- Start: Waterhay public car park Grid reference SU060934
- End: Waterhay public car park
- Country: England
- County: Wiltshire
- Type: Country
- Nearest pub: The White Hart Inn, Ashton Keynes. Telephone 01285 861247; The Horse and Jockey, Ashton Keynes. Telephone 01285 861270
- Ordnance Survey: Explorer 169 Landranger 173
- Difficulty: Easy
A waterside walk through Cotswold Water Park and Ashton Keynes village, but with a surprise in store on the homeward journey, writes Jane Pitman
Rivers, Lakes and Floods
Enjoy a waterside walk through Cotswold Water Park and Ashton Keynes village. The homeward journey has a surprise in store with an Old Chancel to discover standing in isolation on low-lying fields.
Exertion rating: Easy.
Terrain: Field paths, minor roads and stiles.
Distance: 6.4 km (4 miles)
Time: 1 hours
Start: Waterhay public car park Grid reference SU060934
Ordnance Survey Maps: Explorer 169 Landranger 173
Refreshments: The White Hart Inn, Ashton Keynes. Telephone 01285 861247
The Horse and Jockey, Ashton Keynes. Telephone 01285 861270
Public Transport: For nearest bus routes email firstname.lastname@example.org orvisit www.wdbus.co.uk
Points of Interest
Lakeside views in Cotswold Water Park
Infant River Thames
The Old Chancel in Leigh
Boots on?â€ˆLets go!
1 Turn left onto Bridleway at the back of the car park. After a short distance turn left onto a footpath signed Thames Path. Keep on this path between fields and lakes for about 0.8km ( mile). Wildlife to look out for includes kingfishers, reed buntings and otters. Continue ahead through a small wood and then across a Sports Ground leaving through the far left hand kissing gate. Cross a gravel track, go through a wooden gate and turn left at the road. Keep on this road for a short distance.
2 Turn next right into Kent End road opposite entrance to Guest Farm Enterprises. Continue on this road for approximately 0.8km ( mile) past pretty Cotswold stone cottages until you reach a T-junction. Cross the road and take the path ahead called Church Lane.
3 When you come to a stream, you can carry on along the metalled path to visit Holy Cross Church or continue the walk by crossing the stream and turn immediately right onto a footpath. Shortly turn left and cross a stile into a field. Continue ahead across two fields and over stiles. When you reach a lane turn left. Carry on past the attractive Cotswold stone primary school and at the crossroads turn right. Continue on this road for about 0.8km ( mile). For part of the way you walk beside the infant River Thames. Villagers have often experienced flooding in the past with water standing in their homes for several weeks.
4 Just past Wheatleys Farm, and as the road bends to the right, you cross over a bridge. (Ignore the bridleway on the left just before the bridge.) Turn left onto a footpath. Continue over a stile and across a field. Turn left at the end of the field following the footpath sign. Go over a footbridge and turn left. Walk across the field, go over another bridge with stiles and carry on across the next field. Cross over two more stiles and now head diagonally across a field and go through a metal gate. Carry on ahead across the field, and at the next gateway walk diagonally right across the next field. Cross a stile next to a gate and continue across another field, then cross a stile into the graveyard. The Chancel is all that remains of All Saints Church, which was built here in the 13th century, but later abandoned due to winter flooding. A key-holder lives nearby if the door to the chancel is locked.
5 Leave the graveyard through the wooden gate near the information board. Follow the hedge line on the left and bear left to walk between hedges and past farm buildings. When you reach a lane turn left, and then turn left again at the T-junction. The car park and start of the walk is a little further on to the right.