Take a walk in West Berkshire

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By Gloria Keene

Gloria Keene, Branch Secretary, shares three of her favourite places to walk in West Berkshire.

The character of walks in West Berkshire provide all year round variety and enjoyment as much of the area is located in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB). There are high chalk ridges, mixed farmland and deciduous woodlands and some of our finest landscapes.

My favourite three places to walk are:

Hungerford Common provides a host of walks, and a rare sight of ancient woodlands, trees and an abundance of wildlife. The perfect place to park, enjoy a picnic, walk your dog, exercise or sit and enjoy the views and wild life. It has 220 acres (89 hectares) of ancient common land to the east of Hungerford.

Inkpen village has a series of 5 walks covering some 53 public footpaths, each different in character, where wildlife is plentiful, long distance views in all directions and others which pass through tranquil woodland in the valley. Each of the five walks are described on the village website and can be downloaded on to your hand held device – short walks and longer walks for the ardent rambler most of them ending up at the Crown & Garter pub where you can relax and regain your breath. You will be able to visit the Inkpen Common, the Crocus Field, the 13th Century Church and Combe Gibbett. All the walks can be found at the Inkpen village website.

Combe Gibbet and Walbury Hill – the Gibbet was erected in 1676 and was featured in the film called The Black Legend, which tells the story of life in the countryside at that time and the infamous hanging that took place there. The most popular walks overlook the countryside and villages from a great height and on clear days you can see the surrounding counties, of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. Walks are clearly signposted and are a popular venue for walkers both young and old. The colourful sport of hang gliding is seen regularly from this area.

Imogen Haig
Quernmore landscape