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The Great Outdoors

With the Ridgeway a stone's throw away you're not short of a good few walks through stunning downland scenery.

Two circular walks around West Ilsley... 2 or 5 miles

Contributed by Fred Carter

Start by the Harrow Public House and walk down Main Street towards East Ilsley. Take the public footpath that runs between the old Post Office and The Poplars at the end of the path bear right and take the metalled road towards West Ilsley Stables.  Just before the entrance to the stables take the bridleway on the right that crosses a cattle grid and bears left around the back of the stables, after about 200 metres ignore the path that goes to the right, bear slightly left and continue straight ahead uphill, the path bears right and continues to a T junction.

For the short walk turn right at this junction and walk uphill towards Hodcott Copse, at the T junction at the top of the hill turn right and follow he bridleway back to West Ilsley Stables, pause on the top of the rise above the stables to get a magnificent view of the village nestling in the valley below,. At the bottom of the hill turn left and return along the metalled road to West Ilsley.

For the longer walk take the short path to the left at this junction to another T junction. Turn right here and after about 200 metres look for a path on your right hand side. Follow this path until it reaches a metalled road (Old Street) turn right along this metalled road until it turns left at this point continue straight ahead along a footpath to join the Catmore Road. Turn right here and when the road turns sharp right continue straight ahead into Park Wood (ignore the footpath that crosses the path after about 500 metres and take the next path on the right hand side that skirts along the side of a field edge towards Starveall Farm. There are some excellent views of the village from here .Continue down the track past the farm to join the Farnborough Road, turn right on the road towards the Harrow.

This is a particularly beautiful walk during Bluebell time but beware some of the path can be muddy after rain.