Ramsbury Walks – Froxfield (Ramsbury Bridleway #18, Froxfield Bridleway #2)
An old road from Ramsbury to Froxfield, this path starts by Ambrose Farm and heads south-east up the hill along the blackthorn hedge. Stop at the bench halfway up for views back over the village. Through Whitehill Coppice, the path joins a concrete track dating from WW2 – take this to the bottom of the slope. At the signpost, ignore the obvious paths left (to Littlecote) or right; instead head straight over, still bearing south-east, diagonally across the grass. There’s a waymark at the top, as you enter Great Coppice, to reassure you.
Go through the trees, down, and straight over at the next crossroads. Soon on your left there’s a plantation of young saplings, thick with teasels. Where the mature trees meet the path again at Sellworth Border, we cross into Froxfield Parish. The ancient bank-and-ditch marking the boundary can be seen just to the left of the path, in the trees.
Froxfield village is quickly in sight and our track runs to the metalled road from Littlecote. (Strictly, we should veer south to cut this corner across the field to the right, but the actual path has long been ploughed under and even the signposts reflect the new reality.) Turning right on the road will take you to Lady Somerset’s Hospital on the A4. Alternatively, across and just to the left, Froxfield #11 heads clearly up to the corner of Cake Wood. But if you don’t mind a short diversion, treat yourself to a curio 100 yards further north: Ramsbury #53, the shortest footpath in the parish, all 50 yards of it, from the road to the Berkshire border. Such borders are not entirely arbitrary, and this one would originally have coincided with the road. But over centuries of use the road has drifted west, leaving the border stranded incongruously in the middle of a field.
However you get there, skirt round Cake Wood to a slight bank running south across the fields, marking an old hedgeline. This brings you to a stile and a set of steps down to the A4. Modern roadsigns welcome you to Wiltshire and Berkshire, but look for the old boundary post in the hedge – it’s conveniently en route for The Pelican.