Circular Walk – Hungerford to the Crown & Anchor in Ham
Hungerford to Ham (via Sanham Green): 4 miles/6 km; approx 1 hour 30 minutes; generally level.
Ham to Hungerford (return via Standen Manor): 5.5 miles 9 km; approx 2 hours; generally level.
Total 9.5 miles/15 km; approx 3 hours 30 minutes walking time.
This is a delightful, varied walk, especially in the autumn or spring when the woodland colours are at their best.
The walk offers two alternative first sections, both of which start at Hungerford Town Hall (TH on the map).
1: Walk up Hungerford High Street and then along the residential Priory Road and around the unsightly Bewley Homes development (point A on the map).
Where Priory road turns to the left, there is a footpath marker between houses straight ahead. There is a no-entry sign here. However, if you persevere some 100m along the path and reach the fenced building site, you can then turn left and follow the boundary around the site to rejoin the footpath on the far side of the fenced area.
After navigating around the development, continue to Sanham Green.
2: If you wish to avoid the Bewley Homes development, walk across the ancient Hungerford Common with its permanent pasture and mature trees, and then, taking care, follow the road to Sanham Green to the point mentioned above. (This is marked •••• on the map).
At Sanham Green, these two alternative routes join. From here, the route passes through beautiful mature woodland to Prosperous (once the home of Jethro Tull the pioneer agricultural inventor) and on to the lovely village of Ham for a drink or meal at the popular Crown & Anchor Pub.
The Crown & Anchor recently featured in the “Best Places to Stay in the UK – Sunday Times 80 Top British Hotels” list. Advance booking is advised by calling 01488 503040 or visiting the website.
Suitably refreshed, you can follow the slightly longer route back to Hungerford to complete your circular walk. This skirts the pretty village of Shalbourne, crosses the A338 and follows the shallow bourne or stream (after which the village was named) via Stype’s wonderful woodlands, Bagshot and Standen Manor and so back to Hungerford.
However, if you wish to linger longer at the pub, you can return the same way you came or get a taxi home.