Walking

Walking trail

The Coombes walk

Walking trail

Hidden in the small village of Hinton Parva (only a stone's throw from Swindon) is the stunning dry valley of The Coombes.

An unspoilt stretch of countryside teeming with wildlife

A walk with steep slopes either side of you and beautiful wildflowers in the summer, with lots of farmland birds all year round. Grade of walk: Trainer (all rounder); Type of walk: 'Flora & Fauna', 'Beautiful Views'.

View over the Coombes

Map

Map route for The Coombes walk

Start:

Hinton Parva car park, grid ref: SU228832

1

From the car park go through the bridle gate into the Coombes.

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2

As you walk through the first narrow section, you'll see some willow pollards to your right. This is an area which is good for bird life as there are a lot of bushes with good winter berries. Red wing and fieldfare love the haw berries when the winter sets in.

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3

Follow the bottom of the valley, as it opens up with steep slopes on either side. The slopes are rich with chalk grassland flora in the summer. Kidney vetch, birds foot trefoil, small scabious and pyramidal orchid are commonly seen. Watch out for buzzards and the occasional red kite with its distinctive forked tail.

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4

Continue to the end of the valley where there's a waymarker. At this point turn right and follow the track back up the slope. This is the only climb on the walk but takes you right through the chalk grassland.

5

Once you've reached the top of the climb, follow the route back downhill to the valley bottom. There's an alternative route through the gate into the lovely old fashioned hay meadow which will be full of cowslips in early May.

6

Follow the valley back towards the car park and your start point. If you walked through the hay meadow, go through the gate in the north-east corner of the field and cross the sleeper bridge and back to the car park.

7

Turn left onto the path on which you started the walk. This will take you back to the start point.

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End:

Hinton Parva car park, grid ref: SU228832

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The Coombes walk

Terrain

A circular walk around the dry valley, with a climb at one point. The bottom of the valley has a spring, so will be wet in winter.

Dogs are welcome but please keep a close eye on them near livestock.

The Coombes walk

Contact us

The Coombes walk

How to get here

Address
The Coombes, Hinton Parva, nr Swindon, Wiltshire, SN4 0DH
By train

Swindon, 5 miles (8km).

By road

3 miles (4.8km) east of Swindon. From Swindon A419 take road through Wanborough to Hinton Parva.  Car park behind village hall near telephone box.  Alternatively from A346 take turning east at Chiseldon and follow signs for Hinton Parva.

By bus

Thamesdown Transport 47 from Swindon, Monday to Friday; RH X47 on Saturdays.

The Coombes walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs are welcome, but please keep under control around livestock