Hiking the Pewsey Downs to Oare

A few weeks ago, the Husband and I took advantage of grandparent babysitters and set out for a hike. We parked our car at the Pewsey Downs car park and headed east towards the little village of Oare. Oare (pronounced Orrr) nestles in the most gorgeous horseshoe-shaped swirl of hills. We planned to hike along the ridge, around the horseshoe, down into Oare itself and then back up along the ridge back to the car – roughly a lollipop shape.

The day was beautiful – not too cold, although the blustery wind was quite chilly, and some decent sunshine. We warmed up quickly on the first hike up Walkers’ Hill overlooking the gorgeous Vale of Pewsey and then trudged along the ridge-path with the hills plunging down to our right.




I love the way the hills fall here
We walked through fields of sheep, greeting them as we went, and then a field of cows, sticking to the edge of the field, I don’t like cows.


Eventually we walked through the tiny village of Huish and crossed the road and started the trek around the horseshoe. The first segment went through a muddy wood, no views. Then we fought through a stretch of stinging nettles and then as we emerged into the clearing, the beautiful views stretched out before us. Gorgeous.


We found a bench on the south-facing path and sat,drank tea, ate sandwiches and admired the views. Then we headed on down the steep hill into Oare, along an Autumny lane, across the road again and headed out into the grounds of the very fancy Oare House. There are public footpaths across their lands and it was a real treat to walk there. Their summer-house folly was spectacular!!



We got slightly lost at this point but got back on track just before Draycott and then we started the big climb back up the hills to the White Horse Trail along the ridge-path. It was a proper climb, we were puffed at the top but then it was an easy trudge back along through the fields to the car.


This doesn’t look steep but it was crazy hard!


The lovely green slope down to the car park


  • Here’s a map of the hike today. The section in Oare House grounds is a bit of a guess as we got lost here.
  • No loos at the start/finish and I didn’t spot any en route.
  • No cafes or pubs at all. Near the car park - lots of options in Marlborough at the end, pub in Lockeridge and cafe/pub at Honey Street.
  • Windy along the top. Definitely worth bringing layers.
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