Ambling Around Aldermaston | West Berkshire Villages

Ambling Around Aldermaston is a delight with so much to see and do. Aldermaston is a parish in Berkshire. It is known for The Atomic Weapons Establishment, the Wharf & Canal and Countryside. It is roughly equidistant from Newbury, Basingstoke and Reading, centred 46 miles (74 km) west-by-south-west of London.

Ambling Around Aldermaston-Aldermaston Wharf- The Canal River Trust
Aldermaston Wharf| West Berkshire Villages

Once a busy industrial canal wharf, Aldermaston Wharf is now a picture of tranquillity. It’s not just narrowboats these days, that visit the Kennet & Avon Canal at Aldermaston, an increasingly Aldermaston Wharf is the starting point for canoe trails.

There is walking and dog walking, cycling, fishing, boat trips and the Rowbarge canal and river walk.

Nearby flooded gravel pits and the canal are wonderful for wildlife. Why not go out nature spotting – you never know what you might see a kingfisher or two?

There’s parking at Aldermaston Wharf near the cafe and behind the basin and Aldermaston Station is a brisk but pleasant five minute walk from the wharf.

Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth Walk| West Berkshire Villages

A three mile circular walk from Aldermaston Wharf in West Berkshire. The walk starts at the visitor centre on the Kennet & Avon Canal before joining rural tracks and paths across several waterways and fields to reach the adjacent village of Padworth.The walk is relatively flat with just a couple of very gentle slopes. The paths follow unmade tracks and grass paths across fields, parkland and alongside the river, all of which can be very muddy after rain and in the winter months. You will need to negotiate several gates, narrow footbridges and one stile (which is very low and also has open fence surrounds to allow dogs to pass through). You will be sharing a couple of the fields with horses and one field occasionally holds cattle, so take particular care with dogs. Allow 1.5 hours.

Ambling Around Aldermaston-Aldermaston Tearooms
Silchester| West Berkshire Villages

Silchester was originally the centre of the Iron Age kingdom of the Atrebates tribe from the late 1st century BC. After the Roman conquest in AD 43 it developed into the town of Calleva Atrebatum. Laid out on a distinctive street grid pattern, the town contained many public buildings and flourished until the early Anglo-Saxon period. Unusually among the Roman towns of southern Britain, it was not abandoned until the 6th or 7th century. Substantially excavated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and over the last 30 years, Silchester remains one of the best preserved Roman towns in Britain and is one of the few that were continuously occupied from the Iron Age.

Iron Age Tribal Centre

The Iron Age town of Calleva, which covered over 32 hectares, seems to have been established between about 20 and 10 BC. It may have been a planned settlement of people from north-west Gaul (modern France), centred around the town of Arras and the tribe of the Atrebates.

The town became a major processing and trading centre. Locally manufactured goods, such as horse and chariot gear, were exchanged for metals, grain, slaves and other commodities from across southern Britain. In turn these were passed to the Roman world in exchange for luxury foodstuffs and manufactured goods.

A low bank is the only evidence remaining today of the Iron Age defensive earthworks. There would have been a number of cemeteries situated outside the town. Only one, containing cremation burials, has been found through excavation.

Ambling Around Aldermaston-Iron Age tribal centre and more…

After the Roman conquest the territory of the Atrebates retained some autonomy until the late 1st century AD.

Silchester Roman City Walls and Amphitheatre

Silchester in Hampshire has its origins as Calleva, a centre of the Iron Age Atrebates tribe from the late 1st century BC. After the Roman conquest of AD 43 it became the large and important town of Calleva Atrebatum. Unlike most Roman towns, it was never reoccupied or built over after it was abandoned in the 6th or 7th century, so archaeological investigations have given an unusually complete picture of its development.

The complete circuit of the Roman walls, some of the best-preserved Roman town defences in England, and remains of the amphitheatre still stand.

Ambling Around Aldermaston-SILCHESTER ROMAN CITY WALLS, Hampshire. Reconstruction drawing by Peter Urmston showing spectators arriving at the amphitheatre for a gladiatorial contest c.250 AD, seen from the south
City of the Dead: Calleva Atrebatu m| West Berkshire Villages

The Iron Age and Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum can be found deep in the north Hampshire countryside in the parish of Silchester. But where once there was a busy, populous centre, now there are only green fields. All that is now visible above ground, of a settlement that thrived for more than 500 years between the first century BC and the fifth or sixth century AD, are sections of the late Iron Age fortifications of rampart and ditch, the Roman amphitheatre and, most impressive of all, the entire circuit of the late Roman town walls.

