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Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer

There are currently 2 comments and 0 photos online for this walk.

Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer
Author: Stuart, Published: 31 Oct 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer Walking Guide star1 Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer Walking Guide star1 Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer Walking Guide star0 Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer Walking Guide star0 Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer Walking Guide
Berkshire, Beech Hill
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer Walking Guide boot Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer Walking Guide
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A 6 mile circular walk from the village of Beech Hill in Berkshire. The walk gives good views of the countryside around Beech Hill, Stratfield Saye, Mortimer and Wokefield, as well as a very easy and pleasant walk along the Devil's Highway. There are refreshment opportunities in Beech Hill. The walk is mostly on level ground with only 2 or 3 gentle ascents. Most of the walk is on marked footpaths, with 3 short road sections connecting them. Two of the road sections are usually very quiet. The last road section, along the road towards Wokefield, does have some heavy traffic, but it is easy to keep off the road on the right-hand side. You will need to negotiate several gates (including a squeeze gate), a rail level crossing plus one stile (which dogs may need a lift over). Allow 3 hours.

Beech Hill is located in the south-east corner of the district of West Berkshire, close to the border with Hampshire. Park on the road at The Triangle next to The Elm Tree Pub. Approximate post code RG7 2AZ. There are very few buses that pass through Beech Hill, so a drive to the start is almost inevitable. However, it is possible to start and end the walk at Mortimer rail station, picking up the route just after the church (Waypoint 2).

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Walk Sections

Start to Devil's Highway
Start to Devil's Highway

Start point: 51.3717 lat, -1.0036 long
End point: 51.3583 lat, -1.0432 long

With the Elm Tree pub on your right, turn left and walk a few yards down the road, passing the Queen Victoria reservoir monument on your right. Turn left down Donkey Pound Lane. No-one really knows why it is called this, but it is thought that donkeys (and maybe horses) were kept in a small field there.

After the houses stop, the track continues to a road. Turn left at the road and continue until you reach the point where the road bears sharp left. Turn to your right, following the footpath sign and you will be on the Devil's Highway. This is a well maintained gravel track (spoilt in one or two places by off-road vehicles) that continues in a straight line between various farm fields and marks the boundary between West Berks and Hampshire. You may meet the occasional walker or cyclist, but generally you will be on your own.

Devil's Highway to Church
Devil's Highway to Church

Start point: 51.3583 lat, -1.0432 long
End point: 51.3723 lat, -1.0408 long

Continue along the Devil's Highway. At the end of the Devil's Highway cross over the road and continue along the road ahead, signposted to Silchester. This is usually a quiet road with little traffic. When you come to the only house on your left, continue a few steps ahead and take the marked footpath through the hedge on your right. The path climbs up slightly then gives a good view of the valley stretching towards Stratfield Mortimer and Mortimer.

Continue on the path along the hedge, over the railway bridge and down to the Nelson memorial gate. Turn right here and continue on the marked footpath all the way to St Mary's Church. The path runs alongside Foudry Brook. You will cross the brook half way along. As you approach St Mary's Church you will see a pond and large house next to the church. Continue on the path back over the brook and on to the main road.

Church to Great Park Farm
Church to Great Park Farm

Start point: 51.3723 lat, -1.0408 long
End point: 51.377 lat, -1.0226 long

Turn right on the main road and walk to the bottom of the hill, passing a restaurant just before the road junction. There is a pavement on the right-hand side. If you look into the field, you may see an earth embankment. This is a bund, and was constructed several years ago to help prevent flooding in The Street.

At the road junction (mini roundabout) turn left and continue along the main road (The Street) in the direction of Wokefield. This road can get very busy and it is best to walk on the right-hand side, facing oncoming traffic. There is always a good view of approaching traffic and space to step onto the verge or into a layby if vehicles get too close.

Soon after a large lay-by, you will see a footpath sign on the opposite side of the road, but pointing to the right. Turn into this cutting in the hedge, cross the small footbridge and then cross the railway.

On the other side, go over the stile and follow the footpath sign up the hill. The farmer here is not very good at keeping the path clear. If you cannot see the path, aim slightly to the left of the pylon. As you breast the hill, you will see the gate which marks the exit point. Walk straight ahead along the paved track until you reach Great Park Farm.

Great Park Farm to End
Great Park Farm to End

Start point: 51.377 lat, -1.0226 long
End point: 51.3717 lat, -1.0035 long

Walk through the farmyard and at the bottom, you will see a footpath sign that points right. Walk alongside the farm building and come out at the edge of a field.

At this point the footpath is supposed to go diagonally across the field, aiming slightly left. However, the farmer is very bad at marking the path after planting crops (this has been reported to West Berks Council). At the time of writing (October 2017) there was a crop of large, root vegetables in this field almost all the way to the next major field boundary. It was an effort to pick a route through the field. Hopefully West Berks Council will get the farmer to fix this. At other times of year (for example if the field is just under grass) you can just find your own way across.

When you reach the wood on the far side, keep it on your left and continue to the corner of the field. From here you can see Thrive in Beech Hill and some large houses. Follow the marked path down the field and through the next two fields. Go through the squeeze gate and down the short path to bring you out on Beech Hill Road. Turn left and after a few steps you will be back at the start.

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


2 comments for "Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer"

Agree with previous comments. Completed this in March and was very muddy in parts. A bit too busy negotiating the mud to appreciate our surroundings. Maybe different in summer.

By hammonddb on 24 Mar 2018

We did this walk in Dec 2017. It was VERY muddy. The first half along the gravel path was easy enough but once you get to the farm the trail is hard going as it’s pure mud. Also as mentioned the path through the fields are not well maintained and at the time of writing were full of root vegetables. The part around the farm is also frankly spooky. The gates are not easy to open and not walker friendly. We scrambled over a low wall to access the public footpath across the farm. Perhaps a better walk for the summer months?

By robinldn on 30 Dec 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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