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9. Hatchet Lane and Crofton

Distance: approx. 8 km (5 miles)

Map: OS Explorer 157

Walking conditions: Moderate walking conditions with one uphill path. No stiles. One pedestrian rail crossing. If cross field path is ploughed and not visible, use field edge.

This circular walk begins at the Wharf car park, goes across fields, through woodland and along the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath.

Map for the Hatchet Lane and Crofton walk from Great Bedwyn


  1. Starting from Great Bedwyn Wharf (Grid Ref SU 280 644), turn left at the road and cross the two bridges over canal and railway line. At the village square, turn left and walk along Church Street for about 800 metres (half a mile). At the junction where Church Street swings left, go right along a bridleway (Hatchet Lane).

  2. Continue along this bridleway for another 800 metres. At a fork ignore the clear path ahead and follow the path to the left. Keep straight on through the woodland for about 500 metres following a fence-line on the left. Ignore any forest vehicle tracks which sometimes lead into woodland. As the track bears round to the left, turn immediately right.  A single metal gate comes into view; go through into the field and walk with the fence on the right to reach a junction.

  3. This is a Roman road. Turn left on the track which becomes metalled as it enters the village of Crofton. Turn left at the road junction, using great caution on this blind bend. When the road swings left, take the path on the right signed ‘Wilton Windmill’. Go over the pedestrian rail crossing taking great care on this busy line, then over the canal and up the hill. This track is a continuation of the Roman road travelled earlier.

  4. After about 800 metres, just over the brow of the hill, take the footpath on the left and cross the field. Go through a gap in the hedge and go right with woodland on your right (Wilton Brail) around the field edge to the opposite side. Go through another gap in a hedge and walk with the hedge on the left.

  5. After about 150 metres, take a footpath on the left onto a woodland path. This is an ancient holloway. You will soon emerge into a field. Continue straight on until you come to the Kennet & Avon Canal.

  6. Turn right along the towpath, go under a bridge, and continue alongside the canal until you reach the Wharf.

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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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