Cold Ash – Holly Wood – Hermitage Wood – Cold Ash

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Cold Ash – Holly Wood – Brockhurst School – Hermitage Wood – Cold Ash

This varied and undemanding walk takes the rambler from the well-heeled village of Cold Ash (near Thatcham) in the Royal County of Berkshire, into the countryside of the North Wessex Downs Area of Natural Beauty before returning via Hermitage Wood.

Starting in the car park of Cold Ash Parish Hall, the walk heads south down Cold Ash Hill, passing two pubs before following the The Ridge with its large houses set amongst a semi-rural lane. The walk leaves Cold Ash and heads into the countryside, passing through Salt's Copse and the Holly Lane byway. Still heading north, the route passes near to the Victorian Brockhurst School before following the Burntbush Lane byway to reach Box Wood, which is the most northerly point of the walk.

From here, the walk returns to Cold Ash through the very pleasant Hermitage Wood which has been designated as 'open access' to walkers. Soak up the atmosphere as well as 'woody the aroma' but be careful about following the route. The walk returns to Cold Ash and follows Hermitage Road to return to the start.

England - South England - Berkshire - Thames Valley


Birds, Butterflies, Church, Mostly Flat, Nature Trail, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, Wildlife, Woodland
07/10/2017 - Neil Packham

An excellent, varied walk in this lovely part of West Berkshire. Despite Andrew’s disclaimers, the directions through Hermitage Wood were flawless, and easy to follow. The only slight confusion was at WM3/4 where I seemed to reach The Ridge sooner than the description suggested I should have. I can usually beat the quoted walk duration comfortably but this is a “true” 3 hour walk, even at a brisk pace. Recommended.

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Distance away
13.1 Miles