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Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park

There are currently 6 comments and 2 photos online for this walk.

Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park
Author: Claire, Published: 26 Aug 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park Walking Guide star1 Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park Walking Guide star1 Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park Walking Guide star1 Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park Walking Guide star0 Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park Walking Guide
Berkshire, Twyford
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park Walking Guide boot Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park Walking Guide
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A 4.5 mile circular walk from the beautiful village of Waltham St Lawrence in Berkshire. The route enjoys long stretches of tree-lined bridleways, with fine views of open fields and woodland. You will pass through several small settlements, including West End, with beautiful historic properties. The return leg leads you through the parkland at Shottesbrooke Park, with its mansion, parkland trees, open pastures, lake and church.

The first stretch of the route is along a village road so take care of traffic here. The majority of the route follows tree-lined bridleways which can get muddy in part, so boots are a must and you may need wellingtons in the winter or after periods of rain. You will need to negotiate one kissing gate plus a total of four stiles. The first two stiles have gaps alongside for up to medium-large dogs to squeeze through (our standard poodle just fitted) and the final two stiles are both relatively low so agile medium-large dogs should be able to climb them (our standard poodle did just that). However, the first stile and last stile are on the limits of average dogs squeezing through or climbing over, so you may need to be prepared to give a lift instead. You will cross one horse paddock (holding 20 horses when we walked, although they completely ignored us) and you will be sharing the parkland paths with sheep. You can avoid the horse paddock (and the first two stiles) by following a stretch of a B-road instead, but this can be quite busy with traffic. Allow 2 hours.

Waltham St Lawrence is located between Reading and Maidenhead in Berkshire, south of the A4 and north of the M4. The walk starts at the tiny village green in the village centre, directly outside the Church of St Lawrence. There is roadside parking around the green and outside the church, or alongside the other village roads. Approximate post code RG10 0JN.

Walk Sections

Start to Twyford Road
Start to Twyford Road

Start point: 51.4853 lat, -0.8068 long
End point: 51.4823 lat, -0.8166 long

Before or after your walk you may wish to explore the Church of St Lawrence, with parts of the architecture dating from between 1100 and 1300. The church has appeared as a filming location for several TV dramas including Midsomer Murders and Rosemary and Thyme. With your back to the church lychgate and facing the small village green, walk at about 1 o’clock to reach the far corner of Neville Hall (the white building to your right). At this corner, turn right to follow the village road (Milley Road), passing Neville Hall and its car park on your right. Keep straight ahead on the main village road, taking care of any traffic.

Follow the lane leading you out of the village, passing between the 40mph signs and then passing a crop field on your left. Where the lane bears right, fork left, passing in front of The Old Press, to join the restricted byway signed as part of the Knowl Hill Bridleway Circuit. Follow the pretty bridleway between hedgerows then follow the stone track ahead (passing a couple of houses on your right) to reach a T-junction with Twyford Road.

Twyford Road to Brook Lane
Twyford Road to Brook Lane

Start point: 51.4823 lat, -0.8166 long
End point: 51.4707 lat, -0.8127 long

Cross over the road diagonally left (taking care of traffic) to join the grass path which runs along the road’s wide, right-hand grass verge (with a wooden barrier on your left). Where the lane bends left, turn right into Mire Lane, another restricted byway and the continuation of the Knowl Hill Bridleway Circuit. This stone track leads you past a few properties on your right and crosses a pretty stream, before continuing ahead as a woodland path.

You will pass a lovely fishing lake through the trees to your left, before emerging to the end of a stone access track. Keep straight ahead along this, passing the beautiful West End Farm on your right. At the end of the track you will reach a T-junction, turn left along Plough Lane, taking care of occasional traffic. Pass the half-timbered Plough House and then a beautiful thatched barn conversion on your left. Soon afterwards, turn right into the narrow side road (Baileys Lane), marked as unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles.

Follow the pretty green access lane with beautiful old oak trees and a few historic properties, ignoring any paths off to the side. As you reach a school road sign, ignore the footpath to the right and instead follow the lane as it bends left. About 60 metres later, turn right into the side road called Brook Lane (signed to Shurlock Row).

Brook Lane to Shottesbrooke Park
Brook Lane to Shottesbrooke Park

Start point: 51.4707 lat, -0.8127 long
End point: 51.4837 lat, -0.7875 long

Pass a couple of properties on your left and, immediately afterwards (by a gravel pull in area), you will see a choice of three paths. Ignore the two kissing gates each side, instead take the central restricted byway, a woodland path signed as a continuation of the Knowl Hill Bridleway Circuit. Follow the pretty tree-lined path between paddocks and fields, to emerge to a junction with a B-road.

Turn left along this (using the grass verges for your safety) for just 100 metres, crossing a bridge, then turn immediately sharp right into the side road. Follow this past the first house, Oaklea, and then turn left onto the next stretch of restricted byway (still following the Knowl Hill Bridleway Circuit). Follow this straight path for about 1km, ignoring a pair of footpaths off to the side part way along.

