Newbury, East IlsleyType of walk
Free ParkingAbout this walk
A 3 mile circular walk from the small Berkshire village of East Ilsley following wide farm tracks across the surrounding downland including one section of The Ridgeway, Britain’s oldest road. There are beautiful views throughout taking in the gentle rolling hills that surround this area.
The walk is very easy to navigate with only a handful of turns, and all the paths are wide tracks making it fairly easy walking. The tracks are mainly a mix of stone/dirt and so can get quite muddy in winter and after periods of rain. There are no stiles or gates and all the slopes are very gentle. The tracks are all fenced from the adjacent fields so you won’t come into contact with any livestock. Approximate time 1 to 1.5 hours.
The walk starts from Church Hill in East Ilsley, directly alongside the village pond. There is roadside parking available in the adjacent streets. Approximate post code RG20 7LP.
Stand on Church Hill with the East Ilsley village pond on the left. Walk ahead for a few paces and then turn left into Haydon Lane, marked as a byway. You will pass the impressive Old Rectory on the left, with its white Georgian frontage, and then Hildesley Court on the right. Keep ahead on the byway, a stone and dirt track, ignoring any footpaths into the fields left and right. Follow this stone track for some distance and eventually the track will rise to reach a T-junction with another byway. Turn left here and follow this track to reach a T-junction with the road ahead.
Cross the road with care and take the farm track directly opposite. Follow this byway between fenced fields for some distance. Pass by a fenced area of woodland on the left hand side. You will come to staggered crossroads of tracks – go straight on here. At the end of this track you’ll come to another crossroads, this time with the Ridgeway.
Turn left onto the Ridgeway, a concrete track signed as a restricted byway and marked with the acorn symbol. The Ridgeway has been in use since at least 3,000 BC and is commonly regarded as the oldest road in Britain. The original route stretched for 250 miles between the Dorset coast and The Wash.As the concrete track swings left into a fenced farm, keep ahead on the Ridgeway – now a stone and sand track. Follow the track as it swings left and then right and a few paces later you will see a bridleway signed to the left. Turn left onto this bridleway and follow it all the way back to the village. You will pass allotments on the left, Summerdown stables on the right and then more allotments on the right. At the T-junction with the village road turn right. Follow the road (taking care of oncoming traffic) as it swings to the left and you’ll reach the pond where the walk began.
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4 years agoI tried this walk today and congratulate the author (Samantha?) for the accuracy and clarity of instructions. After 2 days of heavy rain, and continuing drizzle during the walk, some of the paths were rather muddy, but hey this was a dog walk not a promenade. I kept just inside the stated 1hr 15 mins, despite a dodgy hip. Alfie my Border Terrier loves new places so it was exciting for Link → the route is exclusively on byways and offered no chance of an open-field thrash for him (accompanied by the usual frustrated/anxious/angry wait for me, until he chooses to show up). He rather enjoyed the woodchip surface of the horse training track which runs alongside the final descent into the village. Fortunately no thoroughbreds were in evidence.
How to get there
2 Abingdon Rd, East Ilsley, Newbury RG20 7LQ, UK
East ilsley ridgeway , Rg20 7lp
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