Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Shaw and Ashmore Green

Kennet Valley from Ashmore Green

In Newbury on business, I then bunked off for the rest of the afternoon to enjoy this walk from Shaw, on the north west corner of the town.

This is very much a walk in two halves, forming an ellipse either side of the B4009 which goes from Shaw to Curridge. The first half involves the classic Berkshire combination of fields and copses, with short stretches of road in between. The route goes to the small village of Ashmore Green and then swings back towards the B4009. All very pleasant, but a bit suburban.

The second half is very different, much simpler but more rewarding. After crossing the "main" road, a tree-lined track passes between open fields, with views of open country all around. It feels much more light and open - and rural - than the earlier stretch.

Track between open fields

Then the route swings left on another track and carries straight on for a couple of miles back to the start in Shaw. This route is mainly through grassy rather than arable fields, and there are pleasant views all around with common land and woods on the right initially.

From: Rambling for Pleasure: Kennet Valley and Watership Down, by David Bounds for the East Berkshire Ramblers’ Association Group.

Rating: three and a half stars.

Map: Explorer 158 (Newbury and Hungerford).


Nothing startling, but lots of incidental pleasures: orange tip butterflies, a pair of buzzards circling overhead, a distant deer standing surveying the world, a cuckoo, a rabbit getting a shock as he ran towards me along the path.


Rape much in evidence. I still like the intense yellow (I pondered this last year), but I was acutely conscious today of the cloying, rather unpleasant smell.

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