Information
Walks

The Trust has produced a number of walks leaflets which you can download here:



Abingdon: Explore the new and historic routes of the Wilts & Berks Canal
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Start at Margaret Brown Gardens on the Thames (formerly the Canal Company Wharf ) at the end of the Wilts & Berks Canal historic route

Use the south (downstream) exit and cross the road. The old stone wall to the right of ‘Wharf Close' was once part of the final lock which lowered canal boats into the Thames. Walk past converted foundry buildings on your right and turn left on entering Caldecott Road. The canal terminal basin was once between the twin hedges on your left (south of Caldecott Road). Go through the gap in the railings and walk (west) on grass where narrowboats once stopped.

The canal route continued from Hermitage Road to beyond B4017. The long avenue of trees was alongside the towpath and the wide green road margin was once canal (now filled in). At B4017 turn right and use a controlled crossing into the park and follow the river Ock upstream into the countryside. A final crossing of the Ock leads into Mill Lane just before the weir at New Cut Mill.

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Lacock Country Walking Magazine July 2012
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An article from Country Walking Magazine July 2012

A 8.4km/ 5.14mile walk starting from lay-by  east of Bell Inn.

Generally good paths, one gentle climb 

 

 
Melksham: A walk along The Lost Waterway of Melksham
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The walk is approximately 1 hours walk at a generous pace

Towpath to Melksham Wharf

Begin your walk at the Southern end of Melksham at the West End Inn, (Hungry Horse), Semington Road. Opposite the West End Inn (once West End Farm) is Waverley Gardens and you will find a footpath halfway along the north side of the road (1) - this was the canal towing path. Just to the South is the site of West End Farm bridge, and Drinkwater House, home to John Lewington, canal carrier and boatman.

The canal itself was on the right-hand side of the towpath and is now incorporated into the gardens of the houses in Kenilworth Gardens. The red brick wall on your left is built from a similar type of clay brick that was used on the canal. The bricks were baked in purpose - built kilns along the route of the canal and were larger than normal bricks to avoid tax and to speed up build¬ing - 700 W & B bricks were equivalent to 1000 statute bricks.

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Shrivenham Walks around Bourton & Shrivenham.
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Three circular walks exploring the Wilts & Berks Canal.

The Canalside Park.

This site was always too wet for agriculture. Old maps show a brook and a pond and when the canal was cut through here in 1802 a culvert was laid to carry the water beneath it. The old culvert can still be seen but is collapsed and silted up. A new concrete pipe culvert was installed in 1997. After it was abandoned, the canal here was used as the village tip, being filled with mainly domestic rubbish and fire ash (circa 1920-1940). In the 1960's a new storm water sewer was laid through Shrivenham, this produced vast quantities of waste subsoil. With a view to increasing the height of the land, this waste was dumped over the entire site including the infilled canal. However the soil was poor and contained a lot of debris, so the field remained unusable.

In early 1995 the Branch was able to purchase the field and the idea of a canal-side park emerged. Facilities planned included a small car park, boat slipway, picnic site and lots of trees and shrubs.

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Swindon - North Wilts Canal, Moredon and Mouldon Hill
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The River Ray Valley Moredon

There are many ways to arrive at the start of the first walk with regular bus services to Akers Way and Cheney Manor but if you are coming by car you are advised to use the playing fields car park in the Cheney Manor Trading Estate (Darby Close) opposite Manor Garden Centre 1 .
Either walking from the car park or along the footpath from the Trading Estate (Darby Close) you will cross the line of the canal at the boundary of the playing field and Nova Hreod school grounds 2 .

You might note the wall to the east, and if you can find a suitable vantage point, you can see one of the few preserved sections of the canal now within the boundary of Swindon Borough Council's Waste Recycling Centre. The canal was used as an emergency water supply for fire fighting by a factory that was on the site and of course now just waits for the other 10 miles of the North Wilts canal to be restored!

 

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Wantage & Grove - Explore the Wantage Arm & the Canal at East Challow
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Walk along the former Wantage Arm of the historic Wilts & Berks Canal and the restored waters of the main line from East Challow past Grove Start at

(1) Church of St. Peter & St. Paul opposite the Vale & Downland Museum behind Wantage market place. From the churchyard, follow the footpath downhill past a brick garden wall to the right of No. 2 Priory Rd. Turn right after the footbridge to follow Letcombe Brook between tall mill buildings and carefully cross Mill Street to (2) the site of the Wharf at the end of the infilled Wantage Arm of the Wilts & Berks Canal.

From (2) there are two footpaths. Avoid the new path alongside Letcombe Brook itself, but follow the old path (marked by a 'Cyclists Forbidden' notice) between Mill Cottage and the new wharfside housing development.

 

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Wootton Bassett - Explore Chaddington Lock & the Flower Meadow
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Walk along the restored section of the Wilts & Berks Canal, Chaddington Lock and Spillway and the flower meadows of Morningside Farm.

The Town Hall (1) is a good landmark from which to start. It is where the first meeting to discuss the promotion of the canal took place on 30th January 1793. Walk or drive down Station Road, past the Town Local pub on the right. The Canal car park (2) (grid ref 5U071816) is opposite Templars Firs industrial estate (postcode 5N4 75R). Starting here the walk described is about 6 km and might take about 2 hours

Go through the kissing gate, follow the track and this takes you to the slipway (3).
Follow the towpath along about three quarters of a mile of restored canal. Wootton Bassett Angling Club stock and fish the Canal. Noremarsh Bridge (4), the first bridge, carries a footpath which also goes over a bridge over the railway. This footpath is an alternative access to the canal from Noredown Way and the town centre. After the next bridge, Buxton Bridge, is a spillweir (5) on the right and a seat.

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