Getting out in nature is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. As well as the physical benefits of taking a stroll in the countryside, the gentle exercise helps release mood-boosting endorphins. According to studies, being in nature reduces anger, fear and stress, to help you feel better emotionally.
A good walk is also the perfect way to explore a new area if you’re on your holidays. Donnington Grove Hotel has an abundance of woodland and waterside walks on the doorstep, so you don’t need to venture far to get your fix. Here are a few of our favourites walks near Donnington and Newbury.
1. Donnington Castle & Snelsmore Common Loop
This scenic circular walk takes you through woodland trails and weaves through our golf course to lead you to historic Donnington Castle. Accessible all year round, you can enjoy this walk throughout the seasons, taking note of the changing colours and wildlife. If you’re feeling energetic, then why not lace up your running shoes and enjoy this route as a trail run.
2. Kennet & Avon Canal Walk
A waterside meander around Thatcham Lake and the Kennet and Avon Canal, there’s plenty of birdlife to be spotted along this gentle route. Watch out for Great Crested Grebes, Sand Martine, Coots and Mute Swans. Family friendly, and suitable for keen trail runners, this walk takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete, and features a nice café at the start/end, perfect for a post walk treat.
Get the route >
3. Beacon Hill Climb
Distance: 1.3km out and back trail
One of the highest points in the North Wessex Downs, Beacon Hill
is the site of an ancient iron age hill fort. The climb is very steep and particularly challenging in wet weather (suitable footwear is a must!), but the view at the top is worth the effort. Enjoy panoramic countryside views, and Downton Abbey fans will be pleased to spot Highclere Castle, filming location for the popular TV series.
Get the route >
4. Highclere Castle Walks
Walk in the footsteps of the Crawley family, with a stroll around the gorgeous grounds of Highclere Castle - setting for the acclaimed TV series, Downton Abbey. There are various routes, with some limited to summertime use only, but a number open to the public all year round. Follow the link below to discover the routes and accessibility.
5. Pangbourne Circular Walk
This walk takes you through the picturesque village of Pangbourne. Admire the characterful architecture as you wander through the village before reaching Pangbourne meadow – the perfect spot for a picnic if you’ve come armed with sandwiches. Stroll through woodland, following waymarked trails to join up with the River Pang which will lead you back into the village.
Get the route >
Refuel and relax
After your walk you’ll need to refuel and relax. Enjoy a spot of lunch or afternoon tea in Beau’s Restaurant – if the sun is out, you can enjoy our terrace overlooking the River Lambourn. Even better – book an overnight stay and enjoy a dining experience followed by a restful night’s sleep on our peaceful estate.