Great Bedwyn and Savernake Forest Circular

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The first part of the walk is a gentle stroll west from the village of Great Bedwyn alongside the Kennet and Avon Canal. As you walk past a flight of five locks and the canal descends from its summit, hopefully you can experience 'gongoozling'!

You pass the Crofton Pumping Station with its two Cornish Beam Engines, one the oldest in the world; if you make this a day trip you could visit this interesting working museum.

Your route leaves the canal at the entrance to Summit Tunnel. From the tunnel entrance, the walk swings north, crosses a deer-park in the grounds of Tottenham House and then passes through the southern edge of Savernake Forest. Savernake Forest was used as an ammunition dump by both the British and US Armies during the Second World War and there were at least two significant explosions in 1945-6.

The remote St Katherine's Church is worth a visit; you can see the repairs needed after one such explosion!

Leaving the forest, there is open countryside with extensive views south as you drop back into Great Bedwyn. This is a lovely village. The post office and shop is a good source of snacks, and there is also a pub on your final leg back to the station. See additional info.

England - South England - Wiltshire - Canal Walk


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Good for Kids, Industrial Archaeology, Mostly Flat, Museum, Pub, Public Transport, Stately Home, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
7/27/2016 - Mark Hylton

Really enjoyed this walk today, easy to navigate and varied with lots of interest. Here are a few updates. In Great Bedwyn, the original Bakers shop on the High Street is closed but they seem to have moved in with the Post Office further down the street near the Stonemasons. Good source of pasties, cakes and coffee. The other pub mentioned, the Three Tuns, is also currently closed. On the upside, the Three Horseshoes Pub in Stibb Green is open and we enjoyed good beer and a pub lunch there on a Wednesday. The navigation across the fields of the Tottenham Estates has changed a bit as most of the stiles and fences have gone, in their place are waymark arrows, which are very helpful and clear, so it's an easy route to follow. On the eggs front, this seems to have changed as there were none for sale and no signs so perhaps they no longer keep chickens at that farm?

8/24/2012 - Chris Pluthero

I can only echo the other comments that this is a great little walk with plenty of variety and some great views especially in the 2nd half of the walk. The pub recommendation is spot on as well.

7/15/2012 - Bonnie Thomas

A lovely walk along rolling countryside. Walk clearly matches directions and very easy to follow. Extremely dog friendly, our dog was off the lead for 90% of the time (although this wouldn't be the case in the lambing season). Only one road stretch. Didn't think it was 'moderate' as only two minor hills - mostly flat along the canal. And we aren't particularly fit! Thanks again.

3/23/2010 - Adrian Perkins

Our thanks to Andrew Long for his updates to this walk March 2010. Adrian (Admin).

3/23/2010 - Andrew Long

Good walk - no trains but plenty of canoes on canal. In WM6 - look out for new water feature on disused track bed. Inflation has got to egg prices - in WM7 hen eggs £3 per dozen and duck eggs £4 per dozen! Tweaks to follow

5/19/2009 - Walkingworld Administrator

Thank you for this lovely comment. I'm afraid the identity of this person has not come through. Please do get in touch.

Good walk with a lot of variety - water, trees and fields!

10/9/2006 - Walkingworld Administrator

A good walk, well directed, with useful photos of each landmark. Some of the overgrowth in copses has been cleared. Very enjoyable afternoon !

Admin: Thank you for a great comment. Sadly we've lost your identity. Please email chris@walkingworld so we can thank you in person.