BEWLEY COMMON to WESTBROOK
General :- A 4.5 mile very pleasant walk running through open woodland with good views. The beauty of this route is its variety, turn a corner and there is always something different. One steep climb at the end but definitely worth the effort.
The lonely Church On Bowdon Hill was built in 1849 when a new parish was created to serve 400 residents around the Hill. Church attendance is not what it was and the parish is now joined with Laycock.
Spye Park used to be a great estate with a large mansion. A disastrous fire in 1964 left the house in ruins and it was demolished. Only the front facade of the portico was left standing, a melancholy memorial to its past; I'm told this has gone now. The family lived nearby on the estate until it was sold in 2005.
On the Spye Park Estate you will see warning signs about shooting. Do not let these signs put you off walking this route, there is no danger if you stick to the path. The legal situation is very clear and of great comfort to the walker. You are on a public footpath and have public right of way, they must keep clear of you. If Spye Park Estate wants to obstruct the footpath in any way they will have to apply for a court order to temporary close the footpath and this is extremely difficult to get. The shooting parties held on the estate are very lucrative and they will not risk losing them by endangering the public. However do not go wandering off the path into a wood or elsewhere, that's what the sign is trying to tell you.
Pub at halfway point.
How to get there:- A350 Chippenham to Melksham Rd. Turn off to Lacock @ ST 9136 6786. Right @ ST 9147 6829, and again @ ST 9173 6832