Hamstead Park

Garden events and Coronavirus: 

We have all been looking forward to getting out into gardens this year as part of our 2020 Programme, now severely affected by Covid -19. With the health and wellbeing of all our members uppermost in our minds we have had to cancel the April - August visits.

The October walk in Hamstead Park has been cancelled due  Government COVID-19 Regulations & Guidelines. 

Hamstead Park Revealed - a Guided Walk 

Thursday, 15th October

The highlight of this walk is the historic Hamstead Park, near Newbury. We discover the fascinating history of this former mediaeval deer park with royal connections and which, for many years, was part of the Lord Craven estate. Click to read BGT's Research Paper on Hamstead Park.

Walk description

Our walk starts out from the Red House pub in Marsh Benham. After crossing the Great Western Railway, the Kennet and Avon Canal and River Kennet, we enter Hamstead Park. Following the meandering park drive gently up to the site of Hamstead Lodge we discover castle mottes and the old manor fishponds. The park is dotted with veteran park trees which serve as our gentle companions along the way.

Passing the Lodge along the tree lined drive we then descend along a pretty path overhung by hazel coppice around the Park perimeter [may be muddy!]. There are fine views from here towards the Downs.

We briefly leave the Park along Ashtree Plantation but soon re-enter to follow the park pale towards the church. Then, rising surreally in the open parkland and apparently leading nowhere, pairs of enigmatic gateposts come into view to give a clue to the existence of a house long since vanished.  We take time to explore the gates and church before leaving the park and retracing our steps to the Red House and perhaps some well earned refreshment.

What will it be like?

4.5 miles / approx. 3 to 3.5 hrs. We will take a short mid-walk refreshment break and there will be stops along the way to look at features of interest. Gently undulating terrain (total ascent: 276 ft). Our route mostly follows good paths, drives and tracks with two short sections on road, but one section may be rough and muddy.  One stile. Dogs are not permitted on this walk.

There are no facilities/toilets en route. Please bring drink and snacks for personal consumption during the walk. 

Time and where to meet?

10.00 am meet at The Red House pub, Marsh Benham, RG20 8LY. Roadside parking near pub.  OS Map Exp 158 GR: SU 426 675

Booking: Attendees must pre-book on Eventbrite (immediate confirmation will be given). We will not be able to take cash on the day.


Cost: Members £14; Non-Members £12.

COVID-19 Arrangements: Please read the attached notes on the special arrangements for this visit due to COVID-19. Numbers will be limited to support Social Distancing. 


Contact tracing: All attendees must provide a contact telephone number (preferably a mobile).

Pub Refreshments: BGT is not arranging any refreshments for participants. Any participants wishing to visit the Red House pub should make their own arrangements directly with the Red House and, of course adhere to their COVID-19 arrangements as set out on their website www.theredhousepub.com

Queries: Please contact Janet by email at bgtmembership@gmail.com; or phone Bettina Kirkham on 0118 972 3589 for queries about the visit.  

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