Saturday, 2 February 2008
The walk begins at Snelsmore Common Country Park just north of Newbury. You quickly leave the country park and go northwest across fields towards Winterbourne, and then pass between the church and the splendid manor house.
The route then gets reasonably close to the M4 with attendant traffic noise, before doubling back across Boxford Common and Mount Hill towards Bagnor. This section of the walk follows a long ridge with excellent views in both directions.
The final section involves crossing and re-crossing the A34 (Newbury Bypass) to visit Donnington castle.
Rating: Four stars.
From: Walking in Berkshire by Robert Wilson (Ciccerone).
Map: Explorer 158 (Newbury and Hungerford).
A licence to build the castle was granted in 1386. During the civil war the castle was successfully defended by royalists during 1644 and 1645. Most of it was destroyed after the civil war and what you see today is the impressive gate house. The plan of the original walls can still be seen behind it.