OUR series of walks provides by Swindon Ramblers continues with a visit to Royal Wootton Bassett.

Both the town and the beautiful countryside in which it is set have much to offer people interested in history and nature.

The route takes in a section of the Wilts and Berks Canal as well as the Jubilee Lake country park.

There are some uphill sections and stiles, and in wet weather certain sections can be muddy.

Distance: 5 miles

OS Maps: Explorer 169 and Landranger 173

Start: People arriving by car can use the Borough Fields paid car park, while bus services 31, 54 and 55 travel between the towns


1 Walk through the archways into the High Street and cross the High Street at the pedestrian crossing. Turn left and then right into Sparrows Lane.At the T-junction, turn right and then left into Downs View. At the end, keep right on the footpath to the gates of Noremarsh Junior School. Turn left and then right into Washbourne Road. At the T-junction turn right and then left into Brynards Hill. At the top, continue through the alleyway and around the right of the circle until you come to a field.

2 Go through the kissing gate and continue to a boundary fence. Follow the fence downhill to the footbridge which passes over the railway line. Continue across the canal and turn left along the towpath until the water ends. Turn left at a waymarked post and then take care while crossing the railway line.

3 Continue up the field and along the narrow path through woodland. On reaching the farm drive, turn right and then left along the road to the roundabout. Walking clockwise, cross to the opposite side of the roundabout and turn left along a path which runs parallel to the road. on reaching Garraways, turn right. Pass the pub on your left and turn left into High Mead. On the left is a footpath which leads to a play area. Walk around two sides of this area to reach the opposite corner.

4 Cross the road and continue straight ahead through the open space. Pass another play area before reaching a tarmac path which goes gently uphill. Next, cross another road and walk into Dryden Place. Turn left at the T-junction. Before reaching the main road, cross to the grassed area on the opposite side and then carefully cross the main road using the traffic island. Cross Maple Drive and turn left by the pub into Old Malmesbury Road. At the end, continue on the footpath beside the garages into Jubilee Lake car park.

5 Go ahead on the nature trail - there are public toilets off the main path to the right. Cross the footbridge and walk around the lake to the opposite corner. Just after the bridge, follow the footpath on the right downhill through woodland which is home to bluebells and wild garlic in spring. Keep to the left of the stream down through the woods to the crossing point an an old gate. Turn left here and go up to the field edge before turning left and heading uphill along that same edge.

6 On reaching a wide gap in the hedge, turn left - but then fork right off this track before the top of the hill and turn right along the field edge, keeping the scrubby ground and bushes to your left. Where the hedgerow straightens out and runs down along the field boundary to your right, be sure to look for a narrow path on the left which leads to a footbridge. Follow this path uphill into woodland. Continue across steps and a wide tarmac path to reach a cul-de-sac.

7 Just before the first house on the right, turn right along a tarmac path to reach the Borough Fields car park. If you are planning to return to Swindon by bus, cross the car park and walk through the archways into High Street.

Refreshments are available in many of the town’s pubs and cafes.