Ramsbury Walks – The Delightful Kennet Bridges walk
This pleasant route can be walked in either direction. There are pubs and parking at each end and plenty of bridges in between.
From Axford, there are any number of possibilities to get going: Hopper’s Lane (R#45), Stone Lane, and Crooks Lane (R#9) each have their charms – and their bridges! – and lead onto R#43 Mead Lane. Or you can walk – carefully – along the main C6 road towards Ramsbury and, just after the last house on the right, nip through a gate and continue along the other, safer, side of the fence (R#69). You’re safe from traffic but watch for nettles and electric fences before you enter a small wood, dappled with wild garlic and jack-by-the-hedge in spring.
Ignore a stile on the left which leads back onto the road, and carry on past an old gravel pit on your right, along what is now R#5 (Raggs Hatches) to a better stile directly ahead. Once in the large pasture, head towards – and then to the right of – the remnants of a hawthorn hedge before crossing the first of several bridges over the Kennet’s many channels. Two more bridges follow and then turn east to walk along the tree-lined riverbank.
After a short wooded section, the path joins R#48 (King’s Ditch) just where an old brick bridge formerly took the footpath via Priory Farm. From here, take R#48 past Cutnights, snatching glimpses of the Manor Park through the trees, to the crossroads by the estate cottages. As at the start, you now have several choices for the finale: head north over the Manor Bridge (R#7) for a grandstand view of the lake and the Manor itself (R#2 Manor Promenade will then take you into Ramsbury); carry on past Harbrook to Mill Lane via R#10, taking in the Kennet Triangle and yet more bridges (or fords if you prefer) to Ramsbury High Street. Or stick with King’s Ditch (now R#18B) to the C194 Froxfield Road and then turn north to The Square via two new road bridges and some usually hungry ducks.