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Wiltshire & The New Forest

A walk through history on the Wiltshire Downs (and the New Forest)

  • England

  • 7 nights
  • Half Board
  • May

    Jul

    Aug

    Sep

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 71267

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 5

Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.

The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.

Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Stonehenge and the walk along ‘The Avenue’
  • Lacock; if you’ve watched period drama on British TV and films like Downton Abbey, you’ll recognise the village
  • Clarendon Palace once a Royal country residence, now a preserved site
  • New Forest hunting grounds created by William the Conqueror, but also used for the Roman pottery industry, and later a gunpowder factory!
  • The view across Salisbury, unchanged since John Constable’s time

Man has been drawn to the plains around Salisbury since the beginnings of recorded habitation in Britain. The archaeological evidence is obvious: Stonehenge, Old Sarum, Salisbury Cathedral and Lacock village offer insights into living history. The terrain is rolling and ideally suited to varied walking with expansive views. 

We’ll stop at country pubs and ancient sites, take in Elizabethan manors and restored canals. But it is all about the walking, the sites are just diversions on our route over open plain and shady woodland. We wander through bucolic villages and on canal banks. Early season the wildflowers are a sight to behold and all year there is plenty of varied wildlife to be enjoyed.

We stay at the Milford Hall Hotel, close to the centre of Salisbury for impressive views and evening strolls. Why not walk down to the Cathedral grounds after dinner and enjoy a drink on the way back?


  • Half board en-suite accommodation (breakfasts & dinners in the hotel)
  • All transport necessary to and from the walks
  • Entrance to Salisbury Cathedral
  • Services of a dedicated tour leader
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Lunches
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Arrive at the hotel in time for dinner and perhaps a brief walk around the city after dinner, to appreciate the buildings and to orientate ourselves. Check in at the Milford Hall Hotel is from 3pm. 

Day 2

New Forest

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    9.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    210m

Using hired transport we head south into neighbouring Hampshire to the New Forest. Starting at Fritham we will enjoy a traffic-free walk across moorland and through forest. En route we discover local history from the Romans to the Normans. Also look out for the local wildlife. The ponies here are well known in equine circles. Again we can have drinks in a local pub at lunchtime.

Day 3

The Clarendon Trail

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    130/160m

After breakfast we leave directly from the hotel and walk through Salisbury to Cathedral Close (15 mins). Entrance to the Cathedral is included in the holiday. We will have plenty of time to explore the cathedral before lunch. Later we take a local bus to Pitton Village. Walking back from there, we head west on the Clarendon Trail. We arrive at the ruins of Clarendon, an important royal palace from Norman to Elizabethan times. After some time to explore the grounds, we return to Salisbury and the hotel.

Day 4

Lacock Village

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4.5 hours

  • Distance

    8.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200m

Today the historic interest centres around Lacock. We take hired transport Northwest to the village used for many film and TV productions. There is a National Trust house and gardens and a Photography Museum to be explored after we walk up to hills with views back to the village. Our return route will partly follow the former Bucks and Wilts canal, which is under renovation.

Day 5

Free Day

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Today is a free day but offers an excellent opportunity to explore Salisbury and walk out to Old Sarum, just to the north of town. 

Day 6

Downton & The River Avon

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5.5 hours

  • Distance

    11 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    260/270m

Walking locally today we head South above the Avon valley to Downton. Here we can enjoy lunch in the Moot amphitheatre. As well as being a great spot for a picnic it is well worth exploring. We follow the River Avon, cross over at a weir, see Trafalgar House and Chapel, and then catch the hire bus back to Salisbury.

Day 7

Stonehenge & The Avenue

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    10.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    70/80m

Today will be perhaps the highlight of the holiday. We take hired transport out to Stonehenge with time to admire the world-famous stones. We do not intend to go into the site itself and entrance is not included in the holiday price. Our walk takes us partly along the ‘Avenue’, a feast for ancient historians. We walk back via Lake village to learn about its place in history; this is a beautiful walk in its own right.

Day 8

Departure day

Meals

Breakfast

Independent departure after breakfast. Check out of the hotel is by 11am. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and we look forward to welcoming you on another soon.

Departure dates for your selected tour

28th May 2022 - 4th Jun 2022 (7 Nights)

9th Jul 2022 - 16th Jul 2022 (7 Nights)

13th Aug 2022 - 20th Aug 2022 (7 Nights)

17th Sep 2022 - 24th Sep 2022 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

Transport to and from the trailheads, when necessary, is included.

The hotel offers parking for guests at £5.00 per night on a first come first served basis.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Milford Hall Hotel

Set in a 19th-century mansion with a modern annexe, the Milford Hall Hotel is a short walk from Salisbury centre and a mile from the cathedral. Refined rooms offer flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, free Wi-Fi, and tea & coffeemaking equipment. Amenities include a plush, period-style lounge bar, and a contemporary seafood/steak restaurant with a sunroom lounge and retractable roof, which also serves afternoon tea.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding but equally rewarding. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' for more information.

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Tipping

Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Your Travel Details

To reach the hotel…

by car: From London take the M3 and then A303 west A338 signposted Salisbury. The hotel offers parking for guests at £5.00 per night on a first come first served basis

by rail: Salisbury Station is situated on the Intercity Rail Network with direct trains from London Waterloo. The station is situated less than one mile from the hotel.

Taxis from Salisbury Station will cost approximately £4.00.  It is only a five minute taxi ride to the hotel.

You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the accommodation: www.rome2rio.com 

The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find our hotels. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk 

Please check the time of dinner on arrival at the hotel, and aim to be in the hotel bar half an hour before dinner (approximately 7pm) for an introduction to your Ramblers Walking Holidays tour leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your walking companions.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

Passport Information for United Kingdom

Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.

Meals

Accommodation is on a half board basis with buffet breakfasts and dinners taken at the hotel. Picnic lunches are not included.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Holiday booking confirmation document
  • Travel insurance details (if applicable)
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: [email protected]

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for United Kingdom

No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.

Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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