Walk: Gardens and Water Meadows in Downton

PUBLISHED: 00:16 03 February 2011 | UPDATED: 10:53 09 October 2012

Jane Pitman takes us on a delightful walk starting from the Moot in Downton, heading for Charlton All Saints village across Barford Park, and returning via water meadows and a peaceful stretch of the River Avon

Points of Interest...

The Moot Gardens
Standlynch Chapel
Historic buildings in Downton including the Tannery (below)


Start: Car park next to the Moot Gardens. Grid ref: SU 182213
OS maps: Explorer 130 or Landranger 184
Terrain: Field paths, stiles and minor roads
Child/dog friendly: The Moot Gardens are pushchair accessible. Dogs should be kept on leads
Refreshments: The Kings Arms, Downton, 01725 514628; The Wooden Spoon, Downton, 01725 511899
Public transport: For nearest bus routes visit www.wdbus.co.uk or
email buses@wiltshire.gov.uk

Boots on? Lets go!
1From the car park turn left and the entrance to Moot gardens is on the left. To continue the walk carry on along the road and at the end of Moot Lane, look out for the village beacon sited on the green, which was first lit for the National Millennium Beacon Event in 1999. Cross the road and go down Barford Lane, which is opposite the beacon. Heading out of the village, continue along this road for approximately 0.8 km ( mile), passing the Catholic Church.

2Turn left onto a gravel footpath just before a sharp bend in the road at the sign for Trafalgar Fisheries. Continue past the fisheries and keep on the gravel track across the fields through Barford Park. When you reach a cottage, bear left and cross a stile following the narrow path beside a high brick wall. At the track turn left and soon you will see Standlynch Chapel, once owned by the family of Admiral Lord Nelson, and several of the Nelson family graves can be seen in the churchyard. After a short distance bear left down a concrete track. At an old mill turn right and follow the path to cross a bridge over the Avon. Continue on this path crossing several footbridges. Keep ahead across the field and shortly bear left aiming for a stile just before the corner of the field.

3Cross the stile and go over a gravel track to pass through a metal kissing gate. Continue across three fields, and then go through a gate onto a concrete track. When you reach New Court Farm take the first left footpath. Cross a bridge and carry on along the Avon Valley Path across water meadows heading for Downton village. Go through a kissing gate and follow the path beside the River Avon.

4At the road turn left, continue over the bridge and along the Borough, which has many listed buildings. Soon you pass the Downton Tannery, built in 1919 by the Southern Tanning Company. The Tannery closed in 1998 and was recently converted into an apartment block. Carry on past the Kings Arms Inn and follow the brown Tourist signs back to the Moot and the car park.

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