Branches West Vale Information
Visiting our Sites at West Vale and Useful Local Information


Escorted Visits in the West Vale Area

Conducted tours and talks can be arranged to sections of our canal here in West Vale to suit many special interest groups (local wildlife to see cannot be guaranteed though!).

To discuss your requirements - please contact Alan Norris


Walking Groups and individuals

Come and explore your local canal and hear about it's history.


We have been joined in the past by other environmental groups and individuals in joint volunteering efforts like planting trees. Also in bird counts, wildlife spotting, butterfly counting, wild flower planting, crayfish and water vole surveys etc.

Educational (school/college/university)

We are always happy to host children from local primary and secondary schools for educational and/or ‘hands on’ activities (e.g. planting trees).

We have also hosted students on Duke of Edinburgh schemes and University projects. (Geological surveys, lock designs, forestry planning, industrial history, archeology, etc.)

Engineering/ archeologists.

More interested in the canal related structures - bridges/locks/spillweirs etc? We can arrange an accompanied visit to suit.


A Short Guide To Finding The More Interesting Places In West Vale

(The canal was built using imperial units, so we tend to stick to them!)

1. Shrivenham Village

Shrivenham is located in Oxfordshire near the A420 major road between Swindon (approx 6 miles) and Oxford (approx 20 miles). Shrivenham has a by-pass, so careful you may miss it in your rush to get here!

If traveling from Swindon direction take the Bourton turning on the right about a quarter mile after the dual arch railway bridge. (Hackern or Acorn Bridge). You pass over the culverted canal that runs alongside the A420 here. This is the site of Costers Lift Bridge and Bourton Wharf.
Follow the road around to the left, then straight on along Townsend Road which runs into High Street Shrivenham.

If traveling from the Oxford direction. After the Faringdon By-Pass (about 3 miles) on reaching a roundabout take the second left (signed Shrivenham, Defence Academy) into Watchfield and at the next roundabout (about 100 yards) go straight on and follow this road towards Shrivenham. (Note: pass Watchfield High Street on the right!). After about a half mile turn right at a small roundabout into Shrivenham High Street.

By Bus. Shrivenham is on Route 66 (Swindon to Oxford).

View Map of Shrivenham 

2. The Canalside Park

Is located in Stainswick Lane Shrivenham about 750 yards from the High Street.
Stainswick Lane joins the High Street just by the Zebra Crossing and the One Stop Shop.
The Canalside Park is on the left 200 yards past the Cemetery, there is a small car park.

A leaflet describing three walks from the park is available for download.

• LOCATION: Nearest Postcode to the park is SN6 8DW (Glebe Close, 300 yards from the park) and the exact Map Ref is SU24307 88250

3. Shrivenham Arch Bridge (Station Road Bridge)

The only original bridge on the entire canal still in daily use is located on the B4000 (signed to Lambourn) (Station Road) about half a mile south from Townsend Road. It is a Grade II listed building - click here for details. There is a small place to park on the road next to the bridge adjacent to what remains of Shrivenham Wharf (Private property). You can also park in the forecourt to the electricity sub-station 30 yards past the bridge but don't block the gate!
It is possible to walk along the towpath in dry weather from here to Steppingstone Lane Bridge.

• LOCATION: Nearest Post code is SN6 8JL and the exact Map Ref is SU23753 87938

4. Steppingstone Lane Bridge

Steppingstone Lane runs from the cross roads in Bourton village centre down to the Bridge. It's a green lane and the original ‘road' between Shrivenham and Bourton, now just a bridleway and is a pleasant half mile walk but can be muddy in the winter! Park your car at the beginning of the lane but please don't block gateways!

• LOCATION: Nearest Post code Bourton crossroad is SN6 8HZ and the exact Map Ref for the bridge is SU23456 88003

More locations will be added later but if you need more infomation in the meantime on other locations mentioned in our articles please contact us here.



Doctors Surgery (hope you don't need this one) In the High Street by the Bus Stop and Stocks.

Prince of Wales Pub. Where we hold Branch Meetings - is in the High Street.

Shrivenham Bowls Club. Where we hold Quiz Nights and Functions.
Is in Martems Road which is the first turning left taking the B4000 just 100 yards towards Highworth from the western end of High Street. There is a large car park located here.

Shrivenham Memorial Hall. Where we hold dances, attend fetes and functions etc.
Is located at the junction of Townsend Road, High Street and Highworth Road. The hammerbeam roof is well worth a look if the hall is open!

Watchfield Village Hall.  Where we hold functions and WRG volunteers eat and sleep.
Is located at the top end of Chapel Hill. Which is a left turn opposite the Church about 300 yards along Watchfield High Street. The hall has a car park.

Public Phone box. Opposite the Prince of Wales Pub and also in Highworth Road.

Post Office. In Shrivenham High Street by the zebra crossing.


Places to Eat and get food and drink. In Alphabetical order, -

Barrington Arms Hotel - - High Street (has accommodation).
Bloomfields - Take away food and deli. In the High Street.
College Farm - - By A420/Defence Academy Roundabout in Watchfield.
Coop Foodstores - sandwiches etc. High Street Shrivenham and close to A420/Defence Academy Roundabout in Watchfield.
MacDonald's. - Close to A420/Defence Academy Roundabout in Watchfield.
Prince of Wales Pub - High Street.
Subway - Take away eat 'n drink. Close to A420/Defence Academy Roundabout in Watchfield.

There are also two Indian restaurants, an English restaurant and a Chinese takeaway all in Shrivenham High Street, all have limited opening hours.