Wessex, Ancient Kingdom

Foot Trails’ signature inn to inn (village to village) walking experience is your ultimate experience of hiking rural England. Full of history and breath-taking English countryside it can be 4 to 10 nights duration, spending two nights at each country inn on route.

Discover England’s ancient Saxon kingdom, called Wessex. Begin in historic Wiltshire, before your trail takes you across the south of the county, into beautiful north Dorset and then on into Somerset.

If you love rural England you won’t want to miss this – Foot Trails signature inn to inn (village to village) walking experience, takes you deep into the former Saxon kingdom of Wessex, for an historic and breath-taking journey on foot.

Starting in Wiltshire, your trail takes you across the south of the county, into north Dorset before arriving in Somerset. Each of these three English counties holds a different architecture, history and local food delights to enjoy.

With Foot Trails local knowledge and expertise your walking will be both varied and fascinating, taking you along lesser trodden routes, not busy and better known National Trails. You’ll experience the peace and tranquility of rural England as well as authentic sites and English villages which are weaved into Foot Trails routes.

To find out more do request an example itinerary, but some of the high lights include castles, ancient deer parks,  pretty rivers, mills, weirs, scenic landscapes and unspoilt villages as well as Neolithic earthworks.

As you walk and journey through Wessex you can relax at a selection of country inns personally selected for you by Alison, Foot Trails founder. Each is located in a genuine English village and offers a wonderful insight into English village life as well as delicious local produce.

For a FREE full itinerary for this holiday, just fill out the ‘Find out more?’ form on your right.

Gold Hill in Shaftesbury

Custom made & crafted walking trips

Wessex Ancient Kingdom is a linear (one-way!) trail that leads from one country inn to another. Gain a sense of journey. You’ll spend two nights at each country inn and village on route.

Your Foot Trail will be custom made to suit your wishes and the English season you choose. Daily trails vary in lengths from 7 to 12 miles (12km to 20km) with some flexibility possible enabling you to lengthen or shorten your days.

4 to 10 night itineraries available. Luggage transfers are included with our trusted driver team.  Arrive by public transport (we will advise you of your nearest train station and help you transfer to your first country inn) or bring your car to the start (we can organise a transfer to collect your car at the end of your holiday).

Trail highlights include:

• Castles, grand Manors, water mills and iron-age hill forts
• Explore grand country estates and discover the stories of their interesting pasts
• Follow ancient trackways to abandoned medieval villages
• Step inside a medieval castle and look up at the Great Banqueting Hall
• Soak up peaceful and atmospheric spots, relax
• Be amazed by the beauty of Cranborne Chase, former royal hunting ground

For a detailed example itinerary, simply pop your details in the form (to the right).

A view over ancient Wessex

Travel …

Getting here is easy, your trail usually begins near Warminster, Wiltshire or Tisbury, Wiltshire.

Its about a 2 hour car journey from London, sub 1 hour from Bristol.

For a truly car-free option the nearest train station is at Warminster, Wiltshire or Tisbury, Wiltshire.(We will advise when your itinerary is confirmed)

For overseas guests the nearest airport is at Bristol or Southampton. London Heathrow is also easy to get to. Airport transfers can be arranged with a chauffeured car, just ask.

Wessex walking holiday accommodation

All Foot Trails holidays offer a choice of accommodation grades and country inns which are hand-picked, and much loved by our guests.

On the Wessex Ancient Kingdom inn to inn trail you will enjoy a different country inn every two days, giving you the opportunity to explore where you are before moving on, build in rest days and of course enjoy the comfort of the inn.

Each country inn offers historic character, comfortable bedrooms, and an English village location. All bedrooms are en-suite.

Further details available by requesting our example itinerary

National Trust's Montactue House

Cost & Availability

4 to 10 night duration available with this experience from 01 March to mid November. Dates flexible.

Example budgeting prices:

From £690 per person* for 4 nights
From £1050 per person* for 6 nights
From £1700 per person* for 10 nights

*Based on two sharing, staying on a bed & breakfast basis. Includes all luggage transfers, standard accommodation & all transport during your holiday.


• Foot Trails local knowledge and expertise working with you to create your custom made trip and itinerary
• Personal Walk & Explore Box with everything you need – including
• Local Ordnance Survey™ map exerts (waterproof) with your trails annotated
• Trail guide cards (waterproof one for each day with easy to follow instructions)
• Local stories and histories
• Recommended lunchtime stops at country pubs and cafes
• Nature cards for identifying wild flowers, trees & animals
• Seasonal nature guide book
• Sweets (for a boost on route)
• Your en-suite accommodation
• Breakfasts
• One bottle of wine
• Two decades of expertise and know-how
• Inn to Inn luggage transfers with our trusted drivers
• Drop off services when it makes a walk better.
• Help and support in getting ready for your trip

How to book?

Just get in touch to let us know your preferred dates and we will look after the rest. You can call us on +44 (0) 1747 820626 or use the form to your right to send a message or request an itinerary.

You will receive a full and detailed itinerary with price quote before you book.

Here are the bits and pieces returned after the most fabulous holiday. It was perfect and fortunately for us the weather returned to sensible walking temperatures. We just wanted to ensure you were aware that all the arrangements for our holiday fitted together perfectly and we look forward to our next walking holiday with you.
Martin and Jane

We both loved our adventure prepared by you and David. So much so, that we want to go on another one this spring!

Things we especially liked:
Good maps and instructions. The waterproof paper proved to be MOST important.
Fantastic accommodations and food. We loved every place we stayed. In fact, as the days went by they seemed to get better and better!
Beautiful terrain. We got some extraordinary photos and were surprised we NEVER saw another tourist!
Peter and Nancy

English-Heritage's Old Wardour Castle

How do I find my way?

Trails are devised using our local knowledge and rigorously tested and checked. Find your way using either the easy to follow trail cards if you prefer not to map read, or the local Ordnance survey maps provided. Or a combination of both.

Where will I be walking?

Your walks are on public rights of way and a mixture of paths, tracks and trails through woodland, on farm land, village country lanes and countryside. Most walking is away from roads. Everything you need will be provided in your walk and explore pack.

For a more fully detailed example itinerary for this holiday, simply pop your details in the form to the right.

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