I’m sure everyone has realised this at some point when they return to their hometown, that they never truly appreciated its good points. For me, this happened only recently.
Over the Easter bank holiday weekend with plans to visit as many family members as possible, the opportunity to squeeze a hike in presented itself, and so I found myself rediscovering my old haunts in a completely new light on the Mid Wilts Way.
Being in such a rush to go to university and live in a city, to gain some independence, to start a career and build a new life in new surroundings, I disregarded the area as sleepy and stale, the type of place you go to retire.
I forgot how peaceful and breathtaking the hilly landscape was, about all the times I would while afternoons away exploring Longleat Forest, and how the villages tucked away in the valleys resembled those found on postcards of the Lake District or Cotswolds.
While I will admit I am still not rushing to settle back, like most things I suppose, taking a different approach to my old hometown has given me a renewed appreciation for it. So much so that I decided to share some snapshots of it with you on the Mid Wilts Way.
Beginning at the trail’s starting point in Mere, we took a slight detour to gush over how adorable these houses were – how many people can say they have a moat around their house?!
Before following the ridge up along the hills and farmland for miles, where the wind relentlessly pushed against us on the summit.
Which was great for having a wind-swept and breezy look, but less than ideal for my sore, red ears after a couple of hours.
John’s ears on the other hand were all snug after borrowing my Kew buff, as you can tell from his self-satisfied expression!
Along the trail, we were so distracted by the sight of lambs (one of my favourite things about Spring) and some rather pissed looking cows (not-so-favourite part of Spring) that we suddenly found ourselves on an airfield for hangars!
Eventually we stopped for lunch in the village of Kingston Deverill before heading back up another ridge towards Horningsham.
There I found a lucky horseshoe – I don’t know from where the idea that horseshoes bring good luck originated, but the rainy weather held off all day, so I like to think it did its job.
After getting lost for a little bit, we finally stumbled back onto the trail and entered Horningsham, where an altogether creepy sight awaited us on the deserted roads in the village.
Trust me, it doesn’t look any less frightening the longer, or closer, you stare at it. In fact, it screams more ‘Happy Halloween suckers’ than ‘Have a joyful Easter’ to me. Either way, I don’t remember this being around when I was last in town.
Emerging from a steep track, we entered onto the main road towards Longleat Forest, which looked as picturesque as I remembered it. From there we waited for my family to meet us and looked forward to a weekend of chocolate, quality time and a well-deserved rest.
#take12trip challenge costs:
Two return train tickets from Gillingham to London Paddington: £52.00
OS Map: £7.99 *
*I would definitely recommend a map for those of you wanting to complete the Mid Wilts Way. Signage is sparse and often placed in surprising locations, and the trail most likely needs updating as several of the landmarks and pathways have changed.