You might have caught a glimpse of Salisbury Cathedral on loop 8 already. The final stretch on the Clarendon Way is done from Salisbury up to Clarendon Palace and back. You will likely be watched by an number of Llamas grazing and lounging on the Palace grounds. The Mildford Street Bridge Mural is the highlight on the way into Salisbury before reaching the Cathedral.
Start in Salisbury or Laverstock. Salisbury train station is close to the Cathedral and there are a number of car parks. There’s roadside parking in the residential area in Laverstock if you don’t want to drive into the centre. If you start there, you can walk to Clarendon Palace first, then follow the final stretch of the Clarendon Way to Salisbury Cathedral and have refreshment in town and enjoy a sense of achievement having walked the Clarendon Way. It’s then another 15-20 minutes back to Laverstock where you could do a final stop at the Duck Inn.
Length: 11.5 km / 7.2 miles
Time: 2 hours 45 minutes at a swift pace + breaks
Difficulty: Easy – 192 m total ascent
Highlights of Clarendon Way loop 9
If you walk from Laverstock, for example from the Duck Inn, up to Laverstock down you are out in the countryside easily. The path across Laverstock Down is usually quiet; this is the part of the walk I liked best.
There’s isn’t any useful parallel path to the Clarendon Way between Ranger’s Lodge Farm and Clarendon Palace, so this is the only part of the Clarendon Way where we have to backtrack rather than doing a loop. It’s a 1.5 km segment across fields and up to the Palace Grounds.
Clarendon Palace started life as Royal Hunting Lodge. There’s only one wall standing, but the foundations give a good idea about the scale of the palace. The Llamas add to the relaxed vibe of place: they often appear like statues in different poses and I really like how they seem to ignore you as human visitors to what is obviously their own backyard. A leaflet by the Royal Archeological Institute explains the history and some archaeological findings, together with a nicely illustrated map as would likely have been when the palace was in operation. The bank-and-ditch defenses around the site of the palace are easy to find.
There are nice views over the countryside with the spire of Salisbury Cathedral in the background. It’s a good place for kids to climb and run around. On the return back to Ranger’s Lodge Farm the Cathedral spire is always in the background, marking our destination. After crossing of the Bourne river over Milford Bridge we start walking through an urbanised area . It’s worth stopping for a few minutes at another bridge, Milford Street Bridge, with theA36 ring road above and marvel at the mural depicting a number of local stories. There are a number of great stories behind the pictures on the project’s website. Start with Trunky the Barrel Snatcher.
Clarendon Palace to Salisbury
More walks: walkWINCHESTER 12 walk challenge.