With almost clear blue skies, and after most of the thick overnight frost had gone, David and I headed off into Wiltshire for a bit of a walk. We headed towards Charlton Down and the steep northern escarpment which overlooks the valley of the River Nadder. At this point little did we know that the area was famous for more than the spectacular views.
Driving up Zig-Zag Hill onto the top of Charlton Down we were rewarded with the sight of 3 buzzards hunting on the northern slope, circling round in wide sweeps using the most of the weak thermals.
At Win Green (which seemed little more than a clump of trees on the top of the ridge) we left the car and headed off along the Ox Drove to complete a short circular walk of around 5 miles – which would take in the village of Tollard Royal. The walking was easy along the old droving tracks, though we made it too late into Tollard Royal as the pub was closed. There was fine 13th Century Church, though the ecclesiastical sustenance did little to make up for the lack of pub grub.
Walking back we chose the route back along the other ridge, deciding not to head up the valley and the beautiful manor house we had spied on the walk down. Little did we know that we were walking round the Ashcombe Estate, currently owned by Madonna and Guy Richie until we met a local walking his dog. If we had known perhaps the valley route could have been just as interesting.View the map in Google Maps, or here is the Google Earth KML file.