walk 5

a walk of 11.3 miles,  18.2 Km, about 3.5 to 5.5 hours.

Getting started

This long walk offers superb views and roughly follows the parish boundary. It includes most of the key ‘landmarks of Inkpen, including: Walbury Hill (297m/974ft), Combe Gibbet, Inkpen Church(optional detour), Inkpen Crocus Fields (optional detour) and Inkpen Common. It is possible to take a break at the approximate half-way point by taking the detour to the church and pausing for lunch, perhaps at The Swan pub (print the map/description for Walk 2 to help you if you intend doing this).

Follow the wide track beside The Crown and Garter south-eastwards towards West Woodhay. Turn RIGHT at the junction with the road and follow it to the right hand bend by Park House. Follow the footpath that runs along the wide track on the left of the field in front of you. Follow this path around the small wood to Highwood Farm. At the farm turn RIGHT onto the flint/gravel track and follow it to the road.

At the road, turn RIGHT and walk up the road for 250m until you reach a hand-gate on your right. Go through the gate and follow the bridleway that rises to your right across the field. Aim just to the right of the copse ahead and then head for the gate at the top right-hand corner of the field.

The earthworks on the hill to your right form part of the Walbury Hill Iron-age Hill Fort dating from 750 BC.

Cross the road and follow the broad gravel track to the left of the grass car park westwards over the top of Walbury Hill and then across onto Inkpen Hill.

Just below the car park between Walbury Hill and Inkpen Hill, on the opposite side of the road is a granite memorial to the men of the 9th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment who, in the fields and woods nearby, rehearsed for their assault on the Merville Battery, Normandy in the early hours of the 6th June 1944.

Combe Gibbet, ahead of you, was erected in 1676 for the hanging of George Broomham (of Combe) and Dorothy Newman (of Inkpen) who were having an affair and were hanged for murdering George's wife Martha, and their son Robert.

Continue on the track beyond the Gibbet towards a clump of Beech trees; just past the trees turn RIGHT over a stile and then, doubling-back on yourself, keep to the RIGHT across the top of the hill past Wigmoreash Pond up to a dry bowl surrounded by small trees. Look for a cleft in the hillside to the left at this point. Turn LEFT to follow this soon obvious path, which descends very steeply, veering RIGHT near the bottom of the hill to a gate in the hedgerow. The path then enters a hedged section; where the hedges end, turn LEFT and cross the field with the hedge on your right. At the far side of the field turn RIGHT and follow the wide wooded track of ‘Bungum Lane’ until you reach the Inkpen to Ham road. Turn RIGHT and follow the road for 100m to Drove Cottage.

If you wish to take the detour to Inkpen Church, continue along the road to Inkpen. Turn RIGHT at the first road on the right by ‘The Old Rickyard’. Follow this road for 100m to the church. If you wish to take a lunch break at The Swan, follow the map and description for Walk 2 from this point to the pub. Re-trace your route and follow the Ham road back to Drove Cottage and turn RIGHT into Old Dyke Drove. Note: the detour to Inkpen Church and The Swan is NOT included in either the distance or the time allowed for this walk.

At Drove Cottage turn LEFT and follow the wide grass track (Old Dyke Drove) which turns 90 degrees before it rises to meet a wide wooded track (Bitham Lane) some 100m beyond the crest of the hill. Turn LEFT along Bitham Lane and follow it westwards for 1.2km until it narrows by a tall scots pine tree. Turn RIGHT along a footpath with a hedge on the left and a wire fence on the right. Follow this down to a hand-gate and field gate at the lowest point. Go through the hand-gate and walk up the field to a fingerpost at its highest point and another hand-gate in a wire fence. You are now standing where a farm/cottage, ‘Popinjays’, once stood (19th C). To your left are the lands of Prosperous Home Farm, once home to Jethro Tull (the inventor of the horse- harrow, not the folk-rock group of the 1970’s!).

Go through the hand-gate and walk straight across the field to a stile. Enter Anvilles Copse and follow the obvious path to the other side (it will likely be soft underfoot). As you exit the wood, turn RIGHT through a farm gate and follow the obvious track until you reach a fingerpost that is level with the farm buildings. Go through the farm gate in front and slightly to your right and aim for the top left hand corner of the field, beside the wood, where you will find a kissing-gate. Go through the gate and turn LEFT, following the edge of the wood. Go through another kissing gate and the gap in the wide hedge in front. Go straight across the next field towards the stable buildings and pass through the two kissing-gates. At the second gate, beside the stables, go straight ahead following first the gravel track through the poplar trees and then the rhododendron-lined main drive of Totterdown House to reach the lane (Sadlers Road).

Turn LEFT and follow the lane for 100m to the Inkpen-Hungerford road. Cross the road, bearing diagonally left and entering woods by a bridleway. Follow the path through the woods and then through a young woodland plantation to a footbridge over a stream. Cross the bridge and follow the wide track through mixed woods and then beech hedged horse paddocks to Balsdon Farm. Turn RIGHT and follow the wide concrete and gravel drive beside and then through woods until you reach a track junction by a farm machinery barn. Turn RIGHT and follow the wide track until you reach the road at a junction beside a large bungalow.

On this section, opposite and just beyond the thatched house on your right (The Folly), was the site of “The Ropewalk”, where ropes were once manufactured.

Turn LEFT and follow the road for 150m until you reach Inkpen School. Turn RIGHT and follow the track signed ‘Kiln House’. Turn LEFT when you reach the gates to Kiln House and follow the track for a few metres to a track junction.

Here you can make an optional detour along the track to your right to Pottery Lane and the Inkpen Crocus Field (usually in bloom in February-March). Return the same way to this point. See Inkpen Walk 1 for more details. Note: the detour to Inkpen Crocus Field is NOT included in either the distance or the time allowed for this walk.

Follow the broad track straight ahead beneath tall beech trees and then alongside the playing field to reach the road. Turn LEFT and follow the road for 400m. Turn RIGHT at the road junction along a track signed ‘Inkpen Common’. Follow this track to the house called ‘Jangles’ and bear RIGHT down the gravel slope to cross the stream by the footbridge. Follow the track on the other side until you reach the road opposite Inkpen Common.

Cross the road and enter Inkpen Common. Follow the path ahead until you reach a line of overhead power cables. Bear RIGHT and follow the broad grassy path through a hand-gate and then bear left around some spruce trees. Follow the boardwalk until it leaves the common by another hand-gate. Turn RIGHT onto the bridleway and follow this until you meet a wide track. Turn RIGHT and follow the wide track for 200m to arrive back at the Crown and Garter pub.

other walks

Not sure if this is for you ? Then choose another walk -


Start and end point - the car park of ‘The Crown and Garter’ public house, Inkpen Common.
Terrain - This is a long and fairly strenuous walk involving a steep descent. It includes some stiles. Except in a dry summer parts are likely to be soft and sometimes a little boggy.


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