This 17km circular walk includes ancient heathland, woods and downs, and spectacular views. Starting in Kintbury, it takes in Inkpen Common and Inkpen Crocus Field nature reserves. There is a shorter 10km route that starts at Inkpen Common and takes you in the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust’s (BBOWT) Inkpen Common and Inkpen Crocus Field nature reserves.
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.
(D/A) From Kintbury railway station, cross the canal, then after 100 metres turn right on to Mill Bank. Climb the steps at the end, turn left at the road and follow the footpath past the church, across High Street, along Titcomb Way and past pasture. Cross a stream and continue to the road beside Titcomb Manor. Turn left, then as the road bends left, take the footpath straight on. Follow the footpath beside the field edge, across another road, and beside paddocks and gardens. At the end of the footpath, cross the driveway and follow the bridleway down through the wooded stream valley to Inkpen Common Nature Reserve.
(1) Follow the footpath through the nature reserve, and just before the exit, turn right onto the footpath beside the power lines. After 100 metres, take the left path as it forks, then over the boardwalk to the reserve boundary. Turn right then after 400 metres turn left on to the restricted byway.
(2) At Great Farm turn right along the road, and then at the right hand bend, take the second footpath (besides the wood). Follow the footpath by the hedge, across the road, and up through steeply sloping pasture, heading left of the scrub on the ridgeline.
(3) At the ridge, turn right on to the byway (Wayfarer’s Walk), and follow the ridge of the Hampshire Downs for 1½ miles, over the road junction and past Combe Gibbet. After 600 metres, at the clump of beech trees, turn right onto the bridleway.
(4) After a small pond, turn left and head directly down the steep slope, then take the path left, down to the field corner. Take the bridleway beside the tree plantation, then straight on between arable fields to the road.
(5) Turn right at the road and head towards Inkpen, carry straight on at the first road junction, and then take the footpath just after the second road junction. Follow the footpath besides gardens and paddocks to Manor Farm, and then straight on through pasture and under a large laurel tree to a private drive.
(6) Turn right and follow the drive onto Pottery Lane. After 100 metres, turn right to explore Inkpen Crocus Field Nature Reserve. Continue to the end of Pottery Lane, and take the footpath straight on at the road junction bearing right across the field. Turn left onto the track, and then just after crossing the stream, bear left at the path junction, then straight on to Great Common Road.
(7) Turn left and follow the road to the main Inkpen Common reserve entrance. (1) Retrace your route back to Kintbury railway station.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 295ft - Kintbury railway station
1 : mi 2.24 - alt. 509ft - Inkpen Common Nature Reserve
2 : mi 3.22 - alt. 541ft - Great Farm
3 : mi 4.4 - alt. 902ft - Wayfarer’s Walk
4 : mi 5.81 - alt. 823ft - Small pond
5 : mi 6.87 - alt. 430ft - Spray Road
6 : mi 7.89 - alt. 518ft - Pottery Lane
7 : mi 8.49 - alt. 538ft - Great Common Road
D/A : mi 11.06 - alt. 295ft - Kintbury railway station
Start: Kintbury railway station Postcode: RG17 9UT Grid ref: SU 387 672
By bus: Check www.traveline.info for information about
By train: The walk starts at Kintbury railway station, check www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times
By car: There is parking in Kintbury, by Wayfarer’s Walk and limited parking on Great Common Road, Inkpen
By bike: There is limited cycle storage at Kintbury railway station
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Inkpen Common Nature Reserve
This remnant of Inkpen Great Common, dominated by heathers and gorse, contains many plants both beautiful, such as pale dog-violet, tormentil, heath milkwort and heath spotted-orchid, and unusual such as lousewort and the parasitic common dodder.
Oak and birch fringe the heath, supporting breeding finches and warblers that provide a chorus of birdsong during spring and summer. A carpet of rushes and bog mosses in the small valley bog is punctuated by yellow blooms of bog asphodel through the summer. Fungi, including the attractive but poisonous fly agaric, erupt from the ground each autumn. Periodically trees are cut down to restore open heath, and livestock is used to maintain this by grazing the young saplings and regrowth. Inkpen Crocus Field – renowned for its spectacular display
of thousands of crocuses blooming each spring. You can also see many butterflies, such as ringlets, orange-tip and gatekeepers, on this flower-rich meadow later in the year.
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
BBOWT relies on the support of our members to help us look after local wildlife. By joining BBOWT you can help to secure the future of special landscapes like Inkpen Common and Inkpen Crocus Field.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.