Leisure & Tourism

Pewsey Walk - Mark Somerville
Pewsey Walk - Mark Somerville

The North Wessex Downs is a landscape rich in historic sites and natural features.

This magical landscape has attracted naturalists, antiquarians and travellers throughout history. There are a number of tourist attractions of international renown within the North Wessex Downs and an emerging visitor economy. Access to the countryside is important for those who live in the area and also for visitors as a tourism asset. This must be balanced with land management interests, as well as other issues such as conservation.

Spectacular scenery, highly attractive villages and a sense of isolation are the primary recreational and tourism attractions of the area. The special qualities include:

  • Some of the finest cultural landscape in England
  • Historic attractions reflecting the industrial and socio economic history of the area
  • Picturesque market towns and small villages
  • Rich archaeological history
  • Great country houses
  • Extensive Rights of Way network
  • A centre for antiques.

The North Wessex Downs tourism network was established following the LEADER funded 'Love your Landscape' project, which also created the web resources for visitors and businesses.

Additionally we supply associated businesses and organisations with a range of digital and printed materials for use in their marketing and customer service. We continue to work with businesses and communities through this network and also with recognised Destination Marketing and Management Organisations;

We help to manage and promote the extensive network of public rights of way. This includes the Ridgeway and Thames Path National Trails and other locally promoted routes such as those found in the North Wessex Downs walks leaflets.

The Three Downs Link horse riding route offers huge potential for recreational riders linking the Ridgeway with both the Hampshire and the South Downs. Legally accessible off road cycle routes across the North Wessex Downs have been mapped and graded according to International Mountain Biking Association guidelines as part of the 1SW project.