Heavenly Views - A Wiltshire walk
PUBLISHED: 16:29 12 January 2011 | UPDATED: 10:48 09 October 2012
This a very very pleasant stroll with interesting granite sculptures to admire at Heavens Gate, writes Jane Pitman
Distance: 612 km (4 miles) Time: 2 Hours Exertion: Moderate
POINTS OF INTEREST:
Views of Longleat House and parkland
Sculptures by Paul Norris at Heavens Gate
Thatched congregational chapel in Horningsham village
Village pump and commemorative beech tree in Horningsham village
Pretty Mill pond
Gateway to Longleat
BOOTS ON? LET'S GO!
1 On the opposite side of the road to the car park take the gravel track leading into the woods. Keep on this well-defined track and after a short while go through double gates. To see the fantastic view of Longleat House, walk ahead through the stones at Heavens Gate. To continue the walk, go back towards the stones and pass through a wooden gate to the right of the stones. Keep on this path until you reach a crossroad of paths and turn right. Continue down the hill and take the right hand fork as the path splits. At the next crossroad of paths carry on ahead onto a metalled lane continuing past pretty thatched stone cottages. Go straight over the next set of crossroads and continue on this lane to the parish church of St John the Baptist founded in the 12th century. After extensive restoration in 1783 and 1843, very little of the original structure of the church can be seen apart from the Perpendicular tower.
2 After visiting the church, walk up the lane and turn right at the T-junction. Carry on down the hill and as Church Street bears to the right take the narrow lane on the left which leads past a war memorial. Continue on this lane for approximately 1.2 km ignoring a lane turning to the left at The Corner. As you walk through Horningsham village look out for a thatched Congregational Chapel, built in 1566, known as the Old Meeting House where a service is still held every Sunday. A little further on is a beech tree planted to commemorate the Silver Jubilee anniversary of Queen Elizabeth in 1977. When you reach The Bath Arms, built in the 17th century, turn right at the crossroads and follow the sign for Salisbury/Warminster. On the right hand side of the road is the village pump which was installed c1904.
3 Turn left into a narrow lane opposite Horningsham village hall. Shortly go through a wooden gate on the left and walk diagonally across the field. Ahead you can see an attractive stone gateway into Longleat. Just before the next wooden gate bear right at the telegraph pole and continue across the field aiming for a gap in the hedge. Once through the gap walk diagonally across the field to a stile on the left of houses.
4 After crossing the stile turn left at the road. Walk past Mill Farm, cross a footbridge over Mill pond and carry on up the hill. Turn left to walk down past the church again and shortly turn right at the footpath sign. Go through a kissing gate, walk diagonally across the field aiming for a red telephone box. Cross the road and take the lane straight ahead between houses. As the lane bears to the left keep straight ahead onto a bridleway and continue uphill to a road. Turn left and follow this fairly busy road back to the car park.
Terrain: Field paths, minor roads, stiles and one fairly steep hill to climb.
Child/dog friendly: The first part of the route to Heavens Gate is accessible for pushchairs; keep dogs on leads
Start: Public car park at grid reference ST828423
Map: Ordnance Survey Landranger 183
Refreshments: The Bath Arms, Horningsham, 01985 844308
Public Transport: For nearest bus routes visit wdbus.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org