A Nag’s Tale

I do enjoy a good walk with the dog's, so much so that the traditional greeting is "Adrian Hollister, ah yes I've seen you walking your dogs" followed by "don't you also do Green things?". Helpfully there are more tracks paths and fields around Chaddleworth than anywhere I know. All of them lead to green fields, stunning views and past some wonderful odd things too – the bridge over the duck pond, the beach lined lanes in the middle of no where, and some great living art sculptures.

My walks are usually 3-4 hours though so finding somewhere that I will enjoy and the dog's will be happy with can be quite difficult. I've done trips to Ilsley, Farnborough, Great Shefford as well as trips along the Kennet and Avon Canal from Newbury to Great Bedwyn (and back via train!).

All have been unplanned and some have ended in 6-8 hour journeys! I was given the AA 1001 Walks in Britain book for Christmas and scanned it for anything in my area. As it happens walk 194 is in Chaddleworth and 193 is in Farnborough – two areas I walk regularly. Both taking routes that I'd not tried before. This week I tried the 194 walk from Chaddleworth to the abandoned medieval village of Whatcombe and back.

Knowing the area I could expand upon the walk slightly and took the route via the edge of Spray Wood, back to the Church and then down to Manor Farm. The hill from Manor Farm to the A338 seems steeper than the 90m climb suggests but the views are stunning. Crossing the A338 and heading past Whatcome Stud there is another 100m climb to the top of Kite hill. It's then downhill past Henley farm on the return leg. The last hill is another 100m climb via a restricted byway to the edge of Chaddleworth. As a last variation to the guide I headed past the stud and across the fields to give the dogs one final good run.

All in all a good three hour walk and a great guide. I'll try Farnborough next weekend – it's a longer distance but only 50m climbs.

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