Somerford Keynes and Cotswold Water Park

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A flat, waterside walk, which takes you through the heart of Cotswold Water Park, the largest in the UK, consisting of 140 lakes. The walk begins from Neigh Bridge Country Park, on the outskirts of Somerford Keynes, which has a picnic area, a children's play area and toilets which are open in summer only. It proceeds by following the Thames Path along the river as it weaves its way between a series of lakes. The river is in its infancy here, just five miles from its source.

After leaving the river, the walk returns to Somerford Keynes via yet more lakes and then takes you through the centre of the village, which dates back to Saxon times. You will pass the Baker's Arms, where it is well worth stopping for lunch. They specialise in home-cooked food at reasonable prices. The walk then returns to the country park, via another section of the Thames Path.

As you'd expect, there is a wide variety of wildlife to see on this walk, especially birds, so it is well worth while taking binoculars along with you.

England - South West England - Gloucestershire - Thames Valley


Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Lake/Loch, Mostly Flat, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, River, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
18/03/2016 - Steven Rawlings

Walked this on the 15th March 2016 on a lovely dry, crisp day, with my two golden retrievers. The path is well fenced along the Thames Walk part so the dogs couldn't stray off the path. There was a couple of issues to note. the first is that the Neigh Bridge car park is now a pay parking £1 for an hour or £2 over an hour, so make sure you have change - we didn't so went to park for free in the village. The second is at waypoint 7. The way to waypoints 8&9 are now designated as private land with 'no entry - trespassers' signs clearly barring your way. The locals tell me there has been a lot of 'ownership' issues of the lakes, but Wiltshire CC has recently put up a lot of new 'public footpath' signs as a result. You now have no option but to keep going right and take the unmade road that was used by the gravel lorries up towards the main road, then follow the footpath signs up to the main road, crossing over to the other side. Don't be tempted not to cross the road and keep on the field because if you do you cannot get out at the western end when it meets the Cheltenham Ski Club land, without trespassing. You can then pick up at waypoint 11. The bakers arms is a lovely village type pub that welcomes dogs and does good pub bar meals. The myriad of lakes (about 40 I think) formed by the former gravel pits into the Cotswolds Water park are an absolute splendour with tons of wildlife you could spend all day twitching to your hearts content.

02/02/2012 - Walkingworld Admin

Our thanks to Sean Meek for his full update for this walk. January 2012. Adrian (Admin)

27/10/2011 - Sue Eaton

We walked this route today, in pouring rain, but still enjoyed it. Although you are walking between the Thames and lakes, on the Thames Path, the Thames today was completely empty for most of the way. Sue & Harry Eaton

14/08/2007 - Walkingworld Administrator

Please note we've had a report that maize and a live electric fence holding horses is obstructing the footpath between waymarks 9 and 11. The PROW department has been informed but we expect this to be a temporary issue.

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