Ramsbury Walks – Seven Bridges Walk (Ramsbury #30) and Littlecote House
Seven Bridges – circular 45 min (2mi)
Seven Bridges and onto Littlecote 1 hour (2.5mi)
This pretty and well-used footpath connects King’s Ditch (R#18B) with the C6 Hungerford Road out of Ramsbury and forms part of several popular circuits of the village. Watch your step – watermeadows can, by definition, be boggy underfoot, and the path has an odd camber in places. There are also plenty of nettles and hogweed in the lush verges.
Depending how you count them, you might actually find eight bridges – the newer bridge by the small layby on Hungerford Road is probably not one of the original seven. But, anyway, over this “zeroth” bridge into the watermeadows and follow the obvious path over Bridge 1 and round left to Bridge 2. Mind your footing on Bridge 3 as the boards are broken in places. Note the sluices (here and on the other bridges) for controlling the flow of water through the channels to maximise grazing and winter fodder, and also for cultivating watercress – historically an important local crop.Free Map of Ramsbury Walks
What now looks like little more than a handrail over a dry dip is actually Bridge 4 – and Bridge 5 is covered by a lovely natural arch of thorns. Bridge 6 – Loft’s Bridge – crosses the main river channel and is dedicated to a former water bailiff who cared for this stretch of the Kennet. Keep an eye out for kingfishers.
Finally Bridge 7, set over a tranquil and shaded sidestream, takes you up to West Lodge. The historic border between Littlecote lands and the Ramsbury Manor estate is marked by a magnificent 500 year-old oak, and by a line of smaller, but still impressive, trees marching away up the hill. From here, take R#18B Kings Ditch either west back to Ramsbury or continue east to Littlecote and Chilton Foliat.