Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Rowbarge Canal and River Trail is a 5.5 mile loop trail located near Woolhampton, Berkshire, England that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and bird watching.

Length5.5 miElevation gain475 ftRoute typeLoop
Kid friendlyHikingWalkingBird watchingRunningPartially pavedRiverViewsWild flowersPub walk
Description
Waypoints (5)
Getting There

A circular pub walk from the Rowbarge in Woolhampton. The Rowbarge enjoys a lovely position right on the canal with a large garden giving you chance to enjoy all the canal activity while you savour great ales and food. The walking route follows a long stretch of the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath along to Aldermaston Wharf with chance to enjoy plenty of wildlife and canal boats messing about on the water. The return leg loops south, crossing branches of the River Kennet and its reed beds, following quiet lanes and crossing grazing pastures. The walk is relatively flat with just a few gentle inclines. The surfaces are a mixture of stone and grass towpaths, stone lanes and field paths, many of which can be quite muddy in winter and after periods of rain. Some of the paths can also be overgrown in the summer so shorts are not recommended unless you are immune to nettles! There are several kissing gates on route but no stiles. Some of the fields you cross are likely to be holding cattle so take care with dogs. There is one short section of road walking along the edge of an A-road so beware of the traffic and take particular care with children. Allow 2.5 to 3 hours.

Woolhampton is situated on the A4 between Reading and Newbury. The walk starts and finishes from the Rowbarge pub which is situated on Station Road immediately alongside the canal swing bridge. If you are arriving by train, the pub is just a few hundred yards south of Midgham Station. If you are arriving by car there is a large car park which is on the south side of the pub. Approximate post code RG7 5SH.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (23)
Photos (20)
Recordings (8)
Completed (70)
View user's profile page
sarah shanks
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 20, 2020
WalkingOver grown

the route takes you on an A road with no path and no real verge to walk on. too unsafe for children and a dog, my husband had to run back to the car and come and pick us up.

View user's profile page
Arianne J
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020
WalkingGreat!

Enjoyable walk with a good mix of terrain and views. There weren’t many people on the trail and didn’t meet any on the second half so it was nice and peaceful. The small pathway between Mill Lane and Fisherman’s Lane is now open (6/9/20). Just a warning that the section after the Fisherman’s Lane leads into fields, the second of which had lots of cows in and then you’ll end up on the A340. There’s no pavement so you’re either on the road or on the small uneven verge. The section isn’t very long and the cars do give you a wide berth but it’s a busy and fast road. After this point the nettles come into play, easily fixable with a pair of trousers though! Booked a table in advance at The Rowbarge for after the walk and asked if it was ok to park in their car park before returning to eat. They agreed but do be considerate that it’s not just meant to be a car park to go off on a walk.

View Arianne's Recording
View user's profile page
Denis Clover
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

this was lovely. beautiful scenery and very tranquil. avoid the section on the A340 if you can. this section and the section until you rejoin the towpath spoils it for the test of a lovely trail

View Denis 's Recording
View user's profile page
Andy Betts
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020

Very overgrown by the river on the return. You reach a dead end and have to walk all the way back through the housing estate then down the footpath to just before Aldermaston village. Disappointing all round

View user's profile page
Julie Cottrell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 23, 2020
WalkingWashed out

I wasn't that impressed by this walk, however we did do it during lockdown, when their where large volumes of people around and things got quite squashy.

View user's profile page
Bob Harris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2020
HikingOver grown

Pretty trail but very over grown with stinging nettles in places. Also very fast road for a couple of hundred yards so be aware with children and dogs.

View Bob's Recording
View user's profile page
Sogs Kean
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 1, 2020
Walking

A lovely walk but the footpath at the end of Mill Lane is closed until September 2020. it can be avoided by taking the footpath along the main road. Happy to say that most of the path on the South side of the Kennet has now been cleared. still quite overgrown in the fields prior to emerging on to the canal path so best to avoid shorts.

View user's profile page
Laura L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 25, 2020
Hiking

Lovely walk, Basingstoke road can be avoided when emerging from Wasing Way path, 10m up the road there is a public footpath in the field opposite next to the river Kennet. Stretch of path along the south side of the Kennet from here heading west though is completely overgrown with nettles, virtually impassable now (20/5/20), paths not being cleared apparently

View user's profile page
Colin Evans
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 19, 2020
HikingClosedFloodedMuddyWashed out

Very wet currently, perhaps unsurprising given the recent weather. One of the footpaths was closed completely requiring a diversion and other paths were flooded to knee height.

View Colin's Recording
View user's profile page
Farah Clavijo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 24, 2019
HikingMuddyOff trailOver grown
View Farah's Recording
View user's profile page
Sharon Wyatt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 23, 2019
Hiking

Competed the walk today but 2 sections of canal towpath currently closed and had to walk fairly long road section along busy A4 to rejoin the route which sadly did spoil the walk. Also another section of towpath on way back also closed so had to figure out another reroute. Would have been lovely if it wasn’t for that.

View user's profile page
dimitris dimitris
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 24, 2019

Did not like walking next to the road and there is a different way to get to the fields half way.

View user's profile page
johnny johnny
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 3, 2018

great walk!!!

View user's profile page
Holly Unnuk
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 3, 2018

Loved walk but ditto previous comment. Path still underwater so scrambled under fence to avoid flood! Last leg down canal very overgrown so lots of nettle stings to ankles and arms overhead for that stretch! Still a lovely walk though and a six page Gin Menu at the Rowbarge was a great reward.

View user's profile page
Leigh Mahoney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 6, 2017

Really enjoyed the walk but very overgrown on the last leg. Rowbarge pub really nice & good food.

View user's profile page
Julia Julia
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2016

The Rowbarge is in a beautiful setting. The walk took us 2 1/2 hours without stops. It was quite overgrown during the last part so would not recommend pushchairs or anyone with mobility problems. Really enjoyed following the trail down places you would never find yourself. Highly recommended although give yourself plenty of time. (we had to rush back to ensure we arrived back at the pub in time for a reserved table)

View user's profile page
Anne Pappenheim
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 2, 2015

NB you need only walk a short distance along the A340. At point 4, turn left; at the end of the metal barrier on the other side of the road there is a footpath sign into the field. You can walk through the field rather than along the main road. A lovely walk, much enjoyed. The paths were all clear and well signed yesterday (28 February 2015).

View user's profile page
Samantha Bridge
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2014
First to Review

we really enjoyed this walk fantastic countryside very clear instructions. the only negative I can think of is the main road section, its a very fast road on a blind corner not great with small children and from that point on theres no footpath as such until you get back to the towpath which at this time of year makes it very overgrown. saying that we'd walk it again

View user's profile page
Yair Halfon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking
View Yair's Recording
View user's profile page
Adrian Herridge
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 25, 2020
Hiking
View Adrian's Recording
View user's profile page
Kevin Leroux
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 25, 2019
View user's profile page
Marco Marques
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 6, 2019
Hiking
View Marco's Recording
View user's profile page
Neil Ferguson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 3, 2019
Hiking