Swallowfield and the Whitewater, Blackwater and Loddon Rivers

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The area round Swallowfield and south towards Riseley has many pleasant footpaths, but most lend themselves only to short walks of two or three miles. (The Parish Council publishes a booklet of such walks). To devise a useful round trip like this, of about eight miles, requires using several quiet country roads and unfortunately a couple of (short) stretches of slightly busier roads. This note is just to warn people to be alert if taking children or dogs with them - I hope it doesn't put you off!

There is a very good pub (The George and Dragon) about 500m south of Waymark 5 and the Mill House Hotel and Restaurant is on the main road between Waymarks 19 and 20. There are also The Crown in Swallowfield and The Bull is Riseley. Do check their opening times: the last one for example, is closed on Sunday.

The total distance of the marked route is 13.5km (8.5 miles). Taking the short cut described later from Waymark 5 directly to 11 saves 1.6km. More drastic reductions can be made by walking either the western half or the eastern half of the route. For the first, go south from Waymark 3 to the Roman road at 14: for the second, go north from 14 to 3.
The terrain is almost flat throughout (there are a couple of gentle inclines). It can be muddy in a few stretches of the woodland paths after rain.

England - South England - Berkshire - Countryside

24/11/2015 - Neil Packham

Lots of interesting and varied walking; quiet lanes and byways no muddier than might be expected at the time of year. Road sections were brief, but those with right-hand bends at 5 and 8 should be walked on the left to allow oncoming traffic maximum visibility.

18/03/2014 - Andrew Long

Thoroughly enjoyable walk - given distance and some of the muddy paths, more of a easy walk than a stroll. Walkable in less than 4 hours with regular short breaks. Fantastic countryside especially Swallowfield Estate and river stretches. Clear instructions.

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