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|Smeathe's Ridge and Burderop Down|
|Author: Claire, Published: 27 Jul 2015||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 5 mile circular walk from Barbary Castle Country Park, near Swindon in Wiltshire. This peaceful walk explores the stunning Marlborough Downs, taking in a long stretch of the Ridgeway National Trail before returning via bridleways alongside typical Wiltshire arable fields and pastures. The view from the ridge stretches for miles around on a clear day and there is plenty of wildlife to enjoy on the chalk downland as well as in the dense hedgerows on the return leg. |
The route includes very gentle but long gradients throughout, with just one short steeper climb. As the walk follows bridleways for its entire length, there are no stiles, steps or kissing gates to negotiate, just a few simple bridle gates. The ridge top path on the outward leg is firm and wide, but the lower bridleways on the return leg are much narrower and can be a bit overgrown in the summer months and very muddy in winter. You will be sharing three of the fields with dairy cattle, but the paths are well-walked (particularly the National Trail) and our experience was that the cattle didn’t even seem to notice us (or our dog) as we walked through. All the same, do take care around the cattle. There are picnic tables and toilets within the car park at the start of the walk. Approximate time 2.5 hours.
The walk starts and finishes from the Barbary Castle Country Park free car park, south of the M4 in Wiltshire. The park lies about three miles south-west of Chiseldon. Leave the M4 at Junction 15 and follow the A346 south towards Marlborough for just a short distance. Before a petrol station, turn right to follow the signs for Chiseldon. You will soon pick up the brown tourism signs for Barbury Castle. Approximate post code SN4 0QH.
|Start to Reservoir|
Start point: 51.4836 lat, -1.7764 long
NOTE: This walk does not explore the earthwork remains of Barbury Castle Iron Age hill fort itself. Should you wish to do this separately, exit the car park at the gate furthest from the vehicle exit (by the picnic area) and follow the Ridgeway for about half a mile to reach the remains. Return to the car park when you are ready to start the walk.
|Reservoir to Concrete Track|
Start point: 51.4709 lat, -1.7326 long
Continue along the track, passing the fenced reservoir on your right. The track leads you down to a wide gate. Pass through this and turn immediately sharp left to join a signed bridleway between hedgerows.
|Concrete Track to End|
Start point: 51.4787 lat, -1.7455 long
Turn left and follow the concrete track as it swings right. A few yards later, fork right, leaving the concrete track and continuing along the grass track signed as a bridleway. Follow the long grass track with a crop field on the right and a line of trees running to the left. At the end of the first long crop field, go through the gateway ahead and then fork left to join the narrow stone path between hedgerows.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
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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|Image by: RichardJ |
Uploaded: 27 Jul 2015
This picture shows the green corridor that you walk along on the homeward leg of the walk. It was a little overgrown when we walked it in July 2015 but that was counter balanced by the wealth of wild flowers along the route.
|Image by: RichardJ |
Uploaded: 27 Jul 2015
This picture tries to capture the vastness of some of the land used for crops in the area. Taken July2015.
Absolutely beautiful walk, and a wonderful app. Thank you so much :)
I want to congratulate you on your web site/app performance, quick, reliable and easy to use. I have similar walking apps with OS Maps and ViewRanger but yours is best.
This app has totally changed my life, i absolutely love it. I did this walk yesterday, what a beautiful walk it is, i thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely do it again, in fact i met an older gentleman who was on his 100 and something time there!! My sister and daughter cant wait to come along. The noise mentioned about the motorway is negligible and for me did not detract from the overall walk at all, the view from the top was stunning!!
So far I have downloaded 5 walks and completed 3 of them, tomorrow will be No 4. I love your website The walk descriptions are the best I have used in the last six years of rambling since I retired. This is a website I would be more than happy to pay a subscription for, instead I'll donate a sum to my favourite charity. THANK YOU.
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I love the illustrated descriptions of each walk section. Really helps to enjoy the walk and get to know something about what I'm seeing. So much better than apps that only provide GPS co-ordinates and no photos or description. Love it!
After trying out numerous other apps I came across this one: way ahead of any of the others in every way. Much more accurate and very easy to use with great features. Would highly recommend it as THE app to use for walking.
Just wonderful, with walks for everyone: the fit, the not-so-fit, short walks, long walks, through woods, up hills (and down).
I highly recommend it, as my mum and I use it to go for walks and finish by eating at a pub. Its detailed and sometimes humorous instructions lead us easily to our destination. Also, to top this, it has interesting facts about the area we're walking in
I don't review much but this app deserves it. Downloaded some really good walks and the combination of the good descriptions and the really useful map of the walk showing where you are make it a brilliant tool. Well done and keep up the good work.
Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
This may be the best walk I've ever done. It was certainly the best directions.
Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
Used app while visiting (it was great!)--live in Texas. Thanks!
Your app and walks are a dream to use
Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!