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Ashampstead Common and the Kennet Valley Cycle

Trail : BRKSTR0004
Activity : Cycle
Area : Central Berkshire and the Commons
Type(s) : Off Road
Author : Ian Oakes
Distance : 20.3 miles / 32.6 km
Ascent : 922 feet / 281 metres
Location : SU645714 / RG7 5AL

Trail Summary

An energetic mountain bike trail on a combination of bridleways, byways and country lanes in the rolling hills to the west of Reading. The ride starts and ends in Theale, features some steep ascents and decents and is rideable year-round, although the wooded sections can get boggy.

Trail Map

Route Map>

Route Map

 Trail Profile

Route Map

Trail Details

This mountain bike route uses a combination of bridleways, byways and country lanes, with two short busier road sections from Sulham Lane to Tidmarsh and the final section back into Theale. The trail is very undulating with some steep ascents and descents both on and off-road, the climb at Tutts Clump marked as 1:5 being the steepest. The route can be cut short by taking the canal to Theale rather than ascending to Ufton Nervet. A great ride for wildlife with Deer, Hare and Foxes amongst the mammals seen plus Red Kites, Woodpeckers and many other woodland birds. The bridleways on the common are fairly popular with Horse-riders so some care is requried. Rideable all year although the wooded sections can get boggy most bad sections have detours that can be ridden.

Note that the trails heads north from Theale so that the route is tackled in an anticlockwise direction.

This trail was provided on GPS and has no detailed text description. If you would like to submit additional information for this trail, then please contact us.

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Farmland, Basildon
Ufton Lock and Swing Bridge
View from Sheffield Bottom swing bridge
Barley, Tidmarsh

Trail Location

Route Map

Location Details
The trail starts from Theale village. Parking is available in the High Street, both on road and in the car park. To reach the car park, leave the M4 at Junction 12 and follow the A4 west. Turn right at the first roundabout and right again at the mini-roundabout. The car park is almost immediately on your left. An alternative is to start at the car park by the canal south of Theale on the road to Sheffield Bottom.


Theale is a large village located about 5 miles west of Reading and historically was an important staging post on the Old Bath Road from London - hence the large number of pubs originally (and still) in the village. By the mid 19th century there were 11 pubs in the centre of the village alone and this has led some to claim that the village name is derived from 'The Ale'. Theale also has links with the Kennet and Avon canal, which lies just south of the village and is on the Newbury to Reading railway line.

Further Reading

The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust by The Kennet and Avon Canal
The Yews of Ashampstead Common by The Tree Register

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