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Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth

There are currently 3 comments and 4 photos online for this walk.

Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth
Author: Claire, Published: 06 Sep 2015 Walk Rating:star1 Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide star1 Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide star1 Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide star1 Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide star0 Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide
Berkshire, West Berkshire
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide boot Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide
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A 3 mile circular walk from Aldermaston Wharf in West Berkshire. The walk starts at the visitor centre on the Kennet and Avon Canal before joining rural tracks and paths across several waterways and fields to reach the adjacent village of Padworth with a beautiful church, imposing mansion house and old parkland. The return leg follows a pretty stretch of the River Kennet.

The walk is relatively flat with just a couple of very gentle slopes. The paths follow unmade tracks and grass paths across fields, parkland and alongside the river, all of which can be very muddy after rain and in the winter months. You will need to negotiate several gates, narrow footbridges and one stile (which is very low and also has open fence surrounds to allow dogs to pass through). You will be sharing a couple of the fields with horses and one field occasionally holds cattle, so take particular care with dogs. Allow 1.5 hours.

Aldermaston Wharf is located just off the A340, close to its junction with the A4 Bath Road. The walk starts and finishes from the Canal Visitor Centre pay and display car park, which is marked with brown tourism signs from the A4. The car park fee is £1 for 2 hours (correct Sept 2015) and the fee is payable at the adjacent tea room when this is open (Wed-Sun) and via the honesty box at other times. Approximate post code RG7 4JS.

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Walk Sections

Start to River Kennet
Start to River Kennet

Start point: 51.4005 lat, -1.1348 long
End point: 51.3955 lat, -1.1302 long

Leave the rear of the car park to reach the towpath and turn right along this (with the canal on the left and passing the Visitor Centre and Tea Room on your right).

This section of the canal was once home to Aldermaston Wharf. The Kennet and Avon Canal was built to link London and Bristol and in its heyday, about 200 years ago, the wharf was a bustling trade centre transporting goods all over the world. Huge horse-drawn barges, carrying up to 100 tons at a time, loaded and offloaded an amazing range of goods including coal, grain, beer and timber products.

As you reach the road ahead, turn left over the bridge and then turn immediately left again into Mill Lane. Take the right-hand of the two stone tracks, passing the school on your left. The stone access track leads you between a number of houses and then on through a tunnel of trees.

Continue past the trout farm on your right and, immediately after this, turn right onto the signed public footpath which leads you between tall fences. At the end of this path you will come to a series of concrete footbridges over the River Kennet.

River Kennet to Stable Block
River Kennet to Stable Block

Start point: 51.3955 lat, -1.1302 long
End point: 51.3909 lat, -1.1214 long

Cross the bridges (taking particular care with children and dogs). The second bridge leads you over a weir and after this you will cross the salmon ladder, a narrow channel that bypasses the weir and allows salmon to travel upstream to their spawning grounds. Cross the third bridge over a sluice gate, continue along the narrow path and soon you are forced to swing left over the final concrete bridge.

Pass through the kissing gate ahead and follow the grass track between fenced fields. At the end of this stretch, a wooden footbridge and gate leads you into a large field (which occasionally holds cattle). A fingerpost here marks a crossroads of footpaths. Take the path across the field at about 11 o’clock, heading for the left-hand edge of the woodland. At the far side of the field, a gate and footbridge leads you over a stream and to the edge of a complex of large horse paddocks.

At this point you will have your first view of Padworth House, a manor house set high on the hillside ahead. Padworth House occupies the site of the manor house of the Coudrays, lords of the manor since the 1200s. These paddocks would once have formed part of the impressive estate grounds. The present house dates from the 1700s and today it is the home of an independent boarding college for 13-19 year olds.

Walk across the paddocks at about 11 o’clock, heading for the centre of the large red brick wall visible on the hillside ahead. As you reach the rough track in the centre of the field, you will find handles within the electric fence at this point allowing you to unhook the fence to pass through. Turn right along the rough stone track and follow it uphill towards the barns. Continue up to the top of the hill, pass through the gate and continue on the track passing a large barn on the left and a cottage on the right. You will come to a stable block ahead.

