This circular route from Didcot begins with a walk along the railway bank to Upton before crossing fields to reach Blewbury and East Hagbourne.
Although written up as a walk it is also a great running route, if you don’t mind a little mud after rain!
1. From the starting point, walk along the railway bank until you reach the end of the Sustrans route. The wild flowers along the bank in summer are fantastic; if you need help identifying them take a look at my flower ID sheet.
As you approach Upton, follow the track down off the railway bank and into Upton.
2. Turn left at the T junction, following Fieldside and then Church Street. Take a moment to admire St Mary’s Church, parts of which date from the 12th century.
Continue along Church Street until it intersects with High Street. Turn left and walk past a couple of houses until you reach a footpath to Blewbury. Walk along this; there’s an apple orchard on your right hand side, paddock on your left.
3. This path will take you all the way to Blewbury; follow it straight on as it passes through fields. The section next to the steps, beside the small pool of water, can get a little muddy and slippy in winter so do take care. In summer the path can get overgrown just before you reach Blewbury so best to cover your legs and arms.
4. In Blewbury turn left on to Westbrook Street. Follow the road, past the school, until it bends sharp right. Your route is through the gate at this bend – it’s easy to miss so see the photo below.
5. You are now at the start of the footpath back to East Hagbourne. The first section is along a concrete path; not the most attractive of surfaces but a godsend when it’s wet and muddy! At the end of the paved section follow the path as it bears right and then left before it crosses another field.
6. When you reach the trees cross the (partial) stile and turn right for a few steps to reach another stile.
Cross this into a field which often contains cattle. I’ve seen plenty of people walk through with dogs but do take care. Keep your eyes open for cow pats too!
7. At the far end of the field there is another stile and a bridge across the stream. The bridge is currently (summer 2021) missing one of its planks so watch your step.
From the bridge turn left and then follow the path around the edge of the fenced field.
8. Follow the path to the junction with Moor Lane, cross over this byway and enter the next field. This has previously housed cattle too but there’s sweetcorn growing in 2021. Walk through this field, and the next one until you reach the outskirts of East Hagbourne.
9. At the end of the path turn left slightly and then drop down to reach the path through Tadley stream (AKA Hakka’s Brook). Follow the path through Tadley to emerge onto Main Road. Turn left and walk through the village past the pub and cross, towards the primary school. You’ll pass the fantastic allotment gardens of Tudor House; in their prime during summer.
10. Opposite the primary school take the right turn down Harwood Road. Follow this to the very end. Do not turn left into Lake Road, instead continue on along the path past the allotments and Butts Piece until you reach your original starting point.
Click on the map to view a larger version.
Start and end point: Railway bank Sustrans route, near Green Close, Didcot. OS reference: SU525888 What3words: velocity.youths.straws
Distance: Approximately 7.4km (4.6 miles).
Terrain: Railway embankment, fields and roads. Can be very muddy after heavy rain. Three stiles to cross (one semi broken). Be aware of cows in field between Blewbury and East Hagbourne.
Refreshments: Pubs in Upton, Blewbury and East Hagbourne (first two are slightly off route). Style Acre cafe in Blewbury (off route).