City of the Dead: Calleva Atrebatum
Pamber Forest and Upper Inhams Copse Nature | West Berkshire Villages
Ambling Around Aldermaston-Pamber Forest and Upper Inhams Copse Nature Reserve

A beautiful woodland bursting with wildlife.

Pamber Forest comes alive in spring, with the melodious song of blackcaps and garden warblers overhead and carpets of flowers emerging from the forest floor, including daffodils, primroses and wood anemones. Also keep a look out for butterflies, bees, woodpeckers, squirrels and deer – you may be lucky to enough to spot a fawn in late spring.

Find out what has been happening from our latest Newsletter.

Our two-mile waymarked trail is the best way to plan your first visit and takes in the forest’s very best viewpoints. 

See if you can find your way to the ‘Donkey Tree’ – one of Pamber’s oldest trees at over 300 years old! It’s not the tallest but it is the widest. How many members of your family will you need to wrap your arms around its trunk?

Some paths can be muddy and unsuitable for pushchairs. Bring your wellies just in case!

Upper Inhams Copse to the east of Pamber Forest was bought by the Trust in 2001, following a gift in the Will of Gwen Talmey. Gwen made the donation in memory of her parents, Samuel Jesse Coakes and Elizabeth Verina Coakes.

Ambling Around Aldermaston-Paices Wood Country Parkland
Paices Wood Country Parkland | West Berkshire Villages

A wonderful place for a walk through varied scenery including woodland, heathland, lakes and ponds.

In spring bluebells carpet the woodland floor. On sunny days during the summer you can see butterflies such as the common blue fluttering across woodland clearings. Later in the year keep an eye out for fungi such as chicken of the woods springing up on logs and stumps of wood.

Seven Lakes Angling run a day ticket fishery in the park. Tickets available on the banks or buy online.

Wildlife walks: Orange (approx 3 miles) guides you around different features such as the lakes, woodland and amphibian area. Blue (approx 1.3 miles) concentrates on woodland, ranging from alder coppice in the wet bottom of the valley to sweet chestnut and cherry trees further up the valley. 

Food & Drink| West Berkshire Villages
The Spring Inn
The Spring Inn

The time has come for us to reopen our gardens from the 12th April. We are accepting bookings from a maximum of 2 households or up to 6 people from multiple households. All our tables that can be booked will be covered. However we will have a number of tables that are open which work on a first come first serve basis.
To book your table please email or call and a member of staff will be able to help.
We will then be open for inside service from the 17th May.
We look forward to welcoming everyone back for some delicious food, great company and fantastic service.

The Terrace

In summer a terrace overlooks the Sulhamstead and Ufton cricket club adding yet another angle to the Spring Inn.

We offer a full range of menus that will match your plans and if not, we are happy to discuss alternatives. 

The Menu
The Woof Pack
The Woof Pack
The Elm Tree | West Berkshire Villages
The Elm Tree

From Wednesday 14th April: Reopen for outdoor drinking and dining. Open Wednesday to Sunday.Please be aware that our outdoor area is covered but not heated so keep an eye on the weather and dress appropriately!

The Butt Inn | West Berkshire Villages
The Butt Inn

Garden is now open

The Rosebourne | West Berkshire Villages
The Rosebourne

The Outdoor Restaurants are open

The Hinds Head- Reopening in May 2021
The Rowbarge | West Berkshire Villages
The Rowbarge

We can now welcome those from 2 households or groups of up to 6 people from mixed households (including children), to enjoy some alfresco eating and drinking. We do have outside areas that can be booked online between April 12th and May 17th or alternatively, we are keeping some tables aside should you just want to pop down and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat without a booking. (Please note, from May 17th when we’re able to open inside the pub, you won’t be able to book outside tables online. Any bookings made from May 17th will be for inside the pub.).

Whilst we are obviously all keeping everything crossed for good weather, it’s best to come prepared for every eventuality, so wrap up warm, bring a blanket and perhaps even an umbrella, just in case. If the heavens do open, we’re really sorry but we won’t be able to allow you to shelter inside the pub.

The Calleva Arms | West Berkshire Villages
The Calleva Arms

We are delighted to be welcoming you back on Friday 16 April. It’s been a long time coming and we can’t wait to see you.

Over the summer, as we deal with Covid-19, ‘we will be producing a Garden Menu including our popular pizzas! Locally renowned Head Chef Kevin Griffiths has put together a simple selection of meals to enjoy in our lovely garden


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