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Kintbury Canal and Meadows

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Kintbury Canal and Meadows
Author: Claire, Published: 23 Jun 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Kintbury Canal and Meadows Walking Guidestar1 Kintbury Canal and Meadows Walking Guidestar1 Kintbury Canal and Meadows Walking Guidestar1 Kintbury Canal and Meadows Walking Guidestar0 Kintbury Canal and Meadows Walking Guide
Berkshire, Newbury
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Kintbury Canal and Meadows
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Kintbury Canal and Meadows Walking Guide boot Kintbury Canal and Meadows Walking Guide
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A 4.5 mile circular walk from the Berkshire village of Kintbury, one of the most sought after places to live in England. The walk follows a short section of the Kennet and Avon Canal then heads south through beautiful local pastures and meadows before looping back into the village passing the church and village centre.

The walk includes just a few gentle gradients and some of the paths can get quite muddy at certain times of the year. There are several kissing gates and a total of 9 stiles – whilst most of these have open fencing surrounds or purpose built adjacent dog gates, a couple may prove a bit trickier for dogs so they may need a lift over. There are public toilets in the car park at the start. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours.

Kintbury is accessed from the A4 between Newbury and Hungerford. The walk starts from the small free car park just opposite Kintbury Rail Station. Head south from the A4 on the road signed for Kintbury, cross the level crossing and then turn immediately right alongside the toilets to reach the car park (if you go past the pub on the left you’ve missed the turn). Approximate post code RG17 9UT.

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Walk Sections

Start to Bridge 78
Start to Bridge 78

Start point: 51.4024 lat, -1.4471 long
End point: 51.4026 lat, -1.459 long

Leave the car park via the short path to reach the Kennet and Avon canal towpath. Turn right along the canal towpath with the canal on the left. Keep straight ahead passing under the brick arched bridge (marked 76). Keep ahead across a concrete footbridge over a small inlet on the right.

The Kennet and Avon Canal is 87 miles in length, has 105 locks and comprises two stretches of river linked by a purpose built canal section. The waterway follows the River Avon from Bristol to Bath, then the canal provides a link to Newbury and finally the River Kennet completes the stretch on to Reading. The two river stretches were made navigable in the early 18th century and the canal section was added between 1794 and 1810.

Continue only as far as the next brick arched bridge – Number 78.

Bridge 78 to St Cassian's
Bridge 78 to St Cassian's

Start point: 51.4026 lat, -1.459 long
End point: 51.3917 lat, -1.4685 long

Leave the canal towpath via the grass slope and turn left across the brick bridge. Follow the track ahead to reach a T-junction with the road. Turn left, passing Inglewood Cottage on the right. Immediately afterwards, turn sharp right down the side road towards Inkpen.

Pass Templeton House on the left and continue some distance further until you reach a footpath off to the left. Turn left here through a pair of gates passing immediately to the left of the Farm Barn – a timber clad barn conversion. Keep ahead in the same direction passing through two more gates and then a stile to reach a tarmac lane.

Turn right along the lane and after just a few yards you’ll reach a crossroads with another footpath. Turn right across the stile to enter the field you just exited. This time take the path at 10 o’clock passing under the power lines and to the left of the large copse of trees. Enter the next belt of trees ahead and cross a stile into the next field.

Keep straight ahead to reach a footpath sign in the centre of this field. On reaching the signpost, turn sharp left and follow the path with the ornate brick building of St Cassian’s across to the right. At the edge of the field cross the stile to reach the tarmac lane with the gates to St Cassian’s to the right.

St Cassian's to Cattle Grid
St Cassian's to Cattle Grid

Start point: 51.3917 lat, -1.4685 long
End point: 51.3854 lat, -1.4571 long

St Cassian’s is a Catholic youth retreat centre that was founded in 1975. The original manor house, Wallingtons, dates from the early 13th century and the present manor house was built in the late 16th century.

Cross the lane to take the footpath at 11 o’clock (passing the remains of an iron kissing gate) into woodland. Go through the gate and across the footbridge and follow the path along a wide grass clearing. Go over another footbridge and gate and head for the gate on the opposite side of the field at about 11 o’clock (either cross over the middle of the field or, if the electric fence is in operation, follow the left edge of the field round to the gate).

Cross this next field staying fairly close to the left hand boundary. Pass through the kissing gate and keep ahead hugging the tree line on the right. The path soon bears right and dips to cross a pair of stiles. A few paces later, bear right through the gap in the hedge line and then cross the field diagonally left up the slope. Pass out through the gate to reach the tarmac lane. Turn left heading downhill until you reach a cattle grid.

Cattle Grid to High Street
Cattle Grid to High Street

Start point: 51.3854 lat, -1.4571 long
End point: 51.3995 lat, -1.4536 long

Cross the stile alongside the cattle grid and then turn immediately left onto another branch of the tarmac lane. Ignore the two footpaths signed off to the right – just continue until you reach a 90 degree bend to the left with the gates to a property ahead. Turn right here through the squeeze gap into the field. After just a few paces turn left to follow the hedge line on the left.

As you approach the gate at the top, swing right to follow the top boundary of the field with the hedge still on your left. At the end of the field, cross the stile and keep ahead through the next field with the hedge now on your right. To the left you’ll have great views across the meadow to the village of Kintbury beyond.

Pass through the gate and follow the path as it swings round a copse on the right. The path dog legs right then left over a footbridge and through two gates. Follow the path ahead for some distance passing through a long tunnel of trees. Continue between tall fences and you will reach a T-junction with the village High Street, with a terrace of brick cottages opposite.

High Street to End
High Street to End

Start point: 51.3995 lat, -1.4536 long
End point: 51.4025 lat, -1.4469 long

Cross over and turn right. Kintbury sits within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has excellent rail and road links, making it one of the most sought after villages to live in England. It has several famous residents including the author Robert Harris and the designer and retailer Terence Conran.

At the small crossroads turn left into Church Street. Follow the road as it bends right then left, passing St Mary’s Church to the left. Stay on the main tarmac road, passing the Old School on the left. Eventually you’ll come to the entrance gates to the Old Rectory ahead.

Turn right here and follow the path over the canal bridge. Turn right immediately afterwards and go down the slope to join the towpath. You will reach Kintbury Lock ahead where you’ll find the car park on the left.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

Check out these resources for your walk

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network Kintbury Canal and Meadows Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


3 comments for "Kintbury Canal and Meadows"

First iFootpath walk we have done. Very impressed with the detailed information about each stage. Beautiful photos and much attention to detail. Lovely varied walk which included canal with noisy ducks and plently of boats, fields, copses (perfect picnic spot) and interesting buildings. Friendly locals too, who stopped for a chat and gave useful local information and observations.
At waymark 2, when you reach the barn conversion, there is a new footpath a few yards before the old one which went beside the barn. Well set out and easy to follow.
The woods at waymark 3 have apparently been bought by someone who is doing a lot of work to regenerate them, clearing, adding drainage and hoping to encourage the return of the bluebells.
Well worth a visit.

By Lizanne on 07 Oct 2014

Why can I not print this walk?

By PaulWalker on 17 Jun 2016

We completed this walk in bright winter sunshine. When we started sections of the canal were frozen. Being so cold worked I our favour as some of the paths looked muddy but it was hard under foot. The first section of the walk is muddy due to work being done on the railway track. Directions were spot on from free parking to the waypoints. We will do this walk again in the spring as we suspect some of the small woods will be in full bloom with Bluebells. A good walk with a couple of Geocaches on route. Also there is pub next to the car park which had a nice log fire going. Gardens look good next to the canal for the summer.

By Daijack on 23 Jan 2017

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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