On the bright sunny morning of Sunday 13 September, 14 members of the Westbury Walkers met at the Small Grain Plantation Car Park, to the northwest of Devizes.
Mindful and compliant with social distancing, they started their walk, which was led by Lynda Croft, following the track along the edge of the Wiltshire Wildlife Reserve of Morgan’s Hill, then they headed north on a bridleway between open fields until they reached a crossing with another track, leading up onto the hills near Cherhill and the distinctive Lansdowne Monument at the top. The Monument, also known as the Cherhill Monument, is a 38-metre stone obelisk erected in 1845 by the 3rd Marquis of Lansdowne, and it can be seen from many miles away.
The group turned left and climbed up the hill reaching the monument to be rewarded with clear views of the route they had taken, views towards Calne, Royal Wootton Bassett, and the paths that lie ahead for the rest of the walk. At the top, they took a drinks break and enjoyed the cakes kindly provided by one of the members. They also held one minute’s silence in fond memory of a former member, who had recently passed away.
Setting off again, they retraced their steps down the hillside, to reach the crossing of footpaths again. Here, this time, they carried straight on, heading east, until they almost reached the main A361 road. Staying on the footpath, they turned right again, looking for another footpath that crossed the Wansdyke in a copse of trees. Here, they stopped for lunch on a sunny bank and then followed the Wansdyke for over one mile up onto Morgan’s Hill, past the two communications masts, that can be seen on a clear day from many miles away as they are on the highest point on the hill.
The group took a steep path that descended to the edge of the Wildlife Reserve and then followed the track back to the car park. The group had enjoyed an 8 mile walk on a wonderfully warm and sunny September day.
Report by Lynda Croft