History & Stories inspired Foot Trails

There are remarkable stories to be found as you walk from every period of English history on a Foot Trail. (Not all periods in all counties and geographical locations of course). Human history in the South West can be traced back a remarkable 500 000 years. Read on, for history & story inspired Foot Trails.

Stonehenge - photo credit Visit Wiltshire

The whole South West region was heavily populated during the Neolithic, Bronze and iron ages. Wiltshire is a place to see the surviving barrows, monuments and ancient trackways. And Celtic gods worshipped at the Temple of Sulis in Bath, which can still be seen today.

In the Roman era The Cotswolds were an important location and there are villas, farms and temples dating from this period including The Roman Baths.

Following the Romans there is strong evidence of man from the Saxons (11th century) The Middle Ages (16th century) including medieval villages and cottages found in Wiltshire in the 17th century with the English civil war.

Your trail cards will point out and tell you about interesting or important history you encounter as you walk.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire - photo credit Visit Wiltshire

Neolithic / Stone Age – Stonehenge

Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments. It was built in several stages but the first monument was an early henge built about 5000 years ago. At this time much of the landscape around Stonehenge would have been grassland. The early Neolithic people were hunter gatherers and lived off wild plants, seeds and nuts and hunted for fish using wooden spears. Book Stonehenge, Bath & Wiltshire.

Old Wardour Castle

Medieval with Knights Medieval Castle (Wiltshire)

Wardour Castle is England’s only hexagonal castle. It was once of the most daring and innovative homes in Britain. It was built in the 14th century as a lightly fortifed residence for comfortable living and lavish entertainment. Although it took heavy fire during the civil war much of it remains explorable today. Try our Knights Medieval Castle for a flavour of the medieval.

Roman mosaic

Roman with Bagendon and Cirencester (Cotswolds)

Several of our Cotswolds trails feature strong evidence and stories from the roman era. Corrinium was the Roman town of Cirencester and in its time was the largest town outside of London, in England. Close to the start of our Corrinium trail the Dobunni tribe created a capital, that is older than Cirencester. The Dobunni enclosed around 200 acres of land (100 football pitches) creating a capital that included a mint for producing silver and gold coins. For a roman flavour try Taste of The Cotswolds, Journey Across the Cotswolds and Complete Cotswolds.

Northleach

Northleach wool town and wool trade (Cotswolds)

It may seem difficult to imagine today, but the 15th century Northleach was at the economic hub of Europe. And all because of one thing, wool from the Cotswolds sheep. As the wool trade began to develop in the Cotswolds so the importance of this settlement began to grow. It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of wool to medieval England. It powered the economy in the same way the industrial revolution was to do four centuries later. To explore Northleach book Journey Across Cotswolds or Complete Cotswolds

Bath's Pulteney Weir

Bath, Aqua sulis with the Celts and Romans

As you walk around Bath, there is a Roman city right beneath your feet! The Celts were the first to worship the waters here, although the water would not have gone un-noticed by earlier populations. The Celts dedicated the waters to the goddess Sulis and when the Romans arrived they called the town Aqua Sulis and associated the waters with Minerva. Try Bath City and Country.

Stunning views along Devon's coast

Devon – shipwrecks and smuggling

Devon’s history is awash (excuse the pun) with tales of both shipwrecks and smugglers. Smuggled goods included brandy, tea, tabacco and silk. Discover these sea tales as you walk through the footnotes on your Trail Cards. For tales of shipwrecks and smugglers try our Devon Coast Foot Trail.

Create your perfect walking or hiking trip with Foot Trails

At Foot Trails our specialist knowledge means that we can create a trip centered around what interests you most. Maybe there’s a particular place or time in history you want to explore in-depth or simply find out more about England’s rich history.

Call us on +44 (0) 1747 820 626 or complete the form below.

Talk to Team Foot Trails about creating your perfect History & Stories inspired walking tour. Here are a few suggested example itineraries to get you started:

  • Devon Creek to Coast Inn to Inn. New! Following the enticing journey of the beautiful river Dart from its creeks to the sea. This Inn to Inn style walk features Devon's South Hams. Read more
  • Stonehenge, Bath & Wiltshire

    Walking & Touring, Wiltshire & Bath

    This incredible experience gives you the opportunity to use our local expertise and walk at two UNESCO world heritage sites, that of Stonehenge, and the Georgian city of Bath and enjoy the marvellous countryside both surrounding Bath and found in Wiltshire. As featured in national and international press. Read more
  • Journey Across The Cotswolds

    Inn to Inn Walking & Hiking, The Cotswolds

    Take time to walk the Cotswolds away from the crowds and you will be rewarded with a magical journey through its delightful stone villages and beautiful English landscapes. From top to bottom across this quintessential region, this is an inn to inn hike like no other. Read more
  • Bath & Classic Cotswolds

    Walking & Touring Holiday, Bath & The Cotswolds

    Discover the highlights of Bath, UNESCO world heritage city with its rich Georgian heritage and history and the gorgeous Cotswolds in this trip. You will enjoy staying in several different locations and numerous highlights include Georgian architecture, Roman baths, river valleys, unspoilt Cotswold villages and scenic English countryside. Read more
  • Bath City & Country

    Staying in one place, Bath

    Enjoy the best of Bath's city and the countryside. This walking/hiking holiday based in the heart of the world heritage city of Bath takes in the ancient Roman and Georgian city of Bath and its peaceful, spectacular surrounding countryside. Discover mellow stone architecture, pretty stone cottages, the River Avon and Royal Crescent. Read more
  • Thomas Hardy’s Dorset

    Inn to Inn Walking & Hiking, Dorset

    Walk in the footsteps of author Thomas Hardy's Tess D'Urbervilles and follow her story through north Dorset. You'll take in Shaston (Shaftesbury) and Marnhull (Marlett) with plenty of Dorset countryside and hand-picked country inns and pubs and magnificent English countryside en route too. Read more
  • Knights Medieval Castle

    Staying in one place, Wiltshire

    A walking holiday where you can escape the trappings of the modern world. Idyllic rural countryside and stunning varied walks filled with adventure and discovery. As the name suggests you'll find a strong medieval feel with a stunning castle and knights tales on route. Read more
  • Wessex, Ancient Kingdom

    Inn to Inn Walking & Hiking, Wiltshire

    Our signature award winning trip. Walking adventure up to 12 nights, through the ancient kingdom of the West Saxons, Wessex. Including Wiltshire as well as Dorset and Somerset. Off the beaten track, through ancient lands with castles, deer parks, rivers, mills, iron-age hill forts and scenic landscapes. Read more