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Coate Water to Chiseldon

LOCALITY: Swindon, Wiltshire
DISTANCE: 4 miles (6.44 km)
FACILITIES: There & back, Parking, Toilets, Pub, Cafe

GRADIENT: A few ups & downs
TERRAIN: Medium
OS MAP: Cirencester & Swindon

Walk description:

From the M4 Junction 15, turn left at the first large roundabout onto the A4257 (follow the signposts to Swindon town centre). Follow the Coate Water's entrance is situated and clearly signposted on the next major roundabout, very shortly after the Sun Inn. For Sat Nav users SN3 6AA.

Coate Water Country Park has a 56-acre reservoir built in the 1820s as a headwater tank for the Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal.

This walk will take you from Coate Water to the village of Chiseldon where you could stop for refreshments in the local pub.

From the car park walk past the Rangers office and up the tarmac path to the lake. Head anti-clockwise around the lake, heading towards the children's play area. The path starts as tarmac and just by the play area it turns into compacted stone. When you get to the metal bridge cross over the bridge and then turn left along the cycle path (National Cycle Network route 45). You will see Paddy Copse on the left and an information board on the right.

At the end of the gravel path, take the tarmac path that veers around to the right, all the way to Spiral bridge that goes over the motorway. If you follow the signs to Chiseldon you can't go wrong! As you approach the spiral bridge it does get a bit noisy due to traffic but this does not last long. There are metal bars at the start of the bridge to stop motorised vehicles and to encourage cyclist to slow down. These should not pose a problem for pushchairs,buggies or wheelchairs. Some wheelchair users may benefit from having an abled bodied helper going over the bridge.

When you have crossed the bridge, follow the tarmac path alongside the motorway. You will come across a steep incline for about 20 metres and then you cross a disused bridge. I would suggest that unless you have a tramper or are very adventurous with your wheelchair outings, you may wish to turn back here and retrace your steps.

If you do continue on, you will then come to a T junction. Turn left as going right will take you up the hill. The path becomes gravel and compacted stone and you will have another very steep hill to walk up. The terrain then turns into large compacted stones and then tarmac. Be warned that the path is also very bumpy and uneven.

You will then find yourself in a field with a residential property on the left and an open field on the right. Continue on this path until you reach the lane. Here you need to turn right and walk up the cobbled stone track until you reach the main road.

At this point you can either turn around and retrace your steps, or cross the road and head left into Chiseldon. After about 200 metres you will come across a pub on the mini roundabout.


Additional notes:

From Swindon town centre, there are several bus services that stop directly outside the entrance to the park.

Parking is free and there are plenty of spaces. The terrain in the car park is gravel. There is a small cafe bar which sells a variety of snacks and refreshments.

There are plenty of places to stop and have a picnic. There is a children's play area and a small train in the summer months. Many people will take the family dog for a afternoon walk here.

For more information, please call the Rangers Office on 01793 490150.


08/04/2009 | Walk posted by Marie Houlden

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