Stable Block to Parkland
Stable Block to Parkland

Start point: 51.3909 lat, -1.1214 long
End point: 51.3929 lat, -1.1188 long

Immediately before the stable block, turn left onto the tarmac driveway and follow this as it swings right. Where the driveway bends right again, turn left onto the stone and grass track. The track leads you past the beautiful St John the Baptist Church (c.1130) on your left and on to reach the war memorial, also on your left.

At this point leave the stone track by taking the kissing gate into woodland ahead. Follow the woodland footpath ahead for a few yards and then swinging left to reach a tarmac driveway. If you look to your left you will be able to see the front of Padworth House. Cross over the drive and take the footpath (just a little to your right) which continues through the woodland ahead.

The path leads you along the left-hand edge of a beautiful pond which, it is thought, would once have supplied water for a moat around the manor house. At the end of the pond follow the path as it turns left. Keep ahead on this main path which meanders through the woodland, leads you past the right-hand edge of the college buildings and then out through a kissing gate to reach a large meadow, the remnants of the estate parkland.

Parkland to Riverside Path
Parkland to Riverside Path

Start point: 51.3929 lat, -1.1188 long
End point: 51.3994 lat, -1.1228 long

Walk ahead (at about 1 o’clock) for a few yards and then swing right to walk down the centre of an avenue of oak trees. NOTE: Take care on this stretch as the ground is fairly rutted beneath the grass. This avenue would once have formed an entrance drive for the manor house and if you glance behind, you will see the view of the mansion that would have greeted visitors.

The path leads you past a disused metal gate and then bears left to reach a pair of gates. Use the smaller gate to lead you out of the parkland and turn left along the stone access lane, heading downhill. Soon you will be able to see the old estate lodge, now a farm, ahead. Before the track reaches the lodge, it swings right to lead you out to a junction with the road.

Turn left along the edge of this country lane, taking care of any traffic, and follow it past Lodge Farm on your left. Cross the first bridge (over a stream) and continue past Fisherman’s Lodge on the left to reach the next bridge (over the River Kennet). Cross this bridge and immediately afterwards, turn left to join the signed riverside footpath.

Riverside Path to End
Riverside Path to End

Start point: 51.3994 lat, -1.1228 long
End point: 51.4007 lat, -1.1346 long

Go down the concrete steps, cross the low stile and walk ahead on the grass path with the River Kennet running across to the left. Across to the right you will see a series of lakes that are the remnants of gravel quarries, now reclaimed by nature. The whole of this area has high moisture content in the soil and you will notice that most of the trees are willows.

Eventually you will pass a property across to the left and then emerge out to a T-junction with a stone access track. Turn right along the track and fairly soon you will come to the footpath junction alongside the trout farm that you passed through on your outward leg.

From this point you will be retracing your steps back to the car park. To do this, continue ahead along the stone track and follow it all the way to the road junction at the end. Turn right across the bridge and then right again to join the towpath. After just a short distance you will come to the car park on the left where the walk began.

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network Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


3 comments for "Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth"

Nice walk and very clear, concise instructions. Was pretty wet in places but were expecting that given recent weather.

By david3cole on 07 Jan 2017

Nice walk, with a great series of bridges through the weir, and nice views over the fields to Padworth House. For those of us who prefer to walk barefoot there is a range of surfaces from gravel to grass, and just in the corner of the field before the house there's a small stream that's great for a paddle. Some of the path along the Kennet is overgrown at the moment (June) and nettles are springing up so watch out if you have bare legs (and feet!). However the rest is relatively easy and pleasant but guess it could get muddy in wetter conditions.

By richarg on 06 Jun 2016

Most enjoyable, dog friendly, wellies recommended after wet weather. Five stars!

