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.

Length 5.5 mi Elevation gain 475 ft Route type Loop

Kid friendly

Hiking

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Partially paved

River

Views

Wild flowers

Pub 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 (25)
Photos (22)
Recordings (8)
Completed (70)
Denis Clover
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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

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Andy Betts
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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

Julie Cottrell
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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.

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
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.

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

Sharon P.
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HikingFloodedMuddyWashed out

Loved this walk apart from short stretch on road

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Colin Evans
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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.

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Farah Clavijo
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HikingMuddyOff trailOver grown
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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.

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.

Sparky B.
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 8, 2018

Did the walk today with the wife. Some of the water sections are really lovely. Came across the young calves other people have mentioned, they were completely harmless. Will come back in the summer.

johnny johnny
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great walk!!!

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.

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

Julia Julia
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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)

Anne Pappenheim
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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).

Samantha Bridge
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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

Yair Halfon
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Hiking
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Dave Willdig
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Hiking
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Adrian Herridge
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Hiking
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Anna S.
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Hiking
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Kevin Leroux
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