19.7 miles – Grey-rinse skies, with occasional desultory rain, golden sunshine at day’s close
On the map the Roman road, originally going to Old Sarum, looks ideal: a lovely straight bridalway – must be easy to walk. The reality is rather different; parts of it are overgrown with brambles and it is poorly signposted. Only when I got onto the Wilton Estate did things improve, with long avenues of beech trees.
Wilton is a pretty, old town, blessed with stunning churches and chapels; sadly, I only photographed one of them.
Being keen on having a shower, I looked for campsites to the east of Salisbury. So often on this walk there have been no campsites where I needed them to be. In Scotland this really didn’t matter, but since summer sprang herself on me, the need to combat the effects of perspiration has asserted itself more frequently. So I was delighted to see there was one just where I would have wished. I telephoned the site and was told I would have to pay £25, the same as for a motorhome; it irritated me, as I had been paying £8 to £10 as a walker with a small tent, and even the rather superb youth hostel at Bath had only been £17. What saved me from paying it was their dreadful website which wouldn’t allow me to book!
There is, I understand, a building of some architectural note in salisbury. Time, however, was of the essence, and so I headed for the local CAMRA pub of the year… to catch up on blog posts instead!
A few yards from the above field I found a little strip of wild meadow where I fell asleep to the heady scent of wild thyme and parsnip, and to the sound of the combine harvester, which did its work until it was dark.