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The Hardenhuish Circular

October 20, 2019

This is a versatile walk for anyone who lives in the Cepen Park North, Bristol Road, or central Chippenham areas which has plenty of greenery even though the walk itself takes place within the town's boundaries. It's also a good option for muddy days as the walk is paved throughout.

There are a number of entry points depending on where you live. In this instance the mapped walk starts at the railway station to take advantage of the Hungry Hare cafe for a group walk and meeting point. It could also start at Morrison's, or the car park by the Donkey Field/football ground.

As you can see, there is plenty of autumn colour to explore, though of course this is a walk for all seasons.

We took a longer walk down Hardenhuish Lane to explore Saint Nicholas's church and take in the Old Rectory across the road of Kilvert fame. Barnes Road and the footpaths off from there are an alternative route for a longer parkland-like route through Cepen park North if you want to get off the main road a little earlier (see map).

There is another off-main road option by turning left down Park Fields after the Garden vets to get to John Coles Park.

In Summary

Start point: Outside Chippenham Railway Station

Distance: About 3 to 3.4 miles depending on starting point and any slight variations taken on the route (map shows 3.4 mile option)

Difficulty: Easy - mainly flat and tarmac paths.

Walk time: Around an hour, excluding cafe or churchyard exploration time.

Cafe: The Hearty Hare at the Railway Station

Map: See above

Alternative variations: Start and end at Morrison's Car Park, with a cafe option and loos in Morrison's. Start and end at the car park on London Road in front of the football ground. Refreshments need to be found on the way round for this option if wanted. Another cafe possibility is the refreshment kiosk in John Coles Park, though this may be closed for an evening walk. There are several possible variations on the route through John Coles Park and off from Hardenhuish Lane as shown on the map. Members starting from their home can choose a starting point closest to their house.

Parking (if needed): Hathaway Retail Park has free parking for up to 3 hours and is a short walk away over the railway bridge to the start point. NB there is a car park at the station, but the cost to park for the day is over £7 (price as at August 2019).

Park at Morrison's or in front of the football ground on London Road (not on match days for the latter) if either of these walk variations is taken. Both of these parking options are free.

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