The Four Downland village walk in Berkshire

The Four Downland village walk in Berkshire

I am always on the lookout for countryside walks which offer not only scenic views but a break from the city life and a hectic corporate life. My partner’s brother offered us to to do this walk in the month of March when the cherry blossom season had arrived. It was still cold so we were in our warm jackets but daylight was much longer. This walk is in Berkshire which is not too far if you drive from London.

The Four Downland Villages Walk offers a picturesque journey through the charming English countryside, taking you through the idyllic villages of Brightwalton, Chaddleworth, Leckhampstead, and Peasemore. This circular route provides a delightful mix of rolling hills, verdant meadows, and traditional village life. Here’s a guide to the walk, including route guidance, starting and ending points, and recommendations for places to eat along the way. For the walk we used the route on Fancy Free Walks. Check it here.

Start Point: Brightwalton Village

Begin your journey in the quaint village of Brightwalton. The village is characterized by thatched cottages, a medieval church, and a welcoming atmosphere. We drove from London to Brightwalton and used street parking to park our car. We strolled around the village for sometime. Spotted the St. Agatha’s Church, A medieval church with a distinctive flint and stone construction, adding to the village’s historical character. I also clicked pictures of traditional thatched-roof cottages that dot the village. From here we used the Fancy Free Walks as guideline to start our walk.

Brightwalton to Chaddleworth (Approximately 2 miles):

Use the PDF I have mentioned above. There are footpaths all along and you can follow them leading southeast from Brightwalton. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Berkshire Downs as you make your way to Chaddleworth.

Chaddleworth is another delightful village along the route, surrounded by rolling hills and lush farmland. It exudes a tranquil atmosphere and offers a glimpse into rural life in England.

A welcoming village pub, The Ibex Inn offers a cozy atmosphere, offering a place to rest and refresh. It often serves classic pub fare and a variety of beverages. Take a moment to relax on the village green, enjoying the serene surroundings and perhaps a picnic if the weather permits.

Chaddleworth to Leckhampstead (Approximately 2.5 miles):

Next head south through fields and bridleways toward Chaddleworth. Traverse the undulating landscape until you reach the charming village of Leckhampstead.

Leckhampstead is a charming hamlet with a small but tight-knit community. The village is surrounded by open fields and offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Admire the traditional cottages and farmhouses that showcase the architectural heritage of the area.

Leckhampstead to Peasemore (Approximately 3 miles):

Wander through scenic countryside paths to reach Peasemore.

Peasemore is the final village on the walk, nestled amidst the rolling hills and surrounded by scenic countryside. The village has a sense of timelessness, with its charming cottages and peaceful ambiance. This is where we stopped for our relaxed laid back lunch at The Fox, a local pub offering a warm atmosphere and a chance to savor traditional British dishes.

Peasemore to Brightwalton (Approximately 2.5 miles):

Head northwest, crossing fields and meadows to return to Brightwalton. Take in the beauty of the landscape and the serene ambiance as you complete the loop at Brightwalton.

Additional Tips

  • Ensure you have appropriate walking shoes and clothing, as the terrain may vary.
  • Carry a map or use a navigation app to stay on course. As mentioned above, we used the route on Fancy Free Walks
  • Respect private property and follow the countryside code.
  • Check the weather forecast before embarking on the walk. We did it on a dry day but it had rained previous few days, so it was quite muddy.

Final thoughts on Four Downland village walk

We thoroughly enjoyed our walk. I loved the lunch at Peasemore, we each treated ourselves to a pint as well.

Each village on the Four Downland Villages Walk contributes to the overall charm and allure of the journey. Whether it’s the historical churches, traditional architecture, or the warm hospitality of the local pubs, these villages offer a captivating glimpse into the rich tapestry of English rural life. I recommend this walk, most ideal if you can drive to Brightwalton and commence from there.

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