A 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.

Useful Info

  • 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. Coffee morning at Leckhampstead village hall.
  • GPX: Click here to download

Route Directions

  1. From the village hall cross the road onto the green, walk 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 onto the byway and follow it straight ahead for some way through the trees. (Ignore a footpath sign left part way along.) When you emerge from the trees head left along the track downhill, pass stables to reach a road (the B4494 at Brightwalton Holt).
  2. Turn right at the road and, taking care, walk along the grass verge for a short distance. When you see the 50-mile sign, cross the road and up the bank by a footpath sign into a field. Follow the edge of the field until you are facing a hedge, turn right and continue with the hedge on your left. As you go uphill, this south facing bank is usually rich in wildflowers and butterflies on a sunny summer’s day.
  3. At the top of the hill and field, look for a small gap in the far-left corner to enter Eastley Copse. Follow the path through the trees, then turn right onto a lane (Peasemore Hill). Walk along the lane to the cricket pitch and on to a junction with The Fox pub on your left.
  4. Turn left, then just after the pub take a wide grassy footpath to the right. After 150m turn left through a gate and across the field. You can see the spire of St. Barnabas church ahead. At the road, cross and walk along a small road between the church (on your left) and houses. Enter a gravel drive (it looks private but is a right of way) and right across a private lawn to the footpath in the field ahead. Follow this path. At Prince’s Lane cross and take the footpath between the trees and diagonally left across the field.
  5. At Mud Lane turn right. At the T junction turn left. After 200m take the footpath on the right through a gate, past a barn and along the edge of the field. Go through a small metal gate and through some trees to the next field. Carry on downhill to the road (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.
DOWNLOAD rOUTE Leckhampstead map