Section 40 Out
Silchester to Aldermaston
|OS Explorer 159 Reading
|6 miles/ 3 hours
|The Calleva Arms in Silchester
|A pleasant and varied walk much of it in woodland but also across heathland and open pasture. Some of the paths may have standing water after heavy rain.
From the Calleva Arms cross the road junction to the car park of the parish hall. Walk up the car park and leave it on a grassy footpath. Follow this through trees to emerge onto a road. Turn left on the road and walk up, past roads coming in on the left to reach a T-junction at the very top.
Turn right along the road with care. In 50 metres look out for a footpath going left off the road through a narrow gap in the hedge. Immediately reach a fence and turn right to a broken stile. Cross with difficulty and bear left up by the fence on your left and stunted hawthorns on the right.
At the top corner cross a stile into a wood. Bear right on a feint path through holly trees going up the wood not too far from the edge over on your right (there are several fallen trees to navigate around). Eventually approach a house and meet a track in front of it. Turn left along this track. Soon reach a T-junction with another track on a bend. Turn right and soon pass a large lake on your left. At the far side the track swings left. Leave it here and bear off right on a footpath going up into the wood.
Once more go up the wood with the edge over on your right. Ignore all side and cross paths. Cross a footbridge and bear right at two Y-forks. Walk along a boardwalk and keep on up the wood to reach a house and emerge onto a road.
Turn left for a few paces then go right through a gap in the hedge to a metal hurdle and into a pasture. Follow the fence on your right along the edge of the field past houses then over to several gates in the far corner by trees. Go through to a tarmac drive.
Turn left, then at the junctions ahead, turn sharp left on a narrow byway. Follow this all the way to a road. Turn right on the road and soon reach a T-junction. Cross over to go through a gap into trees. The path has been diverted here because of quarrying. Turn sharp left on a clear path running parallel to the road on your left.
On reaching another road ahead, turn right and continue with the road on your left. Keep on up to a metal barrier at the quarry entrance. Here bear left onto the road and continue in the same direction as before. Pass between crash barriers and almost immediately turn left off the road into a wood. Bear diagonally right across the wood. Cross a footbridge and soon emerge between houses onto a main road.
Turn left a few paces then, at a Manor House gateway, bear left off the road into woods. Soon pass a house on your left and continue along its garden fence. At the end of the garden turn right on a grassy track. Go over a cross track and head back to the road.
Cross the road to a gravel drive to The Croft. Turn right up this for ¾ mile. Halfway up, dogleg left and right through the buildings of The Croft and continue on down through woods. Ignore a footpath off right by an ancient embankment and continue to a road.
Turn left on the road. Where it bends sharp left, by a Victorian lodge, turn right off the road onto a gravel drive. Soon reach an ornate fieldgate and continue on the grassy footpath beyond. Emerge onto a road by Padworth College.
Turn left on the (rather rough) road for ½ mile. Go down then up, passing business units on your left, then Upper Church Farm on your right. 30 metres further on, opposite a house on your left, turn right over a stile by a holly bush into a field. Follow the fence on your right down the field to a stile in the bottom corner.
Cross this and go on to a second stile. Cross this and turn immediately right and pass a pond on your left. Go up through the wood then cross a footbridge and stile and emerge onto a farm track. Cross to another stile and go on up the side of a large field with a fence on your left.
At the top cross a double stile in the corner and go on up the next field. However, bear right away from the fence on your left to a stile over on the far side (do not drop away down hill). Cross the stile and turn left up by a fence on your left to a final stile leading to a busy road.
Turn right along this for a short distance. Pass the gateway to Aldermaston Church on the left and soon turn right off the road over a stile by a metal fieldgate. Go down a large field by a dilapidated fence on your left. In the bottom corner cross a stile by a pond and go on to another stile leading to a farm track.
Turn left on this track and follow it (ignoring a footpath off right halfway along) all the way to emerge at a road junction in Aldermaston. Cross to The Hind’s Head inn and the end of the section.