Ramsbury Walk – “20 Acres” (Ramsbury Footpath #39)
This Ramsbury Parish footpath runs from Swans Bottom in Ramsbury to Love’s Copse, and its extension into Aldbourne from the parish boundary leads over the hill to Southward Lane.
Starting at its southern end, follow the obvious track north – a memorial bench halfway along offers lovely views back over Ramsbury and the valley. From the corner of 20 Acre Field, the footpath hugs the western edge of the field, hemmed in by a new fence, to where the hedge elbows north-west. Ducking into the hedge, the path re-emerges once briefly before finally entering the hedgeline for good – in spring this section is a delight of bluebells. There are no public rights of way linking 20 Acre Field with Crowood Lane or Love’s Lane and, in any case, the fencing and seasonal growth of nettles can make it difficult to walk off-piste.
At a small gate opposite Love’s Copse, look across the Field for an identical gate into the trees. Once inside the Copse, the path can quickly become very marshy – wellies are often required, even in summer. Halfway through the Copse, Footpath 41 doglegs southwest back to Love’s Lane – an alternative route to Aldbourne or a circuit back to Ramsbury.
Exiting Love’s Copse, the route of the footpath across the fields can be indistinct and it’s easy to be distracted by the more obvious Love’s Lane to the west. However, Love’s Lane becomes extremely overgrown as it descends to Southward Lane so stick with the footpath down the side of the hedge. At this point, several tracks to Aldbourne begin to merge – check your route if heading south from Aldbourne to avoid ending up on Hilldrop Lane.