Kennet Valley Walk

Ramsbury Walk – The High Road to the Kennet Valley

On a sunny autumn afternoon, the views north across the Kennet from the scarp slopes to the south are spectacular. For a good vantage point, take Bridleway #48 from the Manor, out past Cutnights to where the track forks by the old bridge.

Here, the “low road” to the right (Ramsbury #5 – Raggs Hatches) will take you across the water meadows via a series of bridges to the eastern end of Axford. The “middle way” is the Bridleway #54 which leads, more or less directly, to Stitchcombe via Mead Lane (Ramsbury #43) and is a lovely walk in its own right.

But let’s take the high road – the southern section of Ramsbury #5 – to the left, up the hill and through the woods. Once you pop back out into the open, stop to admire the views up and down the river and across the valley to Mildenhall Borders and beyond: Barridge Brake, Cocked Hat Copse – truly names to conjure with.

Take your time (!) but when you’re done, carry on to the edge of Briary Wood and the crossing with Ramsbury #8C. The stile on the left will bring you southeast and uphill back to Ramsbury via Park Farm and Horserace (Ramsbury #6) – steep up and steeper down.

Alternatively, turning right leads you slanting across the field below to Ramsbury #54 and either back to Ramsbury or on to Axford. The actual route of Ramsbury #8C hugs the fence line here, but Briary Wood has started to break out of its confines so the track can be hard to follow.  Further down, just before the stile into Ramsbury #54, the footpath is obvious in a sunken lane, overgrown with brambles and wild roses – pretty, but best avoided!

Free Map of Ramsbury Walks

For a longer walk, stay with Ramsbury #5 into Briary Wood, then across Sky Close and The Plain to Hens Wood and the A4 at Voronzoff Gate (more great names!) In spring, these woods are thickly carpeted with bluebells and well worth the journey.  As you leave Hens Wood to the south, the footpath path skirts the abandoned medieval settlement of Henset at Puthall Farm but there’s little to see above ground and, in any case, no public access.