Walking along the country way in rural Berkshire!
Back in October 2017, one of my best friends showed me one of the loveliest places I have ever been too not only to walk your dog but also generally with people as well. First ever time when I went there, Cody was only 5 months old which I thought was too young for such a long walk. Also, that time I was walking my dogs separately as Skye has lots of phobias and didn’t want to pass onto Cody. Anyway, I just took Skye and we met my friend and her dog. She has the nicest and funniest Golden Retriever Labrador I have ever met called Barney! We call him Barney Shark as he absolutely loves to dive underwater and swim against currents – it is quite extraordinary!
Well, it starts off in the car park at Snelsmore Common Country Park but most of the walk is outside of the park area. In the park, there are lots of wild horses (Exmoor Ponies apparently) and just the most recent visit I went there I came across my first sighting of a snake – an Adder! So, beware of that if you go visit. So lucky that nothing happened to my dogs as they were so close, but I was not being so clever and went to approach more just to take a photo (I have never seen a snake in my life and was so special seeing it!).
Most of the walk outside the park area is in proximity to a golf course where just be aware not to let your dogs run across or disturb them. My dogs were so naughty and ran across it once to the lake on the other side, which we had to run across to catch them. So, now I keep them on lead on that part! That was the day the weather was so awful and pouring with rain. You will eventually pass by Donnington Castle, presumably if you didn’t get lost, which is almost impossible. It is one of the English Heritage sites. If you would like to read more on this, the link is here - https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/donnington-castle/history/
But their absolute highlight of the walk is the lakes and streams, where they could go swimming. It was actually the place that Cody first started going in the water, which he was terrified before and where Barney learnt his special diving skill! But they are technically meant to be on lead in that area as it is on the grounds of a hotel and there are roads around, but we just let them off to go in the water.
There is a part where you should definitely put them on lead which leads onto a main road (there is quite a bit of road walking). Then it all loops back to the park and to the car park. The estimated duration of the walk all depends on how fast you walk but we timed it at approximately 2 hours. Generally, the walk is very gentle, maybe the road is a bit uneven. But there is a steep incline on the way back to the car park just plan that in mind.
We hope you could go visit, it is such a nice place and definitely one of my favourite if not the favourite place in the UK so far! I drive to that place from London, which is not too far (about 1 hour and 10 minutes) from Kensington and really easy to find! It is straight down the M4 all the way to junction 13 (Chieveley Services).
Disclaimer: We are in no way in liability for any accidents that may happen on the walk. Make sure your dogs are always in close proximity to you at all times and put on leads when you see roads. There is a road just after the Newbury Bypass after the number 2 on the map above which is quite hidden, so be careful there. And between 1 and 2 it is technically a road mainly so put them on lead if you are not confident.