Snelsmore Common’s not only a great spot for a walk, but there’s a cafe in the car park. The Snugg, run by Tracey Foster, is open six days a week (closed Tuesday- but check their Facebook page) offering teas, coffees and freshly baked cakes.
Navigation and Orienteering
Dinton Activity Centre has a series of navigation and orienteering activities which are either self-led or instructor led.
For a self-led exploration of the country park, download a map, print it off and away you go. Our full orienteering course is a 30 control point course and was built in association with the British Orienteering Federation. The course is spread across the country park, taking you around the lakes, across meadows and grassland and on a grand tour of our beautiful 400 acre site. There is also a possibility of exploring a shorter route, the last ten control points, 21-30, which is a recent addition to the course and keeps participants on meadow land and away from the main lakes and walking trails of the country park.
Another short route is the All Access Trail. This trail starts out from the main car park, continuing around our fantastic play park, along the lake and looping back to the car park, all on easy trails. This course is best suited to younger participants and is wheelchair and pushchair friendly.
Read more about instructor led navigation and orienteering on our Parties for Children and School and Youth pages.
Download your free navigation and orienteering maps
All downloads are in PDF format, so will work directly from a smartphone or tablet.
- The All Access Trail Map – short and easy access loop
- Dinton Pastures Full Course Map – full country park course
- Dinton Lea Heath Map – great for practicing your compass work
- Information Sheet
Going stir crazy locked up inside? Stretch your legs and refuel en route with these brilliant local walks, all with pitstops for coffee and cake. Grab your wellies and go!
A 400-acre site, that has something for everyone. Want to get competitive? Test your ability to use a compass and a map on the 30-point Orienteering Course or hit the many trails and run. If your pace is more of a saunter than speedy, there are easy trails that take in the lake, play park and green spaces that perfectly suited to littlies and are pushchair and wheel-chair friendly. View the walks here.
Coffee stop – Do not pass go without popping into The Dragonfly Café, which has a permanent smell of freshly baked cakes wafting from the kitchen. They’re currently offering a selection of hot pastries and pasties, coffee, teas and hot chocolates. Open until 4pm, 7 days a week.
Finchampstead Ridges, nestled in southern Berkshire, has been in the National Trust family for over 100 years. Head to Simon’s Wood and walk the avenue of redwood Sequoia trees (also known as Wellingtonia trees), planted in 1863, see if you can spot the second century Roman Road, nicknamed the Devil’s Highway and Heat’s Pond is a pretty spot at this time of the year.
Coffee stop – If you’re heading to Finchampstead Ridges, there are a couple of places to refuel. The Hive Beer and Coffee Shop in Crowthorne – where you can grab hot drinks, sweet and savoury snacks and a rather fab selection of craft beers, Wed–Sun. Now you’re talking our language. Alternatively, Two Sisters, also in Crowthorne, is open Mon-Sat, 10am-3pm, offering sarnies, cakes, hot drinks and you can order online to avoid queuing.
Coffee stop – Chocolate box pretty village with pretty café in the square. The Pantry has a fantastic local reputation, so you can imagine the buzz when they announced this week that they would be reopening for takeaway on Saturdays and Sundays. Serving Kingdom Coffee and Happy Larder tea, they serve an epic selection of cakes, hot sarnies and, if there’s a sausage roll, buy it. They’re seriously good.
Stanford Dingley and its surrounding meadows and woodland are what escaping to the countryside is all about. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you can celebrate the seasons and there’s half a chance you’ll bump into a dog-walking Cambridge or Middleton. This moderate four-mile stomp is a two-hour belter with some steep sections, a couple of hills and some muddy, uneven ground, but there are a few shortcuts if you want to bail out early. A colourful walk to see the seasons change that’s particularly lovely in spring. View walk here.
Coffee stop – Resist the urge to go to Costa and walk a little further down to Baxters Café Kitchen. They’ve opened the takeaway hatch during lockdown to bring you delicious coffee, teas and hot chocolate, plus cakes, sausage rolls and their famous tartlets. Open Fridays and Saturdays, 10am-2pm.
Pangbourne Circular Walk
This nice 3 mile circular walk around the Berkshire village of Pangbourne includes waterside stretches along the River Thames and the River Pang.
Start the walk from Panbourne train station and then head east along the Thames Path to Pangbourne Meadow. It’s a delightful spot which is great for picnics and also hosts the annual Village fete in June. After passing along the pretty meadow the route turns south, following a footpath along the Sul Brook towards Sulham Woods. You can take a short detour south and visit the attractive woods which contain a series of waymarked trails. This walk heads west to meet up with the River Pang where you can follow a path along the river back to the village.
To extend your walking in the area you could continue east along the Thames towards Purley on Thames and visit Mapledurham House. The estate is a lovely place for a stroll and includes a 15th century watermill. Around here you can also pick up the long distance Chiltern Way which runs through the area.
If you head west along the path it will take you towards Basildon Park. Here you will find 4 different waymarked trails taking you through 400 acres of parkland and woodland
No muddy paws or feet for starters. Work has recently been completed on creating a green superhighway on the old Didcot railway line that connects the villages of Hermitage and Hampstead Norreys in West Berkshire. It’s 2.5 miles each way, pretty flat and perfect for runners, cyclists, dog walkers and families with pushchairs or kids on bikes. A super-easy, safe stroll. View the walk here.
Nearby pitstop: Hampstead Norreys Village Shop & Café is a must-visit. Hot and cold drinks to takeaway, homemade sausage rolls, sarnies, and cakes. A well-deserved treat.
The main tea-room is currently closed. Please check the front page of our website for the latest updates.
Our Toolshed kiosk is open in the stableyard and serves drinks and light refreshments.
Please note we will only be accepting card payments at this time and contactless payment will be preferred.
A great spot if you fancy a stroll with your annual snowdrops. Basildon, in Lower Basildon has loads of different routes around its 400-acre parkland and gardens including the green walk through the woodland, or the longer three-mile orange route around the estate’s boundary. Booking is essential.