Imber Range Perimeter Path
Total distance covered; 35 miles (55kms)
3 days walking based in Warminster
The Imber Range Perimeter Path is a 30 mile (48kms) route which, as the name suggests, roughly follows the boundary of the Imber live firing range which is just part of the Ministry of Defence's extensive (38,000 hectares) Salisbury Plain training area. The Imber Range lies at the heart of the training area and is inaccessible to the public, other than on a few days of the year when the village of Imber (abandoned in 1943 when the entire population was evicted to provide an area for American and British troops to train together for the D-Day Landings) is opened up so that families can visit the church and graveyard. Outside of the live firing area Salisbury Plain is accessible at all times via a wonderful network of both public rights-of-Way and permissive paths created by the MOD.
Salisbury Plain lies at the heart of the Wiltshire Downs and is an archeological landscape which is unparalleled in Northern Europe. It has some 2,300 ancient monuments, dating back to 4,000BCE, and the densest concentration of round barrows and long barrows in Britain. It also has some 40% of Britain's remaining ancient flower-rich chalk grassland; a wonderful habitat for wildlife. The Plain is rigorously protected by the MOD and their tenant farmers.
Highlights of the Imber Range Perimeter Path include the extensive views from the airy Iron Age battlements of Bratton Camp, Scratchbury Camp and Battlesbury Hill Fort; White Barrow, a Neolithic long barrow which was the National Trust's first purely archeological acquisition; the medieval strip lynchets on Middle Hill, and the views into the live firing range from the Bronze Age tumulus on its lofty summit; and Westbury White Horse above the village of Bratton, our start and finish point for the walk.
The timing of the walk has been chosen to coincide with the flowering of the myriad of orchids which usually adorn the hay meadows and downland in early summer. If 2020 is an indication you may expect to see the Greater Butterfly orchid, Common Spotted orchids, Bee orchids and Fragrant orchids, as well as a fantastic display of other wild flowers, butterflies and birdlife. This compilation of pictures will give you a 'taster' of what to expect.
Holiday Options 2021
Day 1: Bratton to Heytesbury 11 miles (17kms)
Day 2: Heytesbury to Tilshead 10 miles 16kms)
Day 3: Tilshead to Bratton 14 miles (22kms)
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