Walking at Snelsmore Common has lots of different walking route options and is made up of a range of habitats which include woodlands, wet mires and heathland. Snelsmore Common is a 96 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest near Newbury in Berkshire. It is owned by West Berkshire Council and managed by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. There are wild Exmoor and New Forest Ponies that live on the common and during the months of March-July the Wildlife Trust ask that you are aware of birds who nest on the ground if you venture off the designated paths.
Where did we walk?
From the car park (details below) you can enter the Common via a gate that leads to a concrete path that is a circular walk. On this route you might get a glimpse of the ponies in the heathland, you can also see across to the woods and walk past the Lookout Tower (that is now closed).
From this main route there are a number of other paths that you can take to get into the heart of the woodland and common. There is a small pond, the opportunity to play in some of the dens that have been built or build your own.
There are several designated routes; Easy Access Trail – 0.75 miles on paved path. Heathland Trail 1 1/4 miles, Lizard Route (orange way marks), Mire Trail 1 mile and The Dragonfly Route (Purple Waymarks). Behind the cafe you will find a walking guide.
For a longer walk you can head over towards Donnington Castle, this is a circular walk of approximately 3.6 miles. The castle also makes for a good stop on its own.
What facilities are there?
There are free toilets in the car park, there is also a take away café that serves tea and coffee as well as cakes and bacon/sausage sandwiches. They also have a lunchbox option for children and sell a number of other childrens snack options. There are picnic tables available adjacent to the café and at the end of the car park.
Where can we park?
There is a free car park, but you are welcome to make a ‘tap for nature’ donation at the machine near the cafe. The site has a large car park located off the B4494, Wantage Road, opposite the Mary Hare School. For the car park location click here.
Car Park times: 8am – 8pm during the summer 8am – 6pm during the winter (double check the car park for signage up arrival).
Is the walk buggy and dog friendly?
The circular walk from the car park (Easy Access Trail) is a concrete path that is buggy friendly, if however, you venture off this path onto some of the many other through the Heathland these are not all buggy friendly, so a carrier for younger children would be a better option.
The walk is dog friendly, but are asked to be kept on leads on the main common during nesting season between 1st March – 31st July).
Is the walk suitable for children’s scooters and bikes?
Maany people who take bikes and scooters for their children.
If you have enjoyed reading about Walking at Snelsmore Common, why not discover more family friendly walks in West Berkshire.
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