A six and a half mile walk with one steep hill which affords many open views on a mix of quiet roads and paths - some through wooded areas and some with broad open views.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Find a place to park in Winsley then make your way to the Seven Stars.
(D/A) Go to the corner of the car park through a gate to the bowling green. Turn left then immediately right passing the village hall on your left. Proceed down the lane ahead of you to the cricket field. NB : It is well worth diverting off route to admire the open views at the far end of the cricket pitch. Head back to the entrance gate and head down a steep path (not the one on your left). At the end of this path, which goes through woodland before opening out with a large field on your left, turn right on a wide track.
(1) Follow it down to a bridge, but do not cross it, rather take the path on your right through a kissing gate turning immediately left towards, and then along, the (Kennet & Avon) canal. walk carefully on this narrow path beside the canal, which veers right from the canal after about 250 metres. Proceed up a steep metalled road. Continue until you reach a short flight of steps to another road where you turn left. More or less straight away beside a small rough car park, cross the road and go through a nature reserve. Follow the path which runs more or less parallel with the road. Keep following the track (there are a few but keep on the one rising most), heading for the East Wood indicated on a small sign. Head up until you reach an opening with a bench on your right affording wonderful views over the Limpley Stoke Valley. Go through the gate just above the bench and turn right to Avon Park, turning left to the main road.
(2) Cross over by the bus shelter up Blackberry Lane, which is sign-posted Conkwell. Follow the winding road (admiring open views towards Bath on your left and later Westbury on your right) for about 800 metres and take a marked footpath to the left through woods. It goes down steeply in parts. When you get the end of a chain fence on your left, proceed ahead rather than going down the steep track on your left. This path winds through woods and eventually comes out on a metalled road beside the Tea Rooms Cottage.
(3) Turn right up a very steep lane then left on a short path with a post box and follow the road left for a further 500 metres. As the road turns right and down, take the footpath straight ahead, crossing a stone stile and then a wooden one in close succession.
(4) Take the footpath ahead which veers slightly to the right through two fields. Enjoy the good views towards Salisbury Plain. On entering the third field, take the left hand footpath until you reach a metalled track passing through a wooden gate beside stable farm buildings.
*(Consider a short cut at this point - see NB Below)
5. Otherwise turn left following the track (compacted stone) to a cottage on your right. There may be a large puddle to negotiate by the cottage Keep straight ahead across a small gulley. Follow the signed path to a wooden five bar gate proceeding along a narrow (normally muddy) track.
(6) As it bears left, turn right through a wide metal gate. Go ahead for about 150 metres with trees on your left. Go through a field ahead / slightly to the left of you, where there are new tree plantations. Keep to the right edge of the field and turn right through a gap in the corner. The official footpath goes left along the edge of a field, through a copse for 50 metres and then you turn 90 degrees right to a large gate, returning to the same field you left. Instead, you can use a well established permissive path as soon as you get to an open field which slopes away from you, through more new tree plantations. Bear slightly right through a gap in the tree line at the bottom of the field over a stile. Follow the direction of the signpost up and over a large field. The path is often invisible whether there are crops or not here. Aim for a slight break in the hedgerow, where you will see the footpath sign, crossing over a dry brook. NB You can only see it when you are within 5 metres. Then take the path ahead, but bend slightly right. It is very hard to see this path (ever). You should aim for a row of cottages on your horizon. If in doubt, head to the right beside the hedgerow then left at the edge of the field up until you meet a signpost. Follow the path beside a row of houses for about 80 metres.
(7) At the road, turn right and follow the twisting road until you reach a T junction.
Turn left and follow the lane down to the next T junction. Turn right until you very quickly reach a wide gate on your left where there is a small business site. Head for the narrow opening that leads to Hartley Farm shop. Continue past the farm shop on your right (unless you want to call in and buy some wholesome good quality farm food or stop for a coffee!). Take the drive down towards Winsley, passing the farm car park on your right. At the farm entrance, a lane meets you from the left, but go ahead slightly right past allotments to stay off the narrow lane. In a short while, you will reach a busy road (Winsley bypass).
(8) Carefully cross the road and go right on the pavement. Take the next left after about 320 meters into Late Broads and then next left into Millbourn Close. Within 50 metres take a right turn along a path. Keep on this path and pass St Nicholas Church on your left - worth a visit to this Norman Church, that dates back to the 1300s. Then turn right past some old cottages and follow the road round to the left. At the crossroads, turn left past Dorothy House and back to the Seven Stars.
NB: In the winter or after significant rainfall the route from Haugh Farm can get very muddy / wet and sticky! You could therefore turn right on the track at this farm where there are stables and reach a T-junction on a public road. At this point cross over the stone wall onto a signed footpath. Follow this path across a field for c 400 metres. Then turn left to immediately meet a road. Turn right after crossing the stile until you reach the crossroads, picking up the above route described above at 7 ("* Turn left and follow the lane down to the next T junction"). Continue to Hartley Farm shop etc.
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 410ft - Seven Stars
1 : mi 0.56 - alt. 138ft - Bridge
2 : mi 1.37 - alt. 427ft - Blackberry Lane
3 : mi 2.51 - alt. 420ft - Steep lane
4 : mi 2.85 - alt. 486ft - Footpath
5 : mi 3.96 - alt. 417ft - Wide metal gate
6 : mi 4.74 - alt. 404ft - Road
7 : mi 5.96 - alt. 397ft - Road
D/A : mi 6.65 - alt. 410ft - Seven Stars
Refreshments are available at the Seven Stars (highly regarded food at average prices and selection of ales) or Hartley Farm shop for coffee / light meals.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
You may encounter herons and buzzards on route and occasionally galloping horses when in Blackberry Lane as you pass a racehorse site..
St Nicholas Church - see http://www.bradfordonavonmuseum.co.uk/wi....
Avoncliffe Viaduct is only a short drive away from the start of the walk, where the K&A canal crosses the River Avon and Rail Line.
Global average : 3.67/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 4/5
Routemap quality : 3/5
Walk interest : 4/5
Global average : 3.67 / 5
Date of walk
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Good
A good walk - well worth doing. Parking in the centre of Winsley is limited.
The only "difficult" bit is the short, steep road-climb from the canal to the road. Directions at the top of this climb are confusing.
As mentioned in the description, the path halfway round through fields is not at all clear and I would suggest cutting out the top
section and taking a route around Haugh Farm. I would definitely call into Hartley farm shop for a cup of tea - very friendly and
plenty of choice. Good opening hours as well.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.