Ramsbury Walk – Spring Hill a View to Remember
Another great view over the Kennet Valley – indeed, perhaps the best view of all – is looking north from Spring Hill over to Ramsbury. Spring Hill is named for the springs of water which still (occasionally) flow out of the underlying chalk.
From the Square, walk down Scholard’s Lane to the Froxfield Road. Take the road bridge (known to everyone simply as “The Ducks”) over the Kennet and then the next one over the leat, a small channel of the main river. Just past Lamplands, at the foot of the scarp where the gradient takes a turn for the serious, there’s a crossing of bridleways – Ramsbury#18B (“King’s Ditch”) east to Littlecote and west towards the Manor.Free Map of Ramsbury Walks
Head west and, after about 100 yards, look out for a stile to the left where footpath Ramsbury#12 (“Spring Hill”) diverts diagonally up the hill. On a large scale map, it’s clear to see that this path used once to continue northeast through Lamplands and joined the Froxfield Road closer to Ramsbury. “Lamplands” is so-called because the revenue from this farmholding was given in the Middle Ages to pay for oil to light the lamps of Holy Cross Church.
Over the stile, through the saplings of a fairly recent plantation, then out across the field to the next stile. From here on, we’re into “open access land” which is especially good news when it snows and the village can taken full advantage for tobogganing purposes. It’s also useful because, although #12 actually leads through an obvious line of trees southwest up the hill, this track is now overgrown with haw and bramble and hard to follow. But another clear path is developing just below the old way and soon joins up with #12 as the trees give out towards the summit.
Here, a lovely wooden bench offers a welcome rest as well as the views we’ve been looking forward to all this time. Now you can consider taking Ramsbury#10 (“Hollow Way”) back down to the river and the fords at Mill Lane, or picking up #18B to come back via the Manor Bridge. But a longer, more interesting stroll follows Ramsbury#13 and Ramsbury#57 (“Airfield”) down one of the runways of the former RAF Ramsbury, now Darrell’s Farm on top of the hill. Various options from here will bring you back to Ramsbury, but be careful of walking down the Froxfield Road itself – its steep, blind bends are hazardous to walkers, even though Ramsbury#59 (“Round About”)is a hidden gem of a footpath in a pocket of woodland.