Near Lacock: Escape to the beautiful Wiltshire country with the Bowden Hill walk

Starting at the village of Lacock near Bath and Chippenham, the Bowden Hill walk offers a serene escape to lush meadows, charming canal paths, delightful river views and beautiful scenery. I particularly enjoyed this circular walk for the stunning country scenery and the feeling of total escape. Amid tall grass, captivating woodland and tranquil sheep, everyday worries fade away. This Wiltshire walk is part of the River Avon walk series, exploring one of the key places along the River Avon.

The Bowden Hill walk first explores the quaint village of Lacock and the surrounding verdant fields, before taking you along the peaceful Old Wicks & Berks canal and the meandering River Avon. This circular walk then climbs Bowden Hill and leads you through the Bowden Estate back to Lacock Abbey and the village of Lacock. Throughout this walk, and especially from Bowden Hill, you can enjoy spectacular views of the Wiltshire countryside.

Location: Lacock, Wiltshire

Hike difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 2 ½ to 3 hours

Distance: 5.5 miles (9 km)

Explore the enchanting Lacock village

The Bowden Hill walk starts at the village of Lacock. This picturesque village is a delight to explore. As you wander along the fascinating medieval streets and admire the old-fashioned cottages, you’re transported back in time. The village also houses the captivating Lacock Abbey. The 13th century abbey boasts a striking Gothic cloister as well as a converted Victorian country home. Explore the enthralling landmark with the Lacock Abbey and Village guide.

Quaint cottage in Lacock Village
Quaint cottage in Lacock

After wandering through the quaint village of Lacock, this country walk leads you over a delightful stream and, leaving the town behind, through verdant fields with lovely views of Bowden Hill and the Wiltshire countryside. As you cross the bridge over the River Avon, you can admire stunning river scenery as well as a charming hamlet with gorgeous thatched cottages.

Stroll along the charming Old Canal

The Bowden Hill walk then guides you along a country path beside the Old Wilks & Berks Canal. Though no longer in use and overgrown with reeds, the Old Canal is a peaceful delight. From there, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Wiltshire country as well as the meandering River Avon.

Old Wick & Berks canal surrounded by rolling hills
The Old Wicks & Berks Canal

Please note that you must cross the Old Wilks & Berks Canal at the stone bridge. The canal has been restored further downstream.

Enjoy beautiful country scenery from Bowden Hill

After crossing several verdant fields housing herds of sheep, this country walk leads you along a tarmac lane up Bowden Hill to farms and farmland. Throughout the climb, the beautiful and far-reaching scenery of the Wiltshire countryside unfolds before your eyes.

Views of the Wiltshire countryside on the Bowden Hill walk near Lacock
The beautiful Wiltshire countrysde

The Bowden Hill walk then guides you downhill through more livestock-filled fields and woodland. Along the way, you’ll spot the stately Bowden Park. Built in the 18th century, this country mansion features the typical limestone from Bath. Walking down Bowden Hill, you’ll enjoy further breathtaking views of the country.

Lacock Abbey surrounded by delightful grounds
Lacock Abbey

This circular walk then reaches a country road that leads you back to the village of Lacock. Walking along the road is the least pleasant part of the walk, especially if the road is busy. On the last stretch, you cross the River Avon and enjoy striking views of Lacock Abbey and the river flowing through the abbey grounds.

Please note that there is no pavement for a section of the walk along the country road.

Find the Bowden Hill walk map and download the GPX file: Bowden Hill walk on

Bowden Hill walk details

Location: Lacock, Wiltshire

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time: Approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours

Distance: 5.5 miles (9 km)

Ascent: Somewhat steep

Trail condition: Good, but the grass and earth trail can get muddy in wet weather

Accessibility: Not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs

Parking: Lacock National Trust car park (pay and display, free for National Trust members), the car park behind the Red Lion or the village streets (free, limited spaces available)

Facilities: Toilets, shops and pubs available in Lacock Village

Notes: Please be mindful of livestock and keep your dogs on a lead

Explore more: River Avon walks

The River Avon walk series inspires you to discover key spots along the River Avon. From Badminton walk to Malmesbury walk and the Bath to Bradford-on-Avon canal walk, explore enchanting scenery and find river and country escapes.

Glimmering River Avon on the Malmesbury walk
River Avon in Malmesbury

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2 thoughts on “Near Lacock: Escape to the beautiful Wiltshire country with the Bowden Hill walk”

    • Hi John, this walk doesn’t visit the village of Bowden Hill, but it explores part of the Bowden Park estate and it climbs the hill which I believe is called Bowden Hill. If you wish to visit the village of Bowden Hill, you can easily make a detour and walk up Bowden Hill road to the village instead of walking straight back to Lacock.


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