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5 short Berkshire walks perfect for you and your canine friend

PUBLISHED: 11:06 14 August 2018

Photo by John 'K'' (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) via flic.kr/p/6bShCk

Photo by John 'K'' (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) via flic.kr/p/6bShCk

Photo by John 'K'' (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Steve Davison suggests some super short walks that are great for both you and your four-legged companion

1 - Hungerford Common

• Explore the Common, used for grazing commoners’ stock for centuries and enjoy the peace and tranquillity along the Kennet & Avon Canal

• Start: Dun Mill Lock car park (SU351681) south off the A4 near Hungerford

• Distance: 2.25 miles

• Map: OS Explorer 158

• Refreshments: The Downgate

Exit the car park and turn left along the minor road, cross the railway bridge and keep right for 100m to a footpath sign. Turn left (south-west) across Hungerford Common, soon crossing a track. On reaching the road, cross over and turn right (northwards) towards Hungerford (if there’s time, Hungerford is well worth a wander). On reaching the Downgate pub – a great place for a quick rest – follow Park Street for 250m. Turn right down Station Road, cross the railway and just before the canal bridge turn right through a gate. Follow the canal towpath eastwards to Dun Mill Lock and turn right along the lane back to the car park.

The Kennet & Avon Canal © Steve DavisonThe Kennet & Avon Canal © Steve Davison

2 - Canal Wandering

• A linear walk alongside the peaceful Kennet & Avon Canal from Theale to Aldermaston Wharf, where there is a lovely tea room; if you go all the way to Aldermaston Wharf just remember you have to walk all the way back, or catch a train.

• Start/Finish: Sherfield Bottom Lock picnic area (SU647704) near Theale just south of the A4

• Map: OS Explorer 159

• Distance: 3.75 miles each way

• Refreshments: The Butt Inn

From the car park turn left along the canal towpath. Cross the road and continue past Sulhamstead Lock followed by a swing bridge before following a meandering river section through a field. Cross the road at Tyle Mill (alternative parking) and continue alongside the canal, past the lock, soon passing through open fields. At Ufton Bridge turn right across the river Kennet and the canal before immediately turning left to rejoin the canal. Continue along the towpath passing two locks to reach Aldermaston Wharf with the tea room on the right; a short way along the A340 is the Butt Inn. Now turnaround and head back.

Walking the dog along the Kennet & Avon Canal near Tyle Mill © Steve DavisonWalking the dog along the Kennet & Avon Canal near Tyle Mill © Steve Davison

3 - Remenham and the Thames

• Take a wander by the colourful River Thames with views of the Chilterns and the picture-postcard Hambleden Mill

• Start/finish: Roadside parking, Remenham Church near Henley on Thames (SU770842)

• Map: OS Explorer 171

• Distance: 3.25 miles

• Refreshments: The Flower Pot

From the church follow the lane past Remenham Farm, then along the gravel track. Go through gates and turn right alongside the River Thames, soon passing Temple Island; later, across the river is Greenlands, once the home of a William Henry Smith, the name behind the chain of newsagents. Go through a gate and pass Hambleden Lock (a short detour left across the lock gates and along the walkway gives a view of the picturesque Hambleden Mill; retrace steps). Continue with the river on the left and where the track curves right, fork left still following the river. Go through a kissing gate, cross a footbridge and turn right along Ferry Lane to The Flower Pot in Aston. Turn right along Remenham Lane and just past the brow of the hill, turn left up the side of the field to a T-junction. Turn right and follow the track westwards, then turn right along the lane. Keep left at the junction, then sharp right at the next junction back to the start.

The picture postcard Hambleden Mill on the River Thames © Steve DavisonThe picture postcard Hambleden Mill on the River Thames © Steve Davison

4 - Hurley Wander

• Head to historic Hurley for a meander alongside the River Thames passing Hurley Lock

• Start/finish: car park in Hurley off A4130; grid ref SU825840

• Map: OS Explorer 172

• Distance: 3 miles

• Refreshments: Olde Bell and Rising Sun

Take the signed path from the back of the car park, keep ahead along the surfaced track past Hurley Riverside Park to reach the River Thames and turn right; the walk now follows the Thames Path for 1.5 miles. Keep close to the river to reach a path junction (right leads back to the car park). Turn left across the river via the footbridge to the island. Pass Hurley Lock and leave over another footbridge, then follow the Thames Path to the left. At the signed path junction, turn right away from the river, go through a kissing gate and turn right along the track. Later, ignore a crossing track and follow the enclosed path to Hurley’s main street; to the left is the Olde Bell and Rising Sun pubs. Turn right along the street back to the car park.

The River Thames near Hurley © Steve DavisonThe River Thames near Hurley © Steve Davison

5 - Boveney Ditch

• Explore the River Thames around Boveney Lock and for a longer walk follow the river downstream to The Brocas, a large open grassy common at Eton with a great view of Windsor Castle.

• Start/finish: Rambler’s car park at Boveney (SU939777) off the B3026 at Dorney Common

• Map: OS Explorer 160

• Distance: 2 miles, or more

• Refreshments: plenty at Eton

From the car park head back to the lane and turn right for 300m, then turn left on a signed path following the left-hand field edge. Keep ahead at the junction and follow the path to the right at the field corner. Ignore another path to the left and follow the left-hand margin with Boveney Ditch and Eton Wick over to the left. Keep to the path as it curves right towards the River Thames and at the field corner turn left along the tarmac path, crossing the footbridge over the Boveney Ditch. Immediately turn right towards the river and turn right again (for the longer walk turn left and follow the Thames Path as far as The Brocas: adds 2 miles). Follow the Thames Path upstream passing Boveney Lock. At the picturesque Church of St Mary Magdalene turn right and soon turn left through a small gate to arrive back at the car park.

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