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Fight World Hunger

Hungerford Common and the Kennet Walk

Trail : BRKSTR0001
Activity : Walk
Area : Newbury and the Berkshire Downs
Type(s) : Family, Tea Shop, Country Escape
Author : Andy Oakes
Distance : 2.6 miles / 4.26 km
Ascent : 59 feet / 18 metres
Location : SU351681 / RG17 0UN

Trail Summary

An easy walk in Hungerford alongside the Kennet and Avon Canal, returning over the common. Ideal for families - the walk has plenty of opportunities for refreshment or to pause and watch the passing trains and boats.

Trail Map

Route Map

 Trail Profile

Route Map

Trail Details

Leave the car park and turn right, following the quiet road briefly downhill, before taking the footbath to the left alongside the canal. Pass the lock and continue until the footpath divides. Head slightly left to leave the canal and follow the grassy path with the hedge separating you from the canal path on your right. The grassy slopes give plenty of opportunities for children to let of steam, with the added interest of trains to wave to and a large pipe to walk along. Also look out for Red Kites which are often seen flying above the common to the south. As the hedge gives way to a fance on the right, pass through the kissing gate to join the towpath towards Hungerford.

[1] Pass through another larger gate and go around a bridge, to re-join the canal path. Continue along the path to meet the road bridge in the centre of Hungerford. Pass under the road bridge (watch your head!) and continue for a quarter of a mile, passing another lock, to reach a swing bridge over the canal. Almost opposite is St Lawrence church, dating from 1814.

[2] Follow the footpath from the swing bridge towards the church and continue through the church yard to Parsonage Lane. Here turn left down the lane to The Croft - a pleasant open space which may have been the original village green - and continue down the alley to the High Street.

[3] Hungerford High Street offers many options for refreshment and shopping, but to continue the walk, cross the road and turn right to pass under the railway bridge. Take the footpath immediately on the left alongside the railway line to meet Station Road at the level crossing. Turn right up Station Road to join Park Street and then left past the police station. Follow Park Street to the cattle grid on the edge of Hungerford Common.

[4] Cross the cattle grid and join the footpath on your left, keeping the trees seperating the path from the road on your right. Follow the grassy path across Hungerford Common, or take you own route over the gently sloping ground, keeping the railway on your left and the road on your right. Again, this is a great spot for train watching - particularly if you are fortunate enough to be walking on a day when a steam train is passing though. Where the path meets Hungerford Road, turn left on the road over the railway bridge, pass a pillbox and return to the car park from where the walk started.

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Gallery

Dun Mill Lock Gates
 
Kennet and Avon Canal nr Hungerford
 
St Lawrence Church Hungerford
 
The Canal in Hungerford
 
Hungerford High Street
 
Hungerford Common
 

Trail Location

Route Map

Location Details
Free parking is available in the Fisherman's car park at the start of the walk. An alternative is to start the walk from the midpoint, in Hungerford town centre, which is well served by trains and buses from the surrounding towns.

Hungerford

Hungerford is a small market town in Berkshire which dates back at least as far as the 12th century. The town is bisected by the Kennet and Avon Canal and by two rivers, the Kennet to the north and the Dun. Famous for antiques and its large number of pubs, the town has an interesting history. The Bear Inn has known many royal visitors, including Elizabeth I, Charles I and James II, who in 1688 dispatched commissioners to the Inn to meet Prince William of Orange and to agree the passing of the throne to William. Today the canal and the parkland of Hungerford Common are ideal for those seeking some fresh air and a walk.

Further Reading

Royal County of Berkshire History by Nash Ford Publishing
The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust by The Kennet and Avon Canal
Hungerford by Hungerford Town Council

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