12 April 2012

A pint worth walking two hours for

I’m not exactly a rambler. I’m no good at reading maps, panic if I lose phone reception and have no appropriate “outdoors” clothes. However, I can be persuaded if there is an offer of food or booze (or both!) at the end of it, and if it isn’t too long or hard.

So the walk along the Clarendon Way from Salisbury to Pitton is perfect for me. You can do it in under two hours, and one of the nicest country pubs in the Salisbury area is at the end of it, the Silver Plough.


The walk is quite interesting as it takes you past the Clarendon Palace which was a favoured hunting lodge for Norman Kings and the Plantagenets. Not much remains of the Palace now, apart from a few flint walls and a herd of random alpacas.

I’ve done this walk a couple of times. Well I should probably say that I’ve got lost on this walk a couple of times, and I’ve never found an article or website that gives a good, detailed description of the walk. So I thought I would provide my account of how to walk along this section of the Clarendon Way. I hope this helps prevent you from getting lost!

When you get to the Silver Plough, you’ll definitely deserve a bite to eat and a glass of something nice.

For a village pub, the food has quite a gastro pub, bistro feel to it, and they have a great selection of wines. Last time I was there, I enjoyed Bream from the specials menu with a nice glass of Shiraz. There’s a good selection of Real Ales, I am a fan of the Fursty Ferret. The pub also has free WIFI which means you can check in on Four Square or upload pictures of your energetic walk to Facebook!

Directions from Salisburyto the Silver Plough, via the Clarendon Way:
  • Walk out of Salisbury via Milford Street towards Laverstock
  • You’ll cross the River Bourne at the Milford Bridge before carrying up Queen Manor Road
  • Once you get to Rangers Lodge Farm, you’ll see the first signs for the Clarendon Way Walk. Keep your eye out for these, and the arrows pointing you along the route
  • Continue through the farm until you get to a large field where there is a sign post directing you diagonally across it
  • At the end of the field, you’ll find a defined road/path which will take you gently up the hill
  • Near the top of the hill, there is a look out point, which it is worth climbing up to, as it has excellent views over Salisbury and the Cathedral, and gives you an idea of how far you have walked
  • You’ll then pass Clarendon Palace itself, which has a herd of alpacas in it (be careful if you have dogs, as the alpacas can chase them)
  • After the field with the alpacas in it, you come across or defined path that has recently been upgraded
  • After a short walk of around 60 metres there is a turning on the left that is easy to miss so look out for it!
  • Continue on the path through the trees and log piles until you come to four cottages
  • Go straight over here, while keeping the cottages to your right, when you follow the path, it will bring you to a road
  • Turn left on the road past the red phone box, and then turn right up the hill until you reach the Silver Plough
If the urge takes you, the Clarendon Way then carries on for 24 miles to Winchester. There is a popular charity walk that takes place every June in aid of the Naomi House Children’s Hospice where you walk from Winchester Cathedral to Salisbury Cathedral. Now, there must be more than one pub along that route…..

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