A lovely, varied walk in the Berkshire Downs with great views, especially lovely in the spring with fields of wildflowers like stunning pyramidal orchids, and butterflies and bees flitting about.
- 3.8 miles / 6 km circular
- Start point: Leckhampstead village hall
- What3words: ///chucks.ignore.brightly
- Grid Ref: SU439763
- OS Explorer Map: 158
- Very limited bus service from Newbury
- Parking: on road or in village hall car park if not in use
- Gentle hills, some gates and stiles, can be muddy
- Refreshments: The Fox Inn at Peasemore
- GPX: Click here to download
- From the village hall, go onto the green, past the memorial, across the road and through a gate onto the playing field. Head diagonally left and out onto Grove Pit Byway, turn right. Walk for about 800m then turn left as you emerge from the trees. Follow the track downhill past stables to the B4494 and Brightwalton Holt
- Turn right and walk along the grass verge for about 30m. Cross the road and go uphill along the left of the field edge. This south facing bank is usually rich in wildflowers and butterflies on a sunny summer’s day.
- Enter Eastley Copse at the top-left corner of the field, follow waymarks and emerge at Peasemore Hill and turn right onto a lane. Continue along the lane, past the cricket pitch to a junction with The Fox pub on your left.
- Turn left, then take a wide grassy footpath opposite the pub. After 150m turn left through a stile and across the field. You can see the spire of St. Barnabas church ahead. At the road cross between the church and houses onto a lane. At the end of the lane, enter a gravel drive and across a private lawn to the footpath in the field ahead. Follow this path. At Prince’s Lane cross and take the footpath opposite.
- At Mud Lane turn right. At T junction in Hill Green go left. After 200m take the footpath on the right through a gate, past a barn along the edge of the field and uphill. Cross the stile into a narrow copse. Carry on downhill to the B4494. Cross and walk uphill back to Leckhampstead village hall.
Points of Interest
- St. Barnabas church is unusually of Victorian blue brick. The tower is older, as an inscription tells us, “1737 Will Coward Gent built ye Tower”. The dramatic spire was added in 1842.
- In June/July look out for a plant of several names; Salsify, Goat’s beard or ‘Jack go to bed at Noon’ due to the flowers closing by midday. They like the dry soils of chalk grassland and when they go to seed look like an enormous dandelion seed head.