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Three silver birch trunks with far-reaching woodland views behind them at Finchampstead Ridges, Berkshire
The spectacular views from Finchampstead Ridges, Berkshire | © National Trust Images/David Sellman

Finchampstead Ridges ramble

A waymarked trail across Finchampstead Ridges, with far-reaching views toward the Hog's Back ridge in Surrey. The route takes in two ponds and a woodland section, with opportunities to spot wildlife including birds of prey, deer and colourful dragonflies. This trail was created with funding from Finchampstead Parish Council and the Reading NT volunteers. Thanks to volunteers at Finchampstead Ridges for recording the route.

Waymarked walk

We recommend parking at the Simon’s Wood Car Park and walking to the start point. The route is marked by National Trust Red Oak Leaf icon waymarks with a red band.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Direction Dial, Finchampstead Ridges, grid ref: SU 8090 6345

Step 1

Start your walk by the first waymarker near the Direction Dial. Head slightly left, where you will see the second waymarker. Before turning left here, walk a few more yards ahead to find an information panel where you can learn about the history and landscape of the area. A few steps beyond this is a bench with fantastic views over the Surrey countryside. The Direction Dial was unveiled on 12 August 1929 by James Herbert Benyon, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire.

Step 2

Retrace your steps to the waymarker and follow the heather-bordered path.

Pink heather flowers, with tall trees beyond, on the hillside of the Ridge at Finchampstead Ridges, Runnymede in Surrey
Heather at Finchampstead Ridges, Berkshire | © National Trust Images/David Sellman

Step 3

Turn right at the waymarker and follow the track down the Ridges.

Step 4

At the bottom of the hill turn left by the waymarker. This will take you over boardwalks and a gently winding path down to the bottom end of the Ridges.

Step 5

Turn right after the National Trust notice board and you'll see Spout Pond on your left. There's a bench here where you can pause to enjoy the peace and tranquillity and watch for the pond wildlife.

Common darter dragonfly on blade of grass at Croome, Worcestershire
You may spot a common darter buzzing around the pond | © National Trust Images/Tracey Blackwell

Step 6

Follow the waymarked track to the wide, well-worn path often used by horse riders (6.5 on the map). Note, this track can get especially muddy in winter. Turn right through the second set of horse gates and make your way to the next waymarker.

Step 7

Turn right through the horse gates and back into the woodland. Keep to the right and you'll pass Ironstone Pond on your right. The track will now start to take you back up the Ridges.

Step 8

When you arrive at the five-point path crossing, follow the waymarked track to the left. The incline now starts to increase, and this path will gradually take you back to the top of the Ridges.

A juvenile hobby perched in a tree
Look – and listen – for hobbies here | © National Trust Images / Jim Bebbington

Step 9

Turning right on the top path by the waymarker will take you to another vantage point overlooking the Ridges, where you can stay a while and admire the view.

Step 10

Retrace your steps and follow the undulating track on the right through the woodland. As the path winds its way back towards the starting point.

Step 11

Turning right at the waymarker here will take you to yet another lovely view that's especially beautiful towards sunset. Then continue a little further along the track to the last waymarker.

Step 12

Turn left here to head back to your starting point.

End point

Direction Dial near the roadside, grid ref: SU 8090 6345

Trail map

Ordnance Survey map of the Finchampstead Ridges trail, Surrey
The Finchampstead Ridges trail route, Surrey | © Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Windsor Road, near Old Windsor, Surrey, SL4 2JL (SatNav: TW20 0AE)

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