Walking Monarchs Way E-W from where the trail enters Wiltshire at east Winterslow the path follows the Roman Road west then north to Winterbourne Earls
Allow 2.5 hours. Join the Roman Road at Cobb’s Lane in Middle Winterslow. Starting at the village shop which sells a good selection of food and drink walk north bearing left until you reach Clough Lane where you turn left and walk about 50 yards to Cobb Lane on the left on the old Roman Road. This ancient track links Winchester and Old Sarum, a major Roman strongpoint located 3 miles north of what is the ‘new’ medieval cathedral city of Salisbury.
The path drops steeply through the woods to meet the B-road on the Winterslow side of Dunstable crossroads. Walk along the road for 50 yards, turn left at the crossroads taking the Pitton direction then cross over to take the path alongside the bungalow and smallholding.
The Roman road, fenced on both sides, opens up on to a field with a play area on the left. Monarchs Way continues on the Roman Road passing to the rear of Firsdown and the gardens on the right and into a wood, predominantly of yew trees.
A steady ascent along this bridleway beyond the wood brings you to a path crossroads at the brow of the hill with a bungalow on the left. Continue straight across through a scrubby field to a T-junction with a gate and the Roman Road immediately ahead. Turn right, walk about 100 yards along this bridleway then left over a stile. The path continues at the field edge down into a dip with miscellaneous buildings on either side in the distance and up to a rudimentary gate and stile.
Here you enter a smallholding with livestock and chicken roaming around so ensure that your dog is kept securely on a lead. A metal gate across the road entrance with a kissing gate on the right hand side opens out on to the main A30 Salisbury to Basingstoke road. Cross to the verge and kissing gate on the other side with extreme care. This is an extremely busy and hazardous crossing so be very careful.
Continue up the field edge towards Figsbury Rings which is entered over a stile in the far bottom left hand corner of the site. Figsbury Rings is a Site of Special Scientific Interest owned by The National Trust. There are many unusual plant species to be seen with skylarks and butterflies in the spring and summer.
There are lovely views across Salisbury and the edge of Salisbury Plain to the north and makes a perfect spot for a picnic. The Iron Age earthwork is unusually very symmetrical and there is a further ditch in the centre which may predate the outer ramparts.
Monarchs Way exits Figsbury Ring at the NW corner down the hill into Winterbourne Earls on to the A338 Salisbury to Marlborough where there are two pubs serving meals and a busy village shop.
Walking Monarchs Way | Winterslow to Winterbourne Earls