Grovely Wood and Little Langford Down
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Grovely Wood is big, and as it stands on a chalk ridge it is hilly and interesting. It is so big that I got lost in it when I was looking for Little Langford Down - my advice is to bring a map and be clear about your route.
It is also ancient, with much evidence of Iron age settlements and a Roman road runs right through the middle of it.
The ridge of the wood stands above the Wylye Valley on the North West side of Salisbury, and is full of paths to explore.
Little Langford Down is an open space at the edge of the wood and consists of a chalk grassland slope. It is not easy to find, and there was no sign of any people when I visited on a summer weekend. There was no signage, except for an easily missed arrow from the main path that told you a direction - but not where to. There did not appear to be any signage to let you know you have arrived. The down was once under the management of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust but they told me in 2017 that management of this land had been transferred to another agency.
It is definitely worth the effort to visit as the Down was awash with wild flowers and long grass, and the views across to Little Langford were simply stunning. What a wonderful reward after the two mile hike from the car park, to sit on the slopes and witness this view. The walk there and back was under the wonderful shade provided by the canopy of the trees - very welcome on a hot day. In some ways it was a blessing to get lost, as I was able to immerse myself into this wonderful woodland and immerse myself in this vast, open landscape.
Grovely Wood can be accessed via Stoford off the A36. Head to Great Wishford, past the Royal Oak pub and along Grovely Road for a mile until you reach the car park.
Make sure you bring a map.
You can get an overview of the whole site from watching the video clip.