Berkshire walk - Twyford and Dinton Pastures Country Park
PUBLISHED: 00:00 17 June 2020
Enjoy a scenic walk exploring a number of nature reserves and lakes from Twyford to the edge of Dinton Pastures Country Park, says Colin Wharton.
This beautiful walk combines a mixture of woodland and lakeside tracks, glorious fields and parkland landscapes.
Twyford (two fords) is a large but scenic Berkshire village. To the west of the village there are several flooded gravel pits, and one of these is now Loddon Nature Reserve – a 35-acre nature reserve that is managed by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust.
This walk meanders along the River Loddon to Dinton Pastures Country Park and Loddon Nature Reserve, and takes you past Stanlake Park Vineyard, which is 15 acres and has more than 10,000 vines. Winemaking takes place in a 17th century Reformation barn, which houses the largest winery in Berkshire.
1. (SU 79028 75800) From the north side of the station follow Station Road westwards and then northwards until you reach the main road and Church Street (A321). Follow the road westwards towards the centre of the town. At the first junction take the road on the left and follow the High Street (A3032).
Turn left at Silk Lane and then left again at Weavers Way and take the footpath sign marked Nature Reserve. Follow the woodland trail south, under the railway line, until you get to Whistley Mill Lane, at which point you turn left. Follow this lane, crossing Whistley Bridge, and then take the footpath immediately on your right.
Now follow the path south along the River Loddon.
2. (SU 78163 72958) At Sandford Lane cross the road and enter the footpath gate the other side. Follow the trail south-westerly around Sandford and Black Swan Lake, and enter Dinton Pastures Country Park. You will eventually reach Emm Brook and you now have a chance to follow the path to the Dragon Fly Café before carrying on south and westerly around the lake.
You can enjoy a great day out at Dinton Pastures Country Park, which covers 450 acres and has a number of lakes and rivers, a playpark and it is also a designated nature reserve. Here you’ll also find The Museum of Berkshire Aviation and the headquarters of the British Entomological and Natural History Society. The area is popular for water sports and angling.
3. (SU 77540 72033) At the edge of White Swan Lake, follow the track north before the bridge, crossing over the River Loddon. This track will eventually take you back to Sandford Lane again, at which point you turn right, following the road and then crossing again to locate the path you first used to reach Sandford Lane.
Follow the track you first used from Loddon Nature Reserve, this time walking north. As you leave the footpath just before Whistley Bridge, turn right and then immediately left into Twyford Brook Walk. Follow this lane until you reach the main road at Broadwater Lane and cross the A321, taking the footpath immediately ahead.
4. (SU 79738 74520) Take the footpath on the left just before you reach the junction with Poplar Lane and Hogmoor Lane. The path goes across a field and then around the edge of woods and two more fields to reach Waltham Road (B3018). This point is also close to Stanlake Park Vineyard.
Turn left at the road and follow it across Stanlake Bridge north-westerly, taking the footpath on the right just after the bridge.
Follow the path from Waltham Road across a number of fields until you reach Southbury Lane. Turn left at Southbury Lane and follow it across the railway bridge.
Take the left-hand fork past the church of St James the Great in Ruscombe.
Follow Southbury Lane as it merges into Ruscombe Lane (B3024) and as the road leads into the centre of Twyford.
At Waltham Road turn left and then right down Station Road to take you back to the railway station and the start of the walk.
Start/finish: Twyford Station, Station Road, Twyford, Berkshire RG10 9NA
Map: Explorer Map 171 Chiltern Hills West
Distance: 10.5 miles or 17km, circular walk
Time: 3-4 hours
Refreshments: Cafe at Dinton Pastures and pubs in Twyford
Terrain: Largley flat