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Cold Ash Village and Copses

There are currently 3 comments and 1 photos online for this walk.

Cold Ash Village and Copses
Author: Claire, Published: 07 Mar 2012 Walk Rating:star1 Cold Ash Village and Copses Walking Guidestar1 Cold Ash Village and Copses Walking Guidestar1 Cold Ash Village and Copses Walking Guidestar0 Cold Ash Village and Copses Walking Guidestar0 Cold Ash Village and Copses Walking Guide
Berkshire, West Berkshire
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Cold Ash Village and Copses
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Cold Ash Village and Copses Walking Guide
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A circular walk of just over 3 miles from the West Berkshire village of Cold Ash, taking in the quiet village streets and the many woodland copses that surround the village. The village lanes give you chance to see the variety of local properties and the long stretches of holly trees. The woodlands are beautiful all year round and, early on in the walk, you will be rewarded with stunning views over the hills and woodlands to the north east.

There are only a few gentle ascents/descents and the tracks are mostly well made, but the woodland paths can be very muddy after wet weather. There are no stiles or kissing gates on route – only easy to use single gates. You will not be sharing any of the paths with livestock. There is a stretch of about 400 metres of road walking on a village lane without a pavement - this is within the 30mph zone, the lane is usually quiet and there are grass verges to allow you to step out of the way of any traffic. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

The walk starts at the village hall (Acland Hall) in Cold Ash. The hall has a free car park which serves all the site facilities – the recreation ground, Parish Hall and Pre-School. It is situated on Hermitage Road opposite Woodside (a residential street). Approximate post code RG18 9JH.

Walk Sections

Acland Hall to Gladstone Lane
Acland Hall to Gladstone Lane

Start point: 51.4298 lat, -1.2681 long
End point: 51.4243 lat, -1.2644 long

Turn right out of the hall’s car park and follow the pavement along Hermitage Road with the recreation ground on your right. Continue for some distance passing St Mark’s primary school on the left and the Church of St Mark on the right hand side. The church has a distinctive octagonal entrance and was built in 1864.

Just after a double bend in the road cross over the road and on the left you will come to two pubs alongside each other, The Castle Inn and The Spotted Dog, on the corner of Gladstone Lane.

Gladstone Lane to Cemetery
Gladstone Lane to Cemetery

Start point: 51.4243 lat, -1.2644 long
End point: 51.4233 lat, -1.2579 long

Turn into Gladstone Lane and follow the lane between properties and then past paddocks on the left. At the end of the lane you’ll reach a T-junction with a road. Cross over and go straight ahead into a wide bridleway.

Follow the bridleway downhill then back up with long sections of holly trees each side. You will pass a pretty thatched cottage on the left with a well in the garden. You will then come to a T-junction with a stone track. Directly opposite is a gate to a private cemetery where nuns from the former local convent were buried.

Cemetery to Ramsbury Wood
Cemetery to Ramsbury Wood

Start point: 51.4233 lat, -1.2579 long
End point: 51.4266 lat, -1.2511 long

Turn left along the track and after a few paces you will reach a T-junction with the road. Turn right along the road and you will pass the Cold Ash Centre, previously St Gabriels’ Convent, on the right. Soon afterwards the pavement ends so take care of oncoming traffic for the next section. After another 100 yards you will see a public bridleway to the left immediately before a property called Holly Slade.

Here we take a short detour to visit a viewpoint, so turn left down this bridleway and access drive to reach a cattle grid and metal gate. It is worth passing through the gate and walking for just a few paces further to appreciate the beautiful views ahead, over rolling fields and woodlands.

When you have finished at this point, retrace your steps back to the road and turn left to continue along this (still taking care of any traffic). Continue for about 350 metres to reach the national speed limit signs at the edge of the village. Just a few paces later, turn left onto the signed public footpath leading you into Ramsbury Wood.

Ramsbury Wood to Westrop Wood
Ramsbury Wood to Westrop Wood

Start point: 51.4266 lat, -1.2511 long
End point: 51.4358 lat, -1.2565 long

Follow the stone woodland path leading you steadily downhill. Towards the bottom of the slope, the path swings right and then meanders ahead (with the bottom woodland boundary just across to your left). You will emerge to a junction with a stone access track within the woods. Cross over and continue directly ahead on the woodland footpath.

Follow this woodland path continuing steadily downhill. At the bottom, keep ahead on the path as it begins to rise to reach a line of trees and wire fence ahead (with a grass field beyond). Follow the path as it swings hard right (passing a waymarker post on your left) and a few paces later you will reach a T-junction. Turn left and follow this woodland path, with the wire fence and field running just across to your left.

At the next path junction, take the left-hand option again, still with the fence and field running on your left. You are now following a public bridleway through this woodland. Follow this path winding ahead through the trees and passing over a number of streams and ditches. Ignore any smaller footpaths signed off the main path.

After quite some distance the path passes between two properties. Immediately afterwards follow the main track as it bends to the left signed Byway, ignoring the footpath to the left. Continue along the main stone track winding through the woods until you reach a major T-junction with another track (marked with a waymarker and ‘Unsuitable for Motors’ sign).

Westrop Wood to End
Westrop Wood to End

Start point: 51.4358 lat, -1.2565 long
End point: 51.4308 lat, -1.2685 long

Turn left here and follow the lane heading uphill with Westrop Wood to the left. You will soon come to a row of cottages on your right. Take note of the garden inspired names of these cottages including Pear Tree Cottage, Rose Tree Cottage and Cherry Cottage, the latter of which is an old thatched property.

Further up the hill you will pass Eddystone House on the left, a white-washed house with a slate roof. Pass by Drove Lane on the right and then continue along the quiet residential lane enjoying the eccentric mix of property styles and names.

At the end of the lane (which is called Bucklebury Alley) you will reach a cross roads with Hermitage Road. Turn left and you will reach the car park where you started the walk on your right.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by iFootpath and the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

3 Comments for: "Cold Ash Village and Copses"

did this today and people in bungalow next to farm were very friendly

By missesmr on 21 Oct 2018

The path down the hill over the cattle grid through the farm is open but strictly no dogs. Carry on walking down along the road past Lawrence Lane on your right, public footpath just a bit further on your left, takes you around the farm, keep left on the paths, you will come down a hill in the woods with tree plantation on your left, at the end of this path there is an opening with some cottages head left up the hill to the bottom of Bucklebury Alley mentioned in the instructions.

ADMIN REPONSE: Thank you for letting us know about the latest illegal obstruction on this path. As a public bridleway it is illegal for the landowner to prevent dogs walking on this path. Given the ongoing problems this landowner is causing to walkers, we will try to visit the site again in the coming weeks and divert the route to avoid this farm altogether.

ADMIN UPDATE 1 AUG 2018: We have now revisited Cold Ash and updated the guide and map. The new route follows the woodland footpath and avoids the farm bridleway which has caused problems to walkers.

By JoeGale on 28 Jul 2018

A really nice afternoon walk! Note the path through the farm where the cows are reared will soon be closed permanently, we were informed of this today by the owner. Will probably close at the end of the year.... Possibly sooner.

ADMIN RESPONSE: We have checked with West Berkshire Council and the path in question is not closing - it is a public bridleway that will remain open. The council is aware that the current landowner is trying to deter walkers from using the path and will take action as necessary.

By Matt88 on 29 Sep 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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