By Huelin on 15 Nov 2015

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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4 gallery images for "Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth"

5004_0Richard1441567095 Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 06 Sep 2015
Time for a snap on the riverbank on the leg home.
5004_0Richard1441609834 Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2015
The canal centre and team room - a lovely place to stop before or after your walk.
5004_0Huelin1447595729 Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide Image by: Huelin
Uploaded: 15 Nov 2015
A7018709-32D6-4A5D-982F-EA036B5DC0E0.JPG
5004_0emmafitz1458253706 Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walking Guide Image by: emmafitz
Uploaded: 17 Mar 2016
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Introduction to iFootpath

iFootpath provides a mechanism to capture and share details of walks, but it is worth explaining the essential structure of a walk as they are stored in the iFootpath database. The basic concept is that a walk consists of any number of sections that are joined end to end. For each section we might want to describe views or other points of interest about that part of the walk.

The database that underpins iFootpath provides the mechanisms to store the structure and details of each walk, descriptions, photographs and mapping data for the overall walk and each section of it. It is not mandatory to enter information into every single field in the forms we provide, although some basic details are essential to ensure the walk database stays manageable and searcheable.

Each walk entered can be shared with all other iFootpath users, but before a walk (and its sections) are shared there are three stages it must go through. The first stage is as a "Draft". When a walk is in draft it is only visible and editable by you, the author of that walk. Whilst it is in draft form you can add sections, photographs, further description and refine it as you see fit. You can do as little or as much as you like. However, it is worth remembering that if someone (you) wants to print it off and take it as a walking guide, then it is worth taking the time to detail each section reasonably concisely. Long descriptions are generally distracting when walking and a short, concise version is usually much easier to use.

When you are happy with the walk description and its sections you can set the status to "Ready". This does not yet make it visible to everyone. It does, however, lock the editing (although you can change it back to draft and continue editing) and alerts the systems administrators that it requires reviewing prior to being "Published". When set to "Ready" the walk will be reviewed to check it contains the basic data needed and to ensure the content is clean. We do not allow content to include obscenities, swearing or other offensive language or pictures. This review does not check the walk for accuracy; whilst we would love to test each and every walk through walking we simply do not have the time. If we do find something wrong with the walk we will contact you and ask that it is fixed prior to marking it as "Published".

Once the walk is published it is now visible to any user of iFootpath and is therefore in the public domain given that anyone can register and access iFootpath. You are therefore responsible that any photographs used in your walk description are not infringing copyright. See our terms and conditions for further information on what we do and do not allow.

Published walks are available to all users of iFootpath and are listed in the walk browser to read or print and will be listed in the iPhone/iPod Touch application for download.

Walks in iFootpath

A walk in iFootpath is an introduction to the overall walk, identification of where it is and starts, some overview notes and general commentary.

Title (required)

A walk title should provide a brief indication of where or what the walk is. Walk titles do not have to be unique.

Description (required)

This provides a text area where you can describe the walk. Explain what you love about the walk, what makes it different and what people will see. In addition try to answer all the questions you might ask before going on a route. What sort of paths does the walk use? Any steep accents/descents? Are there any stiles? Are people likely to come across horse/cows/sheep?

County (required)

The county in which the walk starts is essential to help finding the walk in the database. Some walks may straddle more than one county - we suggest you select the county in which the walk starts or is mostly within.

Area (optional)

This field can be used, if you wish, to further identify where the walk is. This is particularly useful for large counties.

Walk Type (required)

To help quickly finding the right type of walk this provides a basic walk classification or type. Some walks may span two of these types - please use the type that fits the majority of the walk.

Length (required)

The length (in miles) of a walk is an approximation of the overall distance walked, not a measure of the distance "as the crow flies". iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the GPX file that has been uploaded.

Grade (required)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult it is to walk. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 walking boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles or other obstacles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. Do be aware that the level of stamina required will vary and you should only walk within your limits - the indication of walk length will help with this. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles.

Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

Map Ref / Start Point (optional)

The walk start point is an Ordnance Survey map reference to pinpoint the start point of the walk. This should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Map Link (optional)

This optional field allows you to include a link to a web page containing a map showing the walk start. This is not the place to include any other links and the system will reject links to anything but Streetmap or Google Maps.

Start Point Co-ordinates (optional)

This pair of fields allows you to enter the longitude and latitude for the start point. iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the uploaded GPX file.

