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4. Wilton Water and Crofton

Distance: approx. 3.6 km (2¼ miles)

Map: OS Explorer 157

Walking conditions: Moderate walking conditions. Two stiles and two flights of steps up banks.

A circular walk from Wilton village out alongside Wilton Water to the Kennet and Avon Canal and Crofton Beam Engines.

Map for Wilton Water and Crofton walk


  1. From the old red telephone box opposite The Swan Inn in Wilton, head north-west towards the village duck pond. At the pond, find the footpath sign opposite and follow the path to the left. Wilton Water will soon come into view on the left. Still keeping the water on your left, continue on until you meet the canal, approx 1 km (0.6 miles) from the pond.

  2. Cross over a weir and, at the towpath, turn left. Crofton Beam Engines can be viewed across the canal.

  3. Leave the towpath at the road bridge, just before the Samuel Farmer lock, and turn left then left again at the T-junction into Dark Lane, signed Grafton. (To visit Crofton Beam Engines, turn right on leaving the towpath.) Pass Freewarren Farm and after about 175m (190 yds), look for the footpath sign on the left.

  4. Climb the steps up the bank and go through the kissing gate. Continue straight along the field edge through two metal pedestrian gates and then through a third pedestrian gate into woodland. Cross a bridge. (Be careful to make sure gates are shut behind you and keep dogs close - horses graze these fields.)

  5. Climb a steep bank with steps opposite. Carry on uphill with a fence on the right. Veer left onto a farm track. Continue to the road, and cross over to find the footpath a few metres to the right.

  6. Continue straight on into the field with field boundary on your left-hand side. Follow the field edge round to a stile next to a gate. Cross this stile and the next one (or go through the gates if open, remembering to close them afterwards), and turn immediately left along an enclosed path. Continue across a small bridge and follow the fence line until you come to a metal gate. Go through the gate and turn right onto a driveway towards the road. At the road turn left at the next junction to return to the start by the Swan (or turn right here to go to the windmill, which is a 15-minute walk away).

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Make sure that you are suitably equipped for walking and note that these maps are intended as a guide only. Please respect the countryside, wildlife and livestock, and ensure that dogs are kept under close control and don't leave the path. Be aware that ticks are prevalent in the area. 

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