Crowthorne - River Blackwater - Finchampstead Ridges - Crowthorne

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This is a great walk for both young and not so young alike, not too long but with a variety of scenery and other things to look out for.

The walk begins in Crowthorne Railway Station car park, which means that you can get to and undertake the whole walk whilst leaving your car at home.

After leaving Crowthorne the walk follows the railway south on one side, with Wellington College on the other. Crossing the railway, you pass Ambarrow Hill before heading south to reach the River Blackwater. If you enjoy birdwatching, do take your binoculars as there are plenty of birds which visit the lakes (this area was once used for gravel extraction). In fact, it's hard to work out whether the lakes and the Blackwater are more popular with walkers or twitchers!

Leaving the course of the picturesque River Blackwater, the walk heads northwards through a car park (popular with locals) and onto a country lane. The next point of call is the NT-managed Finchampstead Ridges with its fantastic views over Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire. There is a bench here to stop and enjoy the view.

The walk returns via Simon's Wood (another NT-managed wood) and remnants of some of the once extensive heathland that existed in the area. After passing by Heath Pond and along an ancient Roman road, the walk comes out onto the roundabout near the A321 before returning to the start.

England - South England - Berkshire - Thames Valley


Birds, Cafe, Good for Kids, Great Views, Mostly Flat, National Trust, Public Transport, River, Woodland
5/31/2023 - Andrew Long

Thanks for your feedback Emma. I have amended the walk so it now crosses the railway line at WM3 over the footbridge before rejoining the original walk near to the site of the now-closed railway crossing.

5/7/2023 - Emma Carver

Railway crossing at waypoint 4 is now closed. Take the earlier crossing between 2 & 3 instead

9/24/2017 - Andrew Long

Thanks for your comments Harley. I have walked route today and made several changes/added new photos.

4/16/2017 - Harley Quilliam

Good walk and clear directions. There are now NO stiles on this walk. (eg at WP 6.) They have been replaced by kissing-gates, courtesy of South-East Berkshire Ramblers. Thanks SEBR!

5/14/2013 - Chris French

I note that nearly all this route (in an area I know well) is on paths/tracks except for the section between Waypoints 12 and 14, where the inexperienced might get lost within the Ridges. Our usual route is to continue on the track bending to the east at 12 and then take the first path to the left, at the top of the hill. This comes out on the bend of the road, very close to 14. Please treat this just as a suggestion, not a 'correction'.

6/14/2012 - Julian Holt

We really enjoyed this walk, especially the section alongside the lakes with all the birdwatching to be done. Plenty of variety and things to see throughout the walk, and a teashop next to a boating lake. A nice day out - thank you. One minor point; the carpark at waypoint 4 is called Ambarrow!

4/23/2011 - nicola cormack

We did this walk today, admittedly very warm Easter Saturday and 2 dogs and a baby with us, probably slowing us all down, but... I would question the length of this lovely walk. I had a GPS distance counter on my iphone and it recorded that we had walked 4 miles by point 12. We cut the walk short here and walked back down to the Wellingtonia roundabout just by Simon's Wood, by which time we had clocked up 4.6 miles by the time we were back at Crowthorne station.

1/23/2011 - Andrew Long

23 Jan 2011 - Walk reviewed and updated by Author

1/9/2011 - Alison Pedley

Completed this walk on New Year's Day but added to it by starting from home, 2 miles from Crowthorne Station. Excellent directions and it was easily completed within 2hrs 30 mins. It suited our bouncy dog too although we did restrain her on the lead on parts of the trek.

9/6/2010 - Patricia Daw

5-9-10 We completed this walk today choosing it as it is only about 5/6 miles from home. The directions are excellent. It was nice to stop and watch the children build their rafts to take on the Blackwater lake - unfortunatley we didn't wait to see them test them out. It was a very pleasant easy walk to do and nice that it was so close to home for a change. We saw parts of Finchampstead we haven't explored before.

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