You will come to a point where the bridleway swings left, with a stile ahead. Go ahead to cross the stile and enter the horse paddock. (NOTE: If you want to avoid the paddock and follow a B-road instead, follow the bridleway left here and then turn right along the B-road for 400m to reach the entrance gate for Shottesbrooke Park). Walk at about 11 o’clock across the paddock to reach the wide metal gate at the far side. Cross the stile just to the left of this gate and follow the grass path then the access track to reach the main road. Cross the road diagonally right (taking care of traffic) and take the wooden gate (signed as a bridleway) which leads you into Shottesbrooke Park.

Shottesbrooke Park to Halls Lane
Shottesbrooke Park to Halls Lane

Start point: 51.4837 lat, -0.7875 long
End point: 51.4853 lat, -0.7992 long

Follow the short woodland avenue then go through the wide metal gate (or use the stile alongside) to enter the area of open parkland (which is likely to be holding sheep). Walk directly ahead, staying close to the left-hand boundary. You will pass an old, tall, red-brick wall, part of the walled gardens at Shottesbrooke Park. Across to your right, you will see a large lake within the parkland.

The manor house here is a Tudor mansion that dates from the 1500s. It has been home to many notable people, including a former Speaker of the House of Commons and the founder of The Landmark Trust. Shottesbrooke Park is still a private home but the adjacent farmhouse is home to the headquarters of The Landmark Trust.

Keep ahead to join the tarmac access lane, passing the entrance for The Landmark Property on your left and ignoring the cattle grid entrance for the church also on your left. About 40 paces later, turn left through the metal kissing gate and keep ahead through the exquisite stone gateposts to enter the churchyard. Follow the paved path ahead, passing the ornate flint church on your right. Keep ahead through the brick arch and take a moment to glance through the garden door to your left, for a view of the old orchard.

Keep ahead between the old brick walls and pass through the brick tunnel (minding your head!). Beyond the tunnel, keep ahead, pass through the gap in the metal fence and follow the meadow path directly ahead (with a tree line on your right). In the meadow corner, cross the low stile ahead to enter another area of parkland (which may be holding sheep). Keep ahead with a fenced woodland running on your left. The field edge path continues through a section of beautiful old trees and emerges to the road (Halls Lane) via a final stile.

Halls Lane to End
Halls Lane to End

Start point: 51.4853 lat, -0.7992 long
End point: 51.4854 lat, -0.8068 long

Turn right along the lane (taking care of occasional traffic). Glance to your right (across the parkland you just crossed) and you will have a fine view of the Shottesbrooke mansion, perfectly framed by an avenue of lime trees. Pass Halls Farmhouse on your right and, immediately afterwards, turn left onto the signed public footpath. A few paces along (with the burial ground entrance ahead), turn right to continue on the footpath between a hedgerow and fence.

Continue all the way to the end of this footpath, where you will meet a T-junction with the village road. Turn left, passing the pretty Chantry Cottage on your right and then swinging right to reach the church where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by iFootpath and the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


6 Comments for: "Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park"

Very pleasant and relaxing walk. Gentle, peaceful landscape. Lovely green lanes.

By mamil54 on 27 Sep 2018

This was a stunning walk, Beautiful countryside, churches and bluebell woods..Really enjoyed this on such a sunny day.

By em79 on 06 May 2018

Nice walk,but avoid doing this after it’s been raining. The bridleways were quagmire! Lovely pub at the end and interesting views along the way.

By Jez48 on 11 Mar 2018

I'd say this is an average walk, compared to others in local area.
The first 2/3 are a series of long single-track woodland paths flanked with trees. This means there's not too much variety of points of interest, and it shades from the sunshine beaming elsewhere for long periods.
However the last 1/3 is lovely once you arrive in Shottesbrooke Park, with the churchyard and walking past the beautiful red-brick orchard. Also ending a 2 hours walk with a 15th century pub is always a bonus!
Overall 3/5.

By wiseman01 on 26 Nov 2017

I love this walk. I have done it 3 times and will do it again and again. It offers great variety and plenty of wildlife. Shottesbrooke Park is a real gem with it's pretty lake and spired church. English countryside at its best.

By Perrier on 18 Oct 2017

Beautiful woodland paths with plenty of shade even on the hottest of days. I wouldn't do this walk in winter unless I fancied a mud bath 😊

By juliahill on 30 Aug 2017

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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2 Gallery Images for: "Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park"

8891_0juliahill1504117443 Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park Walking Guide Image by: juliahill
Uploaded: 30 Aug 2017
This is where the walk begins and ends
8891_0juliahill1504117938 Waltham St Lawrence and Shottesbrooke Park Walking Guide Image by: juliahill
Uploaded: 30 Aug 2017
Planted in 1655 by Thomas Wilkinson the vicar of Waltham St Lawrence

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