Spring walks in West Berkshire
April showers, blooming daffodils, lambs in fields, Easter eggs on the shelves and a sense of freshness in the air- every year in West Berkshire, Spring glimpses into our lives in small but significant ways.
As the days get longer and, hopefully, a tad warmer, there’s a growing number of reasons to pause the series you’re binging, pull on your coat and wellies, pack a picnic and start exploring the many scenic walks, hikes and strolls around West Berkshire.
Whether you’re local to West Berkshire or have joined us for a Spring staycation, there’s plenty to explore and discover in the area, including a range of Spring walks for solo travellers, couples and families alike to enjoy.
So, where can I find the best Spring walks in West Berkshire?
West Berkshire is home to plenty of walks for every ability. Listed below are a range of Spring walks from rewarding steep hill inclines, steady park strolls, history-rich hikes and accessible river rambles.
Donnington Castle and surrounding walking trails
Looking to capture the perfect sprawling sunrise in West Berkshire? Donnington Castle provides seemingly endless panoramic views across the county, making it the best place to head to when seeking spectacular Springtime views. Pack a picnic for a family feast or bring a blanket to spot the stars during a romantic getaway.
West Berkshire views can all be enjoyed from the ruins of the 14th century Donnington Castle that stands proudly on the hill’s pinnacle. Should your imagination be one to run wild, you can immerse yourself in the history of the site and imagine life at Donnington Castle during a completely different age of rural West Berkshire.
As the Spring days get longer, you may wish to extend your West Berkshire walk to the nearby Snelsmore Common County Park that’s connected to Donnington Castle via a signposted footpath.
Snelsmore Common County Park
If you’re in West Berkshire and ready to immerse yourself in nature and wildlife, Snelsmore Common is a feast for your senses with a whole network of wild trails, woodland walks and heathland.
Not only will you spot signs of spring around every corner, you may also catch a glimpse of wild Exmore and New Forest ponies, rare bird species such as Nightjar and for those eagle-eyed explorers maybe even an adder or slow-worm.
At Snelsmore Common, every season brings an array of newness to the area. During Spring, your visit will be accompanied by the sounds of birdsong that fills the woodland and carpets of bluebells that’ll guide your walks.
Speen Moors is a gentle circular West Berkshire and just one of the many things to do in Newbury. The route starts in the centre of Newbury, and it is ideal for dog walkers, assisted wheelchair users and younger walkers with little legs. The trail is accompanied by information boards explaining the vibrant history of the river and the wider West Berkshire area – an interesting feature for both kids and adults.
As with many Spring walks in West Berkshire, you won’t have difficulty spotting the local wildlife that resides by and in the river. During late spring, you may be lucky enough to spot swans and their cygnets gliding along the river or perhaps ducklings nestled in the reeds. For photographers of all levels, there are plenty of points along the route that’ll set you up for that perfect wildlife or landscape shot.
If Speen Moors is on your West Berkshire walking list, remember to wear your wellies as some parts of the path can get muddy after those unpredictable April showers.
From the riverside rambles to woodland wanders, West Berkshire has it all. Bowdon Woods is a nature reserve sprawled among ancient woodland created for both humans and wildlife to enjoy in harmony. The reclaimed space offers three circular walks for a range of abilities.
Wildlife and nature thrive all year-round in Bowdown Woods, however when it comes to Spring, the budding flowers prove to be exceptionally explosive. As the trees and leaves spring back to life, the West Berkshire woodland is flooded with rays of sunlight squeezing through the buds and branches, creating pools of golden beams throughout your walk.
Beacon Hill Iron Age Hill Fort
If you’re seeking sweeping birds-eye views of the West Berkshire countryside and thrive at the challenge of a steep hill climb, then a hike to Beacon Hill Iron Hill Fort isn’t one to miss. Moving into Spring, with clearer skies and sunnier days, your view will be complemented with wildlife and nature enjoying the dawn of the new season.
The top of the hill has never been excavated however under the soil, it is believed there are undiscovered iron age huts and storage pits – you’ll be standing above a wealth of relatively unknown history! There are plenty of historical sites on the hill that have been uncovered, including the grave of the fifth Earl of Carnarvon, who played a prominent part in archaeological expeditions to Egypt.
Beyond the hill, but still within clear view on sunny days, is Highclere Castle which many people will recognise as the real-life Downton Abbey. This is just a short distance away and a must-see attraction near West Berkshire for all Downton Abbey fans.
No matter if you’re a daily early morning hiker or an after-lunch nature stroller, when staying at Donnington Grove, you’ll be received with a warm welcome and a tranquil escape.