Wantage Circular Walk in England which goes via Letcombe Castle Fort up on the Ridgeway Path.

We have included some GPS readings which are set up on are OSGB British Grid and shown in [ ]s and are in easterly and northerly order. Park at the long term car park just before Sainsbury's in Wantage - when we last did this walk it was on a Sunday and the parking was free which makes a nice change for England. St. Peters and St. Paul's impressive church at Wantage. This walk takes you alongside some old cress beds, includes the small villages of Letcombe Regis, Letcombe Bassett, Childrey and West+East Challow, also a short part of the Ridgeway at Segsbury (or Letcombe) Castle Fort, and finishes off with a walk along a very overgrown un-navigable canal - the Wilts and Berks Canal - back into Wantage. In addition from the photos below it is obvious that the walk also passes by quite a few nice old Oxfordshire Churches - always worthwhile taking a look round of course.
From the car park head back to Mill street and then walk up into the market square. Bear right and take the first road off to the right from the square and follow this round passing the church - continue on Priory Road passing Locks Lane and the old school buildings until you reach a T-junction. Cross over and follow the footpath which has tall hedging on your right, cross over a stream and then bear right around football pitches. Cross another stream and stay on the footpath as it leaves Wantage and follows a stream - there are old cress beds here as well as reed covered wet areas.
Stay on this path until you reach a road at Letcombe Regis [SU 38237 86667] - cross the road and follow it round to the church.
Water cress beds near Wantage. Letcombe Regis church of St. Andrews. Letcombe Castle Fort The Hill Fort at Letcombe Castle on The Ridgeway.
Turn left now onto Warborough Road and using the raised footpath - the way is signposted "Village Downs Only". Continue up going past several houses and then slightly left past Manor Farm - the road then goes straight upwards going past Warborough Farm and then Castle Hill to arrive quite steeply at the side of Segsbury Castle Fort, there is a stile [ SU 38505 84685 ] on the left where you can go into the Fort and walk round the ramparts. (The Fort is also located on the right side of the track so take your pick).
Walking at Rats Hill on the Ridgeway Trail. View of Letcombe Bassett from The Ridgeway Trail. Up on The Ridgeway National Trail in Oxfordshire. Letcome Bassett's Norman Church - St. Michaels.
The Ridgeway is just beyond the Fort so once you have had a look round go on up to this ancient trail and turn right - walk along The Ridgeway for about half a kilometre and watch for a stile on your right [ SU 37810 84123 ] - go over the stile on walk steeply down towards Rectory Farm and on reaching a road turn right and walk on into Letcombe Bassett. This is a very pretty village and has lots of old houses and barns - also it's worthwhile walking up to the old Norman Church [ SU 37409 84941 ]and having a look round it.
Continuing along the road - which is signposted Letcombe Regis and Wantage - go down hill to arrive at old cress beds and Letcombe Brook. Continue along the road out of the valley and turn left on a footpath opposite a thatched cottage [ SU37541 85508 ]. This is an undulating bridlepath which goes across Letcombe Bassett Field and arrives eventually at a green cross track [ SU 36849 86631 ] - turn right and follow this down to the bottom - turn sharp left below the bank and follow the curving path to the road (B4507). Cross over onto the opposite track and then at a T-junction turn left to walk into Childrey and carry on until you reach Hatchet Pub [ SU 36117 87352 ] which is on your left.
The brook at Letcome Bassett. Childrey Church of St. Marys. The old schoolhouse at Childrey. West Challow's church (St Laurence's) on the Ridgeway.
Turn right and follow the road - going past a duck pond and then a Victorian Working Men's Club - (there are several seats around this grassy area if you think it's lunch time) - and continue along Church Row.
Childrey's St. Mary's Church is surprisingly large and seems quite dark probably because of the huge fir trees around it. Return back along from the church but then continue straight ahead passing Victorian Gothic cottages and the Old School House - when the lane goes sharp left go straight ahead to shortly reach a cross path, turn left onto this fenced tarmac path which is by Godfrey's Farm. This path takes you to West Challow. Cross the canal and on reaching a lane turn right. Continue past the church and at the road junction turn right and then soon after left to pick up the canal [ SU 36792 88257 ].
The disused Wilts and Berks Canal. St. Nicholas's church at East Challow. Rather weeded up Wilts and Berks Canal near Wantage. Now simply follow the Wilts and Berks canal to East Challow (here you can slightly divert to have a look at their church) - continue on along the canal as it heads towards the outskirts of Wantage. When a tarmac lane crosses the canal turn right onto it and follow it round the field edge and then turn left in front of houses and follow it til you get to the road. Go left and then on reaching the main road turn right and follow it downhill looking out for Belmont on your left, go down Belmont and eventually cross a stone pier to go into Mill Street. There is a duck pond on your left and an old mill on your right - turn left up Mill Street and left again into the carpark.
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