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Bucklebury and the Pang Valley

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Bucklebury and the Pang Valley
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 08 Oct 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Bucklebury and the Pang Valley Walking Guidestar1 Bucklebury and the Pang Valley Walking Guidestar1 Bucklebury and the Pang Valley Walking Guidestar1 Bucklebury and the Pang Valley Walking Guidestar0 Bucklebury and the Pang Valley Walking Guide
Berkshire, Pang Valley
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Bucklebury and the Pang Valley
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Bucklebury and the Pang Valley Walking Guide boot Bucklebury and the Pang Valley Walking Guide
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A 3 mile circular walk from the small village of Bucklebury in Berkshire. The walking route climbs through fields and alongside a pretty stream up to Sadgrove Farm, before turning back downhill where you are rewarded with views across the Pang Valley. You will have chance to glimpse some of the vast array of animals within Bucklebury Farm Park, including goats, donkeys, alpacas and wild boar. (Note: Please read the safety/access notes below about the farm park, particularly if you intend to take a dog with you).

The walk is one gentle climb followed by the equivalent descent, but there are no particularly steep sections. The paths pass through woodlands and fields and so can be very muddy after periods of rain and in wet weather. There are two stiles on route (both of which are usually avoidable with open gates alongside) plus a couple of kissing gates. You will pass through a few fields holding sheep. The final leg of the walk follows the public footpath which passes through Bucklebury Farm Park. This will lead you through a field of Dexter Cattle (a small black breed) and the official line of the footpath also crosses enclosures holding other park animals (such as alpacas, llamas, donkeys and exotic deer). We strongly recommend you follow our instructions to avoid these enclosures, and if you have a dog with you please show respect for the park’s animals by keeping the dog close to you on a short lead and walking quickly and quietly through the park. Approximate time 1 to 1.5 hours.

Bucklebury is a small village located about 2.5 miles north of the A4 road, between Newbury and Reading. The walk starts and finishes at the gravel car park for the recreation ground and Victory Room. If you enter Bucklebury from the east, continue past the church and take the next right turn. You will find the recreation ground on the left. Approximate post code RG7 6PS.

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Walk Sections

Start to Footbridge
Start to Footbridge

Start point: 51.4342 lat, -1.2072 long
End point: 51.427 lat, -1.2121 long

Leave the car park via the vehicle entrance, with the Victory Room to the left. Turn right (away from the Victory Room) and continue to the road junction (taking care of any traffic). Turn right, signed for Marlston and Hermitage. Immediately after the last house on the left, turn left through a wooden gate to join the signed restricted byway.

Follow the path uphill, staying close to the hedge on the left with an open crop field on the right. At the top of the field, keep ahead on the path as it enters a small section of woodland. A few paces in, at the T-junction, turn right to continue uphill. Follow the obvious path through the trees.

Ignore the first signed footpath off to the right, simply keep ahead on the main byway. Pass through a wide wooden gate ahead and, a few paces later, turn sharp right onto a signed footpath which leads you to the edge of a large hillside field. Head downhill along the right-hand field boundary.

As the field begins to narrow, look out for a (partially concealed) waymark post on the right which marks a crossroads of paths. Turn left to cross the field, passing to the left of a single oak tree. As you reach the far hedgeline, swing left and then turn immediately right to cross a footbridge over a stream.

Footbridge to Track Crossroads
Footbridge to Track Crossroads

Start point: 51.427 lat, -1.2121 long
End point: 51.4224 lat, -1.2083 long

Go through the gate at the far side of the bridge to enter a sheep pasture. Turn left and follow the fence line on the left. Keep ahead through the gateway into the next field and continue following the left-hand boundary. You will see the red roofs of the barns of Sadgrove Farms at about 1 o’clock.

Just after passing a metal gate within the left-hand boundary, you’ll see a footpath sign marking the official path diagonally right (towards the barns). In fact this path is disused and overgrown and there is a locally accepted alternative. Simply keep ahead along the left-hand boundary and you will come to a gate ahead. Go through this, go over the footbridge and you will emerge to a T-junction with a stone track.

Turn left along the track, passing a cottage on the left. Keep right at the first fork (staying on the main byway). At the next fork, keep left. After passing under an arch of holly bushes you will come to a crossroads with another major stone track.

Track Crossroads to End
Track Crossroads to End

Start point: 51.4224 lat, -1.2083 long
End point: 51.4343 lat, -1.2072 long

Turn left at this crossroads. The stone track will lead you past a property on the left, and then dwindles to a narrower path between hedgerows. A few yards later you will come to a fork. Here you have two choices, either to follow the main route through Bucklebury Farm Park, or to take a shortcut to avoid this. The main route crosses a cattle pasture and then passes between various animal enclosures, so if you have a dog either follow the short cut or, otherwise, please take extreme care and keep it under very close control to avoid stressing the animals.

For the alternative route back, should you wish to avoid the farm park, keep left at the fork and simply go ahead on this path which will soon merge with the woodland path you followed on your outward leg.

For the main route, fork right to go through a tall wooden kissing gate into a pasture (likely to be holding Dexter Cattle). Follow the grass track with the tall wire fence on the left, taking a moment to enjoy the extensive views across the Pang Valley. Cross the stile ahead (or use the gate alongside) to emerge to the corner of a fenced grass walkway within the farm park.

The line of the official footpath uses the stile opposite to enter the next animal enclosure. However we strongly recommend that you do NOT follow this route as the enclosures can be holding a wide range of animals such as deer, alpacas, sheep, donkeys and boar. It is safer for yourself and for the animals to avoid entering the enclosures.

Turn right along the fenced grass track and follow this down to the buildings ahead. Turn left and then swing right to leave the farm complex via the gate and stone driveway. You will emerge out into the farm car park (there is a kissing gate to the left should the main gate be closed).

Here you have two choices. If the park is open, it is easiest to walk through the car park and follow the drive out to the main road. If the park is closed, this drive will be gated, so cross the car park at 11 o’clock to reach a tall kissing gate into a sheep pasture. Cross the pasture (the sheep are very friendly!) at about 11 o’clock to reach a kissing gate/stile at the far left corner which leads you out to the road.

Turn left along the road, using the grass verge as much as possible for your own safety. After passing a large pond on the right, turn left onto the side road signed for Bucklebury and Hermitage. Follow the lane, taking care of any traffic, heading for the church tower in Bucklebury visible ahead. You will pass the church on the right (thought to date from the 11th century) and, in front of it, the Old Post Office (dating from 1740). Take the first turning on the right (signed for Stanford Dingley) and turn left into the recreation ground where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Bucklebury and the Pang Valley"

Did this walk this afternoon. A lovely gentle ramble through the beautiful Berkshire countryside which is hidden just a few miles south of the M4. Even managed a picnic in the woodland between waymark 1 and 2 - thankfully the predicted rain stayed away.
Thank you!

By Lizanne on 2014-10-24 22:10:11

Took the opportunity on the first sunny evening I could make it out to try this route - the route is relatively gentle although a bit muddy in places but overall a good hour if at a brisk pace. I always walk in bare feet which is a much more fulfilling experience so I can say that I touched every 'foot of the three miles! The part through Bucklebury Farm is interesting; its not often you meet a Llama, a Donkey, and some miniature horses on your average walk. However I would underline the point made by the author that a part of the footpath does take you through the Llama enclosure, so better to bear right at that point! I also met some enthusiastic cows and a young bull in the field beside the car park, so I bid a dignified retreat and walked back on the road. Overall an easy walk.

By richarg on 2016-05-26 20:45:55

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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