This is a great walk with no livestock (at time of walking) as the route is through arable farmland and closed wooded areas.
Although this is a moderately easy walk it does include some very steep wooden steps so please be conscious of this before setting out.
Take the B4019 from Highworth (towards Blunsdon), turn right at The Freke Arms signed Hannington and continue for 1/3 mile. Park on the left hand side of the road in front of a set of double gates next to a large oak tree. Head through the gates and follow the path directly in front of you for 0.7kms.
0.7km, you will come to a fork with a wooden signpost, take the right hand path signed Hannington.
1.0km, there is a break in the trees, cross the farm track and continue straight.
1.1km, take the path on the left signed Hannington. This takes you up a slight incline through an avenue of trees with open fields on both sides.
1.6km, on your left hand side, set back from the path, is a metal “kissing gate”. Go through the gate and out into a large field, the footpath takes you straight across the filed to another “kissing gate” on the far side.
1.8km, go though the “kissing gate” and down the steep wooden steps, do take care as these can become very slippery and the hand rails are not very secure.
At the base of the steps cross the path and head into the next field with the hedge row on your right. Continue with the hedge on your right and the new copse on your left.
2.1km, bear right over the wooden foot bridge though the break in the hedge and then bear right with the hedge on your right.
2.2km, turn left keeping the hedge on your right and continue on until you arrive at the stream.
2.5km, bear right at the bottom of the field and then left over a second wooden foot bridge, continue through the trees for 10meters until you see a path running left to right.
Turn left onto the path and continue for 0.9km. The path follows a gentle incline and takes you through an avenue of trees with open fields on both sides.
3.4km, you will come to a T junction in the path, turn left signed to Hannington. Follow the path up hill for 0.2kms. At time of walking there were cows in the field on the right so do keep an eye out if you have dogs that chase livestock.
3.6km, you arrive back at Waypoint 1, take the right hand path signed bridleway.
4.3km arrive back at the start point, do take care to keep your dogs under control as you approach the road.
You can choose from The Freke Arms (http://www.frekearms.co.uk/) or the Jolly Tar Inn (http://www.thejollytarinn.co.uk/) both of which offer good food and drink at reasonable prices BUT the Jolly Tar allow dogs in the public bar whereas the Freke Arms only allow dogs outside. The choice is yours.