A walk from the pretty village of Ramsbury across countryside with great views and wooded valleys to the Tudor mansion of Littlecote house and back past a Roman villa with an impressive, restored mosaic floor.
- 5 miles/8 km circular
- Start point: The square in Ramsbury at the Bell Inn
- What3words: ///lawful.theory.likening
- Grid Ref: SU275716
- OS Explorer Maps: 170 & 157
- On-road parking
- Buses between Swindon and Marlborough stop at The Bell Inn Ramsbury, no Sunday service. See Stagecoach website for information
- Hilly in parts, mostly on paths, can be muddy, no stiles
- Refreshments: Two pubs in Ramsbury
- GPX: Click here to download
- Start at the square in Ramsbury with the Bell Inn on your left, take Scholards Lane (signed Hungerford).
- After a short distance, at the Knap, turn right along the Froxfield road (which crosses the River Kennet).
- About 400m after this turn, at Ambrose Farm, turn left along the signposted track, then right immediately beyond a house, along a fenced path up the hillside. Take the obvious path through the trees and go straight ahead on joining a concrete road. Follow this road to the bottom of the hill, then turn left staying on the concrete road through a wooded valley.
- Keep to the road and turn left at the T-junction onto a farm track with trees on the left and an open field on the right. Pass a fir plantation on the right and at the next junction, go ahead up the hill. Continue ahead until the track joins a narrow tarmac road and turn left along it to Littlecote House, a Tudor mansion, now a hotel.
- Turn left along the road in front of the ornamental gates. Ignore the turning on the right just beyond the garden wall and keep straight on. Just beyond the hotel, in the open space on the right and adjacent to the path, Iies the remains of a Roman villa including a mosaic floor (see Points of Interest below). To visit the mosaic, go off the path right. Retrace your steps to continue the walk.
- Continue along a grass path with a bank on the right and an open field on the left. This leads to a line of trees bordering on the River Kennet. Follow this path, which becomes gravelled at a cottage featuring a rounded end; continue ahead to reach the Froxfield road. Turn right, then left back to the Square in Ramsbury.
Points of Interest
- By the 17th century Ramsbury had many trades relating to agriculture, including leather working with curriers, tanners, boot and shoemakers, and glovers. By the 1790s Ramsbury had a successful brewing industry and beer was exported to London. To this day there is a brewery in Ramsbury.
- Littlecote House and Estate is now a hotel. It is a Grade I listed Tudor mansion where Jane Seymour was wooed by Henry Vlll in 1535, only months before the King beheaded Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour’s predecessor.
- A mosaic pavement from a Roman villa was restored in the estate grounds in the 1970s. The floor depicts Orpheus, the mythological priest of Apollo, surrounded by representations of the four seasons.