We parked in Mayfair Road at Laverstock and then proceeded to the Duck Inn and along Duck Lane, admiring banks of primroses and white blossoms of blackthorn along the way. At the end of the lane, turning left into the Clarendon Road we walked towards Sykes Farm at the edge of the Clarendon Estate. We were dismayed to find fly-tippers had been spoiling the countryside by leaving heaps of rubbish at the roadside.
We entered through the farm gate by way of the side footpath gate and continued for a short way along the tarmac road until we reached the signposted footpath on the right that led between fields of ripening yellow rape and onto the edge of the woods. We heard skylarks singing, pheasants calling, and yellow brimstone butterflies dancing along the hedgerows. Large bumble bees skimmed over our heads.
We continued on the uphill track where violets grew along the banks, until reaching the top we took the left hand gap into the area where the ruins of Clarendon Palace are to be found. This in its time was a popular hunting spot as well as an important place where historical decisions were made. Very little remains of its walls but you can clearly see its original layout and with the help of English Heritage sign boards you can imagine how busy and filled with life the buildings must have been. Now it is a tranquil spot where half a dozen Llamas graze seemingly undisturbed by visitors. Here too primroses were lining the banks.
After admiring the view from the ruins were turned to retrace our steps stopping to climb up to a viewpoint where we found a welcome seat to sit on and admire the view across to Salisbury Cathedral.
On the way back along Duck Lane we were delighted to see a small blue butterfly that had been lured into flight by the first really warm day of Spring; a lovely ending to a most enjoyable walk.
The walk, including our look around the palace ruins, took just over two hours and was approximately three and a half miles in length.