Enjoy varied wetland wildlife, ancient woods and rare heathland. Starting in Thatcham, this 6-mile circular walk takes in Bowdown Woods nature reserve.
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) Leaving the Nature Discovery Centre, head south with the lake on your left. At the corner of the lake, head west across the junction of tracks signed Reedbeds. When the track bears left, continue straight ahead along a small path under the electricity wires. Follow the path through the reedbeds, crossing two small streams, until you reach the river and canal.
(1) At the canal towpath, turn right to go over a bridge. Pass Bull’s Lock and cross the canal on the swing bridge. Turn left onto the road and walk under the railway. Keep to the right along a track following the footpath sign until you come to a lake created from a disused gravel pit on the right. Continue on the track up the hill. Warning: After heavy rain, it can flood under the bridge.
(2) Turn into the car park for BBOWT’s Bowdown Woods Nature Reserve on your left. Take the path in the top corner of the car park and follow it up a slope between two banks until you reach a fence on your right. Follow the path along the fence. When you reach a T-junction, turn right on a Tarmac path.
(3) When you reach the car park, walk along the Tarmac drive to Bury’s Bank Road. Cross the road onto Greenham Common. Turn left onto a small path through the gorse, heading for a flagpole. Before going left, you might detour ahead to the old Airfield Control Tower.
(4) Re-join the walk at the flagpole, walking east along the Common on a wide gravel track. After some distance, take the left fork and follow this path as it goes through the trees.
(5) Keep the lakes on your right until you come to a gate on your left. Cross the road and head down the gravel bridleway. Turn left at the metalled track and cross the River Kennet to Chamberhouse Farm. Continue ahead between the hedges to the canal.
(6) Our walk turns left on the towpath, but you might detour right along the towpath to Monkey Marsh lock. Head back along the towpath to the next lock, Widmead. Just after, turn away from the canal through a gate. Cross the railway being extremely careful and walk straight ahead back to the Centre where our walk ends. (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 240ft - Nature Discovery Centre
1 : mi 0.83 - alt. 233ft - Towpath
2 : mi 1.75 - alt. 361ft - Bowdown Woods Nature Reserve car park
3 : mi 2.44 - alt. 387ft - Bury’s Bank Road
4 : mi 2.85 - alt. 387ft - Flagpole
5 : mi 3.48 - alt. 377ft - Lakes
6 : mi 4.56 - alt. 230ft - Towpath
D/A : mi 5.96 - alt. 240ft - Nature Discovery Centre
More details : https://www.bbowt.org.uk/explore/wild-wa...
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
West Berkshire Living Landscape
Living Landscapes are big and bold; they create space for wildlife and people, reconnect isolated habitats and give wildlife room to adapt and thrive.
The West Berkshire Living Landscape is on the edge of Newbury and Thatcham. It covers 27 km2 and is a mosaic of land rich with history and wildlife; a place for people and wildlife to thrive side by side.
Walking past history
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 Bowdown Woods nature reserve.
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