How lucky are we to be surrounded by such beautiful countryside & towns? Here's our pick of lovely ways to spend an hour or two enjoying some fresh air & beautiful scenery.
Once the main trading route between Bristol and London, Newbury Canal path offers a great towpath walk with lots to see. Start at Newbury Wharf and head east to Widmead Lock. Bear left to enter the Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre for an interesting pit stop. Budding ornithologists (or bird watchers as we know them!), can keep your eyes peeled for common terns, house martins, swallows and swifts over the lake. View the walk here.
The canal flows through Newbury centre so, we know our care team often take our clients on the short walk followed by some shopping or a lunch in town – its a great way to spend a few hours.
Just over 2 miles south of Newbury, lies Bowdown Woods. This beautiful woodland stretches from Greenham Common down to the River Kennet. We love these woods as they are a great place to spot bluebells in the spring so many of our team in the local area like to take our clients on the short drive down to the woods to see the carpet of blue in the dappled sunshine in Spring. There is a fun Wildlife Walk but this is only accessible for those with good and strong mobility as there can be some steep climbs. However, there is a short 3/4 of a mile walk that is suitable for “robust mobility scooters and robust wheelchairs”. There is an audio trail you can follow to find out more about the history of the woods (there used to be a bomb ammunition site there), the plants and animals that also thrive in the woodland.
Abingdon Riverside Walk walk takes you along the tranquil and beautiful River Thames in Abingdon. Parking is easy as there are two pay and display car parks just on the south side of the bridge leading into Abingdon town centre. There are great views of the town and parkland while walking the towpath and many boats are moored alongside and a lock and weir about 1km down river. This walk is flat and wide so accessible for all.
The advantage of this walk is that Abingdon town is full of lovely places to have a coffee or lunch. We love the The Broad Face, just over the bridge, that serves great roasts on a Sunday and a wide selection of meals to suit all tastes on other days.
Neptune Woods is part of theEarth Trust group and is a lovely spot for a relaxing walk on a sunny day. The area boasts Oak and Alder trees, many of which were planted by local school children. Just before the car park, visitors will notice a field that has beautiful “living” willow sculptures (there are no toilets at Neptune woods, so go before you come!). The Earth Trust created Neptune Woods in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle Of Trafalgar, hence the planting of Oak trees (the trees being the main maritime material).
The walk through the woodland is in a figure of eight shape – so you can do the full loop or just half, as many of our clients prefer a shorter route when we go out for some fresh air with them.
Just north of Newbury, by a small village called Donnington, you will discover Donnington Castle. This English Heritage treasure, built in 1386 is a great way to spend a few hours, as have Henry VII and Elizabeth I so it is believed. The original castle has long been demolished (in 1646), however the surviving gatehouse is beautiful as it stands in the surrounding countryside.
Entry is free and the car park has a small charge (£2).