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Walk 4

Aldermaston and into The Unknown (Original walk information from 2012)

Approximately 11 miles, 5 hours

Map Ref:  578 624 at start of the walk.

Park in the Hurst Community College lay-by.  Turn right into Brimpton Road, heading north, and then turn right into Bridleway 1 which runs to the rear of the College.  Follow the path through mixed woodland for 370m, across the ancient tumuli mounds, and veer around the corner into more open heathland.   Take a small path through the wood to the left which leads to the busy B3051 between Tadley and Ashford Hill.  Cross the road with great care – it is both fast and busy – turn right, take the immediate left fork, and follow the road almost to its junction with the A340. 

To your left is a waymarked path, with green metal sign, and metal kissing gate, leading through woodland.  Go over a new footbridge, turn left, and up a muddy slope to top, and take a track which leads away to the left.  Go over the brow of hill, down towards another new footbridge over water.  Turn right, and follow a small stream to your right, with small ponds to your left, and a bank of bramble.  Turn right through a kissing gate, and on to a small track, and pass through kissing gate diagonally to your left, down a track bordered by birch.   Follow the track until you come to a junction with a rusted five bar gate, and hollow log, with gap between.  Follow the gap, and do not turn right along the permissive path to your right. 

Stop to admire the breath-taking views downhill over the fields and Aldermaston village below.  The track eventually opens into grassy fields, and then a further copse.  Continue walking through farmland, keeping to the left.  The path leads away to the left of the field, down between hedges, which is very boggy and almost impassable in winter.  At bottom of path, turn right, over small bridge, through open field to kissing gate.  Cross the stile, keeping to the left of the field, and over a further stile into a field, then into a further field, and over stile which opens onto Wasing Lane.  Turn right, towards the village – the primary school should be on your left.  At the junction, you will find ‘The Hind’s Head’ public house, for light refreshment if necessary.

Cross the road (A340), taking great care again – this is a busy junction with a blind spot for vehicles coming from the left, and into a small lane (Fishermans Lane), to the right of the village shop.  To your left is a small wood store where willow is seasoned before turned into cricket bats.  Also here is the sluice which takes excess run-off water from Aldermaston, and, to your right, a new development is being built.

Continue along the lane for a further 230m, turn left across meadow through gate, into field and through another gate, into another field.  Go through kissing gate, across the stream, and then across field, through a kissing gate, and over small bridge over stream into woodland, arriving back at the A340 by ‘The Old Mill’ at Aldermaston.  Turn right, cross the road with great care, and left into Frouds Lane.  Go over the canal bridge, and immediately turn left onto the towpath, and follow this for 1½ miles.  This is a most attractive part of the walk, and easy walking underfoot.  Halfway along, you will cross a large modern bridge to the south bank of the river and continue until you reach the hamlet of Woolhampton. 

If you wish to visit ‘The Row Barge’ public house, it is right in front of you!

From the pub, turn right into the road, and right again just beyond the pub car park, along a wide track to a junction, opposite a sub-station, where you turn left.  Follow the path, over a metal bridge, keeping the lake on your right, to the far end of the lake. 

Follow left side of lake, until you see a kissing gate on your left, waymarked, which crosses a field to a lane on the far side.  This is a permissive path and may save you 10 minutes of a longer walk.  The formal right of way, however, continues to the far end of the lake, veers to the right, and then away to the left, eventually joining a wide track (which is also the track to which the shortcut will bring you).  Carry on ahead, with Brimpton spire in the far distance in front of you.  At the next cross-path, turn left.  You will eventually arrive in an open clearing, with Bottle Lake to your left, and a five-bar gate to your right.  Go through the gate and into the lane and turn left onto the metalled road.  Follow the road to a T-junction, with signposts, and turn right, following over Shalford Bridge.  Here, cross the road to Wasing Park main entrance, and go through the small gate to the right hand side, and up the main drive towards the house.

At the top of the drive, go straight on, past a set of brick and flint pillars and gate with ‘Private’ sign, and follow the driveway, veering left, towards the church.  With Wasing Church on your left, turn right through a kissing gate at the footpath sign and cross the pasture (may be cattle there), go through two more kissing gates to a track into the woods.  Continue along track with woods on your left to a junction and turn right to a metal gate.  Go through the kissing gate, turn left down the track and follow to a more formal wider road, with brick and flint cottages to right.  Follow the path around to the right, ignoring footpath and byway signs to left.  The track leads to a busy road (Brimpton to Baughurst) – cross with care to public right of way opposite.  Continue along path, over stile, to end at B3051, with The Pineapple Inn straight in front of you.

Cross the road, turn left and walk along verge edge to gateway in front of Pineapple Playing field (five bar gate and Parish Council rules to right of gate).  Continue between two concrete bollards down narrow path, with sports pavilion to your right, exiting on to Little Aldershot Lane.  Turn left and follow lane to junction with Inhurst Lane.  Turn right, and then left into Stokes Lane.  At end of Stokes Lane, cross over busy Brimpton Road to Hurst Community College, and back to the lay-by.

Please help with updating the information on this walk.  This walk needs to be updated from the original 2012 version and if you follow this walk and notice a nice detail (an "instance of delight”) please send in images that we may use and a description of the item and where it is located.  Or if a walk reminds you of a personal anecdote, please sent it in to us.  The email address to use is in the below QR Code.  Just point your device camera at it and an email will automatically be addressed and prepared for you.  We will regularly update this walk with contributions from the community.