Sunday, 17 August 2008

Chieveley to Bury Down (Berkshire Way 6)

Looking back towards Chieveley

This is stage 6 of the BBC's Berkshire Way. The route goes more or less due north from Chieveley, parallel to the A34, through the village of West Ilsley to intersect the Ridgeway at Bury Down. Six miles and three quarters in all.

You head off beside and across fields and then pick up a series of tracks. The first of these, Old Street Lane, offered ideal conditions for butterflies and we saw a number of green veined whites - readily distinguishable from the more usual small whites by their clearly marked veins. I know this sounds rather obvious, but it reinforces the importance of really looking.

This track leads onto a further, more enclosed one, Green Lane. This was slightly sunken and had quite dense trees and bushes on both sides, and it was with some relief that we quite literally emerged into daylight on the downs.

The final section was much more open leading up to and across the pretty village of West Ilsley and then the final climb through fields up to the Ridgeway.

You look back over Folly Down, which is just lovely ....

... and you know you have just about reached the Ridgeway when the delights of Didcot power station fill the eye.

Rating: three and half stars. I like lanes but this became quite claustrophobic.

-->Explorer 158 (Newbury and Hungerford).


Something of a mystery. It looks like a wild flower, but was clearly planted in rows and fills a whole large field. Just coming into flower, it must be a fine sight when in full bloom.

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