Devizes to Roundway Hill walk

A lifeline during lockdown

Local waterways have been an escape for many during these difficult times. Our work to protect them is more urgent than ever.

There's a variety of scenery for you to enjoy on this circular walk from Devizes to Roundway Hill, taking in stretches of the Kennet & Avon Canal.

Devizes, K&A Devizes, K&A

Leave the bustle of Devizes behind you and enter the secret world of canals before heading along pretty paths into open countryside and on to Roundway village.

Once Devizes had seven wharves, crawling with workers handling goods such as timber, stone and grain. Today, there's plenty to see and do in this charming market town dating back to the 11th Century.

Devizes to Roundway Hill walk

 

Don't miss the 16-lock Caen Hill Lock Flight, part of 29 locks built between Devizes and Lower Foxhangers. This allows boats to pass through a drop of 237 feet in 2 miles (72m in 3.2km). This feat of engineering is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Start point: Market Place, Devizes

End point: Market Place, Devizes

Distance: five miles

The route

Leave Devizes Market Place and walk along Snuff Street (to the right of the Black Swan pub). Cross New Park Street and walk under the Wharf Centre archway into Couch Lane opposite. The Kennet & Avon Trust Wharf Centre is on your left.

Once Devizes had seven wharves, crawling with workers handling goods such as timber, stone and grain. You are standing next to Town Wharf. It had several warehouses, and a bonded (secure) warehouse used to store spirits and tobacco for snuff.

Quaker's Walk

At the canal bridge turn right onto the towpath and walk to the next bridge. Turn left and enter Quaker's Walk through the gate on the right hand side. Follow a surfaced path until you come to a road (Roundway Park).

Cross this and take the footpath immediately opposite. The Millennium White Horse appears briefly on Roundway Hill ahead. A crucial battle in the Civil War took place on Roundway Down in 1643. It was won by the Royalists. Here the track curves right - follow it until you reach a minor road then turn left into Roundway village.

Roundway village

The road curves left where there is a post and phone box. At this junction take the right fork, signposted dead end. You will see the White Horse again. Pass a grey barn and pylon on your left and head uphill. Soon you will arrive at sign saying 'Welcome to Leipzig Plantation'. Planted by the Victorians, this is believed to be named after the Battle of Leipzig, which took place in 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars.

See if you can pick out Devizes landmarks as you head downhill. Pass through kissing gates and then you are on the home stretch back to Roundway village.

Beautiful views

Turn around and enjoy the views towards Devizes. You can make out the square tower of St James Church and the chimney of Wadworth Brewery. Take the left fork and head uphill until you see a finger post pointing to a public footpath.

Follow the path downhill keeping the hedge on your right and the field on your left, heading towards a pylon. You will come to a metal kissing gate signposting the Mid Wilts Way, Wessex Ridgeway and White Horse Trail. Pass through the gate and follow the grassy track to another kissing gate. You will take some small steps down on to Conscience Lane.

Conscience Lane

Turn left and head back into Roundway village. Follow the road as it bends left, taking you back to the phone and post box in the village. Follow the road round to the right and head downhill, passing Kidd Farm Machinery on your left.

Cross Folly Road and then, keeping Subway on your right, walk along the busy A361 London Road. Cross Flax Mill Park and Roundway Park. Cross the A361 at the pedestrian crossing and head right towards Devizes. Turn left up an unnamed drive alongside Rosemundy Cottage B&B.

Canal bridge

You will reach a canal bridge. The strange domed structures on the top are anti-tank obstacles left after World War II. Turn right through the gate and walk along the towpath. Further on the canal swings sharp right - keep on the towpath and walk under bridges 138 and 139, the latter leading to Quakers Walk.

Come off the towpath at bridge 140, turning left into Couch Lane. Walk past the Kennet & Avon Trust Wharf Centre on your right. Then you continue down Couch Lane and cross over New Park Street at the pedestrian crossing. Opposite you is Snuff Street.

Walk up here until you are back in the Market Place.