Ramsbury Walks – Bolstridge and Hilldrop (Ramsbury Footpath #4/Bridleway #3/Footpath #34)
This walk can start on Back Lane (just opposite Ramsbury Hill), Hilldrop Close (at the north end), or even Love’s Lane (opposite the School field). All 3 are technically part of R#4 (Bolstridge) and converge on the well-marked path heading north from Hilldrop Close past the old allotments. Between Bolstridge Copse (always “Bolstridge” to locals, but “Boltsridge” on OS maps) and Bolstridge Farm, the path leads through the shallowing valley to the junction with R#3 (Millers Firs) by the site of the former Blue Barn.
For a shortcut, turning left here will take you down the track, via Hilldrop Farm (a medieval manor to rival Littlecote, and still a substantial estate) to the Marlborough Road (White’s Hill) by Manor Farm – take R#2 (Manor Promenade) back to Ramsbury.
Or you can turn right and head through Southern Copse to Aldbourne (look out for the ancient boundary stone by the side of the track in the middle of the Copse – and see if you can spot any signs of the Roman villa on Aldbourne Gorse to the northeast).
For a longer walk, carry straight across at the Blue Barn crossroads. After a dogleg round some farm buildings, you walk alongside Pentico Wood (where folklore has it no bird ever sang, though quite why was never clear). Over the boundary into Aldbourne, and another dogleg takes you round the end of the Wood to the road to Ewin’s Hill and Aldbourne. Turning left (it’s a quiet road but watch for traffic) will bring you back to Hilldrop Lane. Green Pond and Laurel Pond just nearby would have been welcome refreshment for thirsty horses.
From Laurel Pond, take R#34 (New Buildings) past the farm to Blake’s Copse, emerging through the woods onto White’s Hill. The Blake family owned this land in the Middle Ages as part of what eventually became Ambrose Farm. Back to Ramsbury on R#2 as before.
Refreshments are available at The Bell, Crown & Anchor and Ramsbury Legion.