Hamstead Marshall is well served by public rights of way on which it’s possible to walk off-road through scenic countryside for an hour or more,
hardly leaving the parish. Four circular walks are detailed below, centred on
either the White Hart or Hamstead Mill.
Or see here for a further selection of 18 short walks (1 to 6 miles) within 5 to 30 minutes’ drive of the village.
Beginning at Hamstead Mill, this walk of about 3.75 miles takes you westwards
along the canal, over Morewood estate via Irish Hill, and along Irish Hill Road
back to Hamstead Mill. Route details
This three-mile walk begins at Hamstead Mill, eastwards along the towpath to
Benham Lock, and then through Enborne Wood, circling back through Hamstead
Park. Route details
These first two walks can be combined as a figure-of-eight walk of about seven
or eight miles, centred on Hamstead Mill.
These second two walks can be combined as a figure-of-eight walk of about seven
miles, centred on the White Hart.
Just west of the White Hart, the Elm Farm bridleway begins a walk of nearly four
miles, taking in the former Craven mansion site, Hamstead church and mill,
before crossing the park and rejoining the Kintbury Rd via farmland, and
returning to Elm Farm. Route details
This three-mile walk starts opposite the White Hart, and takes the driveway up
past Plumbs Farm, over a field, through Briffs Copse, across more farmland, and
then joins a quiet lane to Holt-wood. A footpath across Elm Farm land brings
you back to the start. Route details
This two-mile circular walk touring Elm Farm's 235 acres displays organic
farming in action, complete with ponds, old hedgerows, pollarded willows,
unploughed grassland, old clay pits, and track verges rich in old-fashioned
flora. Trail leaflets can be picked up from the start of the walk, where the
bridle path leaves the Kintbury Road (opposite the farm car park) or from the
farm office, or see here.
A public footpath follows the driveway into Hamstead Park from beside the mill
and lock. About half a mile takes you through the parkland, around the lakes
and up the hill. At the top the footpath leaves the tarmac to go over grass, so
turn here and return.
Alternatively, the canal towpath eastwards from the lock towards Newbury is
surfaced for bikes, and is a viable surface for buggies.
A couple more suggestions for buggy-able walks can be found on the 18 Short Walks page.