Key Image (required)

This is the main photograph used to illustrate the walk and can, if you wish, be the only photograph used of the walk. We recommend that you use a picture that characterises the walk, if possible, to show potential walkers what they might find or see. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

There are many image editing and manipulation applications available, so many that we cannot make particular recommendations although almost all are excellent. Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. This creates a file that is well under 2Mb in size, contains plenty of detail and displays well in almost any browser. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission. If you are concerned about image theft then we also suggest you include a small watermark in any corner of the image, but please remember that large watermarks that hide the image will not be popular with viewers!

Pdf file

Pdf file for walk

Icon (recommended)

The icon is a small image, 60 pixels square, used to provide a label for the walk when displayed in lists or in iFootpath Mobile. It is recommended that a small, square image for such use is created and uploaded. This should be in JPEG, GIF, BMP or PNG format and less than 100Kb in size. If you do not provide an icon the walk will be automatically given a generic system icon. If you do upload a photograph for the walk icon its size will be checked by the system and it will automatically be resized to 60 pixels square. However, please also note that if the image is not square in format it may be cropped and you will not get the result you might have expected. Just thought you should know!

Getting There (required)

This provides a text area to explain how to get to the start of the walk. It is good to include a post code.

Preview

This function allows you to see how your published walk would look, before you submit as 'Ready' for review.

Status

When a walk is created and saved in iFootpath its status is automatically set to 'Draft'. This implies that you are still working on it and may want to come back later to add walk sections, images or other information. When you are ready for the walk to be shared with other iFootpath registered users then the status should be changed to 'Ready'. This will automatically notify the system that you want to share the walk. The system will check to ensure you have completed the required information and alert a reviewer. The reviewer will read through to check the content is clean and consistent with our terms of use. This does not check the accuracy of the walk details or any other information. If there are issues with the contents you will be contacted by email. The walk status will also be reset to 'Draft' in this case. More likely, however, that everything is fine in which case its status will be set to 'Published' at which point it becomes available for viewing and downloading by any registered user of iFootpath. This includes download to iFootpath Mobile.

Filters

Filters allow you to narrow down your search for walks of interest. By County restricts the list of walks to those in the selected County. The Filters links at the top of the list page allow you to jump quickly to the filters or to clear them.

Keyword Search

The Keyword search facility will search through the walk descriptions and notes to find words or phrases you specify.

My GPX Files

This page gives you the list of GPX files that you have uploaded from iFootpath mobile (or from other sources). You are able to view, edit, delete or download these files. Once you are happy with your GPX file you can 'convert to walk' to create a draft walk based on this data. This walk will appear under 'Manage My Walks'.

Manage My Walks

The list of walks presented are those you have written and entered into iFootpath. From here you can filter the list if you have lots to narrow down your search, list all or just those with a particular status. If you select a 'Published' or 'Ready' walk you will see a read-only version of your walk, although if 'Ready' you can reset status to 'Draft' again for further editing.

Walk Sections in iFootpath

Each walk section represents a particular piece of a walking route. The start and end of each section are defined by waypoints. Each section joins onto the next to form the complete walk. There is no limit to the number of sections a walk can have, but on a long walk we recommend breaking the route down into manageable pieces that are delineated by particular landmarks, turnings or changes in obvious route. Each section has its own photograph and descriptive text which should hold a photograph that illustrates the section and any instructions or other notes you want to add that may be of use in helping navigation or pointing things out.

Section Title (required)

The section title is used to provide a short name for the section. It is useful in section titles to provide an indication of the start and end, so using names of landmarks, roads, etc is a useful aid. Sections will be named automatically as the name of the waypoint at the end of that section. It is recommended that you rename the sections as something more useful to walkers.

Section Description (required)

This field is used to provide as much information as you wish about the walk section. This should include notes on navigation, even if obvious, and any further information you care to share about views, historical notes, things to look for, etc.

Key Image (recommended)

A picture can save many words and will often be very useful in helping to navigate or spot things along the route. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission.

Map Ref (optional)

This allows the OS Map reference for the start and end of the section to be entered. These should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Start/End Point (optional)

This provides the facility to capture the co-ordinates for the start and end points of the walk section. iFootpath will automatically complete this field based on the GPX file used to create the walk.

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