway Hill is in the background.
The route down the hill was very muddy after several days of rain, so each of us had about an inch of mud to scrape off our walking boots.  In the background of this photo is Roundway Hill, the site of the civil war battle in 1645. 

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