A 350km circular trail was launched this summer, knitting together ancient bridleways and millennia of English history From the top of Tan Hill, in the milky light at the end of an impeccable autumn day, Wiltshire rolled away beneath our feet, into deep history. The views of this quintessential English downland – a landscape that inspired Richard Jeffries, Edward Thomas and Thomas Hardy – were outstanding. Representing our ancient relationship with these chalk hills were hillforts, burial mounds, embankments and stone circles. A hobby hovered below us, then banked and accelerated, shadowing the shape of the hill. We were only two days into our journey along King Alfred’s Way. Already, I couldn’t remember the beginning.
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