Biss Meadows, Yarnbrook, Clanger Wood and West Ashton walk

Steeple Ashton and Roundway Down in the distance. One of the many great views from this walk

One of the benefits of living in Wiltshire is that is a rural county. Even in the urban areas, once you get outside of the towns you instantly find yourself in open countryside and this walk is a perfect example.

It started in the county town of Trowbridge, and headed out into the Biss Meadows country park which follows the path of the River Biss and leads you out into the fields. In April, this was an area full of the bright yellows of rapeseed crops although frustratingly, the farmer had planted over the public footpaths, so my mapped route had to divert around field perimeters. One thing I find in general is that public footpaths can be hit and miss in Wiltshire. On three occasions during this walk, the path was blocked or tampered with which caused me difficulties.

Leaving Biss Meadows I headed across the fields towards Yarnbrook where I picked up a path across another field that would lead directly into Clanger Wood. This wood is a personal favourite as it is one of the last remaining parts of the ancient Selwood Forest, and is full of bluebells in the spring. They were just starting to emerge as I walked through. A stomp up the hill led me to the edge of the wood where I crossed a stile and headed across the meadows to West Ashton.

Clanger Wood

Field near West Ashton behind Rood Ashton Hall. Note the footpath has been ploughed over !

A public footpath from the high street led me across fields to the back of Rood Ashton hall, until I hit the road which carried me towards Home Farm. There were fabulous views here across to Steeple Ashton and its distinctive, large Church and in the distance I could clearly make out Roundway Down on the edge of Devizes. I took the path close to Stourton Water, a fishing lake I did not know existed before the footpath took my to the busy A350. I crossed the road and heading through a field to the edge of Green Lane Wood. As I know this wood intimately, I detoured into it and meandered through the shade of the trees before exiting at the far end and ending up on Green Lane itself. Following this road to the end leads you back into Trowbridge.

NB: Rood Ashton Hall had a steam train named after it which was built in Swindon in 1929 and is now preserved at the Birmingham Railway Museum.

Stourton Water Fishing Lake - permits available from Home Farm

The whole circuit is well over 9 miles but the hills are gentle and there is much to see along the way. A worthy way to spend an afternoon as the walk can be easily completed in a little over 3 hours.


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