Heron on the ford - Route 1

Easy lakeside walking with two busy road crossings.

Technical sheet
No. 4519639
A Charvil walk posted on 07/01/21 by The Brakspear Pub Trails. Update : 08/01/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h25[?]
Distance Distance : 3.02mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 13ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 13ft
Highest point Highest point : 131ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 115ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Charvil
Starting point Starting point : N 51.467038° / W 0.876465°
Download : -


(D/A) Start from the small car park at the front of the pub (not the large car park at the back). With your back to the front of the pub, turn right onto the quiet lane. After 10m or so you will see a gap in the hedge to your left which is the entrance to the Charvil Country Park. Walk into the park and immediately turn left onto the footpath at the T-junction. Follow this path through some pretty woodland until it reaches a fork. Take the right turn here and continue to follow the path as it tracks around the lake with the water to your right. After around 500m you will walk through a small tunnel of trees and then reach a T-junction in the path with a gate to your right and a railway bridge to your left.

(1) Walk left here and go under the bridge. You then emerge into a large field with a path to the left and a path to the right. You need to walk straight ahead between these two paths for about 80m until you reach a fork. On the right of the fork you’ll see a bench ahead, but instead you need to take the left fork following the path that goes through the park. After about 250m this path reaches a crossroads of paths. Go straight ahead here and follow the path as it bends gradually to the right.

(2) After another 150m it reaches another fork where the left path leaves the park and goes up a hill, but you need to go straight ahead here instead. Follow this path as it opens up with fields and houses to your left and hedges to the right and then takes you back into the woodland. After crossing a tiny bridge, the path forks with a gate to the right going into some trees, but instead take the left path at this fork. Keep following this path with a fence on your left and trees on your right for about 300m. It then bends round to the right and meets another fork in the path.

(3) The left fork follows the fence and the right fork follows the bushes. Take the right path at this fork and track the bushes. Follow this path for another 200m with the lake on your right through the trees until you reach another fork in the path. At this fork, take the right path and continue to follow this path for another 200m as it takes you between two lakes, with plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the water and wildlife. You then reach a T-junction in the path at which you need to take a left turn. Follow the path then with a river to your right and a lake to your left and follow this for around 300m until it turns to the left and reaches a fork. Take the right turn at this fork and head towards the wooden sign which you need to walk past. That then takes you out into an area of tarmac. Follow the track ahead until you see a yellow gate and a main road ahead.

(4) Carefully cross the main road and turn right to follow the footpath alongside the road. After the bridge, cross back over the road just before the pub and walk through the car park to the gate at the back. Cross the bridge to get to a T-junction and a Loddon Nature Reserve sign and then turn left onto the path here. Follow this path with the lake to your right for a while as it turns into a wooden walking platform for a section before turning back into a normal footpath. After about 500m there is a fork in the path.

(6) Take the right turning at this fork. Follow this path again with the lake still on your right until you see a turning on your left with a wooden sign. Follow this turning and go underneath the railway bridge. After emerging from the railway bridge, continue following the path for about 800m until it emerges onto a quiet lane. Turn right onto the road and after 20m on the left there is a white bridge and footpath. Take this path, cross the bridge, go over the stile and into the field. Walk through the field with the trees to your right, aiming for another white bridge at the far corner of the field. When you reach the next bridge, cross it and then follow the path for another 50m or so until it emerges into the Heron on the Ford car park.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 128ft - Car park
1 : mi 0.47 - alt. 125ft - Bridge
2 : mi 0.79 - alt. 115ft - Fork
3 : mi 1.2 - alt. 121ft - Fork
4 : mi 1.67 - alt. 118ft - Old Bath Road
5 : mi 2.15 - alt. 128ft - Fork
D/A : mi 3.02 - alt. 128ft - Car park

Useful Information

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Charvil Country Park covers 75 hectares. The area of former gravel pits and remnant pasture land is in the flood plain of the lower Loddon Valley between Twyford and Charvil. The site consists of restored lakes, amenity and species rich grassland, scrub, woodland, the Slade brook and the River Loddon itself.
It is rich in wildlife and has 2 nationally rare plants: the Loddon Lily and Loddon Pondweed. The site is popular with birdwatchers due to the diverse wintering wildfowl (including Smew) and an active heronry.

The Loddon Nature Reserve’s lake and shallow fringes create ideal conditions for wintering birds, such as gadwall, tufted duck, pochard and snipe. The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust looks after this community nature reserve with the help of local volunteers, who enjoy this delightful retreat in the heart of Twyford.

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