Monday, 23 March 2020

Chaddleworth & Leckhampton

 Leckhampton House

At the moment (March 23) it still seems acceptable to drive into the country for a walk. On this one we saw less than 10 people and crossed comfortably three or four sets of dog walkers keeping the requisite social distance.

We started our walk in the village of Leckhampton close to the imposing Manor House. In front of it, on a grassy island, is this rather unusual war memorial with a clock.

We headed north along very pleasant winding track, passed Cotswold Farm and headed east briedly to join the busy B4494 (Newbury to Wantage road). After a short way along the road we headed west and admired the vast fields which seem to be characteristic of this area.

We walked between two large fields and enjoyed this rather lovely pairing of a mature tree with a baby one.

At the end of the field path we reached  a road on the edge of Brightwalton. This is another view of the farmland to the east.

We crossed a field to reach Spray Wood,  where there will clearly be an abundance of Bluebells before too long. Then along a road for a short before taking a field path towards Chaddleworth. We emerged by a large grassy area with Chaddleworth House over to the right and this pretty thatched cottage in the foreground.

We went through the village, passing the pub and following a road with the odd name of Nodmore before following a delightful green lane. We crossed a road and followed a track leading across fields towards Manor Farm on the outskirts of Chaddleworth.

The walk book described a hedge on the left and young saplings on the right - clearly time had passed since it was written. The saplings had now become a quite thick hedge, with the interesting feature of one tree being left to grow above the prevailing height even so often. The hedge effectively split a massive field into two moderate sized ones.

We emerged into another field and walked around its edges to then pass the fine farm house of Manor Farm.

At the end of the lane we turned left to return to where we had parked the car.

Conditions: a lovely sunny day, if a bit fresh.

Map: Explorer 158 (Newbury & Hungerford).

From: Pub walks for motorists: Berkshire and Oxfordshire by Les Maple (2005).

Rating: three stars. A nice ramble.

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