Dinton Pastures
Author: Richard, Published: 01 Oct 2011 Rating:
Berkshire, Wokingham
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Walk Type: River or lakeside

Length: 3 miles, Difficulty:

Today's weather
21 °C, Light rain showers, Wind: 7 mph NNE
Next few days:

A 3 mile circular walk around the lakes of Dinton Pastures Country Park in Berkshire. The park covers more than 300 acres and is open daily throughout the year. It offers a variety of habitats including seven lakes, two rivers, woodland and a number of meadows. The park is a real haven for birders with a variety of wetland birds such as swans, geese, coots, moorhens plus rarer species including bitterns.

The walk is flat with no stiles or gates. The paths vary from wider stone paths to wetter riverside mud paths, the latter of which are prone to flooding after very wet weather. Dogs are welcome in the park but should be kept under control. In a couple of places dogs need to be on leads to protect the birds (these areas are clearly signed). Approximate time 1.5 hours.

Parking is available in the Dinton Pastures main pay and display car park which is signed off Davis Road (B3030) near Wokingham in Berkshire. Approximate postcode RG10 0TH.

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Walk Sections

Dragonfly cafe to Tufty’s Corner

Start point: 51.4402 lat, -0.8727 long
End point: 51.4405 lat, -0.8842 long

The walk starts from the main Dinton Pastures car park. With the Dragonfly cafe on your right and the building with the tall chimneys behind you, go straight ahead to the entrance to the park with an information board ahead. Follow the path as it bends to the left and cross a wooden footbridge.

You will come to Wildlife Trails information board, turn right here signed for the Duck Trail and Riverside Trail. Continue ahead (passing a children’s play area on the left). You will then reach a T-junction (with picnic tables) as the path meets Black Swan Lake, the largest of the lakes in the park.

Turn left to follow the path with Black Swan Lake on the right. As the path bends right, turn left, cross a bridge and then turn right. After just a few yards keep left at the fork. Follow the path ahead with White Swan Lake now on your right (note dogs are not allowed to swim in this lake). After a short distance you will come to a triangle of grass on the left with a tall wooden board for Tufty’s Corner. Turn left here (passing a flight of steps up on the left). One of the smaller lakes of the park (Tufty’s Corner) will appear on the right with a wooden jetty.

Tufty’s Corner to Sandford Lake

Start point: 51.4405 lat, -0.8842 long
End point: 51.4477 lat, -0.8782 long

Follow the path alongside Tufty’s Corner. You will come to a T-junction with a bridge on the left, turn right here and follow the River Loddon to your left. Note that this path can be prone to flooding after periods of heavy rainfall and is likely to be muddy most of the time. Continue ahead along the same path, ignoring a footbridge over the Loddon on your left.

As you continue along the path you will see the various numbered fishing stations where fishermen hope to catch carp, bream and barbel from the river which is a tributary of the Thames. Dinton Pastures forms part of the flood plain for the Loddon and is a rich source of gravel which has been extracted here for more than 100 years.

A wider gravel path will merge in from the right and you will get glimpses of White Swan Lake again on the right through the trees. Continue on the narrow grass path beside the river until you reach a ‘private fishing – members only’ sign. Fork right here and then turn left to join the main gravel track. Follow this until you reach a junction marked by a signpost for ‘Black Swan Lake’ and ‘Sandford Lake Conservation Area’.

Sandford Lake back to the Car Park

Start point: 51.4477 lat, -0.8782 long
End point: 51.4402 lat, -0.8742 long

Turn left at this junction keeping Sandford Lake on your right. Continue as the path bends to the right around the lake. Eventually you will come to a section where you need to veer left over a footbridge and then you should turn left onto a wider hard surfaced path. Cross a wide footbridge and you will come to the Sailing Club on your left. On your right is Black Swan Lake – the largest in the park. After the sailing club on the left you will find a gravel bottom shallow clear stream running parallel with the path – ideal for paddling both for children and dogs.

Black Swan Lake provides an ideal habitat for a wide range of wetland birds (including rarer species such as redshank, kingfishers and bittern). The island at the centre of the lake is known as Goat Island.

Continue ahead and eventually you will reach the picnic area by Black Swan Lake. Turn left here and retrace your steps back to the car park.

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Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2011 by the author Richard and may not be reproduced without permission.


3 responses to "Dinton Pastures"

Lovely walk. Great for all weathers as there is enough cover in the rain for some protection but you can walk/sit in the more open bits when it's sunny. Very pleasant surroundings great for a picnic out or if you just want to escape out of the house for a while.

By DebbieK on 05 Nov 2011

I returned to Dinton Pastures this week with my parents and just wanted to comment that we have a lovely lunch at the Dragonfly cafe. The staff are extremely friendly and there is a wide variety of food and drinks available, including a "winter warmer" hotpot style lunch. Inside the cafe the atmosphere is really cosy with a roaring log fire. The awning outside protects dog owners from the elements allowing for a comfortable stay whatever the weather.

By DebbieK on 23 Nov 2011

Nice walk I did walk a bit more to cover the river Loddon more near showcase cinema and also walked in the top fields which you can get too from crossing the bridge over the Loddon but be careful with dogs as cattle are grazing there in the summer but only a few that stay together so can easily avoid them. Making the walk about 1.5 hrs and very enjoyable what ever the weather.

By doglets on 28 Aug 2013

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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