South on the A361, you descend from the Marlborough Plain, towards Devizes. It's a fast road, after the limitations of the previous few miles, and many drivers use this hill to burn off some frustration - just before they find themselves ensnarled in Devizes' one-way system.

These drivers are likely to miss one of the unsung vistas of England. To the left of the road, the landscape opens up into the broad, flat Vale of Pewsey - about fifteen miles long as it stretches to the East, and about five miles wide.

Of course, English weather being what it is, these drivers might be forgiven, for the view is often obscured by mist or rain.

But on a clear day, the Vale of Pewsey is well worth a stand-and-stare. The best view is from Roundway Hill -site of an early Civil War battle - to the right of the road. It's a low knoll, but quite adequate for the purpose.

On Roundway, I met a farmer who wanted to know what I was doing (it is his land - strictly private). When I told him I was admiring the view into the Vale of Pewsey, he told me that his predecessor had ordered that his ashes be scattered from that point, because he loved the view so much.

He apologised for checking up on me, but there were all these hippies and things around now, spoiling things for everyone else. I didn't argue.

Wansdyke Wansdyke Battle Battle
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