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Hamstead Park

Hamstead Park Revealed - a Guided Walk 

Thursday, 17th June at 10am or Friday, 18th June at 10am

Please be understanding if there are last minute alterations in the arrangements for this walk if the relaxation of COVID restrictions happens more slowly than the current government expectations.  We will make whatever changes are needed to remain in compliance with government restrictions.

The highlight of this walk is the historic Hamstead Park, near Newbury. We discover the fascinating history of this former medieval 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.  The walk follows the meandering path up to the site of Hamstead Lodge taking in castle mottes and the old manor fishponds. Passing the Lodge along the tree lined drive we then descend along a pretty path overhung by hazel coppice around the Park perimeter (which is often muddy). 

We briefly leave the Park along Ashtree Plantation but soon re-enter to follow the park pale towards the church.  Then, pairs of enigmatic gateposts come into view to give a clue to the existence of a house, since long vanished.  We retrace our steps to the Red House.   

What will it be like?

This is a 4.5 mile walk that will take approximately 3 to 3.5 hours.  Our guide will be Philippa from Pipsticks Walks.  We will take a short mid-walk refreshment break and there will be stops along the way to look at features of interest.

The terrain is gently undulating (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.  There is one stile.

Dogs are not permitted on this walk.

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

Please read the walk description carefully. Bookings and your participation on the day are accepted on the understanding that you, and those you are booking on behalf of, are medically and physically fit to take part in the activity.  If you have any concerns you should discuss these with us prior to booking and participating.

Time and where to meet?

10.00 am meet probably at The Red House pub, Marsh Benham, RG20 8LY (OS Map Exp 158 GR: SU 426 675).  This will depend on whether the pub has re-opened and availability.  Arrangements for parking and possibly some post-walk refreshments at the Red House pub (not included) will be sent out to those who book. 

Booking: There are two possible dates. Numbers are strictly limited to 12 people per day. Please book by 14th June so that final arrangements can be made. Full instructions, including any necessary COVID arrangements, will be sent to you prior to the walk.  

Cost: Members £12; Non-Members £15. 

Queries: Please contact Janet by email at

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