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Shaw Country Park - Swindon

LOCALITY: Swindon, Wiltshire
DISTANCE: 2.5 miles (4.02 km)
FACILITIES: Circular route, Parking, Suitable for wheelchairs

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

Walk description:

Divided into three areas of some 53 acres, Shaw Forest Park, a former tip, is gradually being capped and planted and over the past 12 years it has played host to five community tree planting events. Overall 50,000+ trees have been planted, selected especially for their capacity to grow in a variety of poor soils. The site now provides a habitat for a huge variety of wildlife as well as a recreational base for the local communities.

Travelling on Mead Road (the B4534) in Swindon follow the brown tourist signs to Shaw Country Park. The entrance to the park is just off of a roundabout, opposite an industrial area. There are plenty of spaces in the car park and the terrain is large stones, this will make the initial part of the walk quite bumpy until you get onto the designated track.

The start of the walk is quite clear as there is a signpost and information board. Head right towards the large wooden kissing gate. This will pose no access problems for buggies, pushchairs or wheelchairs. The terrain is now small compacted stone and the path is a little bit bumpy in places. You can hear some road noise as the main road is on your right.

As mentioned above there is an abundance of trees and woodland here. The park also has several wooden benches dotted about for you to stop and take in the environment or simply have a rest.

The path will take you to a T junction and you need to take the path to the left, sign posted to Moulton Country Park and River Ray Park Way. (If you wanted to visit a play park for children, then take the path to the right sign posted Shaw River Mead. The path becomes a lot smoother here and will take you to another T junction, turn right under the sub way and you will see the park directly in front of you).

You will then come to a fork in the road, heading left will take you back to the car park if you wish to shorten the route, otherwise continue straight on to River Ray Parkway. The path will change from small compacted stones to larger compacted stones. You will have an expanse of grassland to your right. There is now a slight incline in the path and it can be uneven and bumpy in places. If you are in a wheelchair it may be prudent to take an abled bodied champion to help you up this bit if you are not used to inclines. The terrain is now compacted stone and woodland trail. You will now find yourself walking towards the landfill and a T junction with no sign post. Turn left so that the landfill is on your right.

You will come to another T Junction and you need to veer right and follow the signs to River Ray ad Moulton Hill Country Park. If you wish to return to the car at this point, follow the signs to the left back to the car park. The path here is very wide and is made up of small compacted stone again. You are now following the line of Pylons on your right. Keep following this path by going straight on, you will pass a path to the right sign posted to Moulton Hill Country Park. When you come to the next T junction you again need to head left, sign posted to the car park. Follow this path all the way back to a wooden kissing gate and the car park.


Additional notes:

There is no entrance fee or parking charges and the park appeared to be open all the time.

There really was stacks of wildlife on this walk, we spotted birds, rabbits and 3 deers - which was a lovely surprise!

We bumped into several dog walkers as this is an ideal walk for the entire family.


26/04/2009 | Walk posted by Marie Houlden

Walks With Buggies User Reviews

Shaw Country park

27/04/2009 | Reviewed by cathy nettley

A pleasant walk which has a lot of wildlife to see. However I did find it a little isolated in parts.