28th May 2017
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King’s Farm Wood Walk
With the Switch-on to Swindon initiative kicking off this year I thought it would be good to get some perspectives on Swindon from some other people instead of only mine.
Read my Switch on to Swindon story here: http://swindonian.me/2017/04/11/my-switch-on-to-swindon-story/
I’ve met loads of people when business networking in my AA Editorial Services hat. Some of them have become clients and/or friends. So I decided to ask them what their favourite things in and around Swindon are.
First up we’ve got Tim Perkins. Being a sucker for punishment Tim has not one but two businesses. I mean really? Why WOULD you?!
One of them is TMP planning – and you can find out more about that by clicking the hyperlink.
The other is Wild Goose Gear and that one concerns itself with all things outdoorsy! ‘We love outdoor exercise and will find any excuse to be out about exploring the countryside on foot, by bike or in the water. From walking the dog, to hiking, running, cycling and open water swimming there are many ways to enjoy the outdoors.’
Wild Goose Gear on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wildgoosegear/?fref=ts
Their newly formed blog: https://wildgoosegear.wordpress.com
and their Ebay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/wildgoosegear/
So it’s not surprising then that Tim has chosen to talk about the countryside around Swindon. TBH this blog is meant to be concerned with stuff INSIDE Swindon (that comes under SBC) but I’ll stretch the point. Wroughton is close enough for government work. So now over to Tim:
‘One of the great things about Swindon is the fantastic countryside right on the door step of the town. Unless you live nearby you may not know about Kings Farm Wood in Wroughton. Yet it’s a fine example of a walk that’s close to the town and easy to access.
Woodpeckers and Wildflowers on the edge of Wroughton in King’s Wood Walk
Kings Farm Wood is the most accessible of a series of linked nature reserves. They include Clouts Wood, Markham Banks and the Diocese Meadows on the southern edge of Wroughton. They’e all managed by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and include contrasting landscapes of meadows, combes and woodland on slopes leading up towards the Marlborough Downs.
Here’s a brief description of the Kings Farm Wood walks which can also be extended to take in the other areas I mentioned.
- Start From the Ellendune Centre in Wroughton (by Tesco). There’s a large free car park here if you are driving. Walk out past the library and the War Memorial and turn left.
In a few yards you’ll reach traffic light where you go straight across (past the Co-op on your right). Keep straight on for a few hundred yards until you get to the end of this road. There you’ll see a street sign for Nursery Close pointing right. Follow this road for a few yards and you take a tarmacked footpath on your left between hedges.
- At the end of this cross a road (Badgers Brook) and a small stream and go through the metal gate where you’ll see the information boards for Kings Farm Wood on your right.
- Now there are three waymarked routes shown on the board on the left. These are well signposted and easy to follow:
Yellow (0.6 miles) – This is out and back route on a good quality gravel track which is suitable for pushchairs and mobility scooter.
Red (0.6 miles) – Again this is a short route on more undulating paths.
Blue (1 mile) – The longest route takes you along the gravel path to a metal gate into a field. If you have a dog, note that there may be cattle in this field so keep your dog on a lead.
Across the field you then turn left up a fairly steep slope to the top of the bank and back along a path with some fantastic views of Swindon through meadows and young planted woodland. Weather permitting you will see the distinctive white Nationwide HQ, Christchurch in Old Town and a glimpse of the top of the Murray John Tower. Follow the waymarks and you will eventually come back down the hill to the start.
These three walks are all short and the yellow one in particular is very accessible.
For the more adventurous the walks can easily be extended as there are a network of paths in this area. These link the four areas of Clouts Wood, Diocese Meadows and Markham Banks which can all be explored on a longer walk.
To get to Clouts Wood simply go through the gate at the end of the gravel path straight across the field and then through the gate opposite. There are several options of paths to the left up the hill and when you get to the top you simply turn right to reach Clouts Wood. If in doubt climb until you reach the fence that marks the boundary with the Science Museum land (old RAF Wroughton) and turn right.
Here’s a link to the Wiltshire Wildlife leaflet of this whole area, where it’s located and how to get there Clouts Wood including Kings Farm Wood, Diocese Meadows and Markham Banks