GREAT BEDWYN TO CROFTON

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Click on thumbnail for picture of Wilton windmill

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Waypoint

Map Reference

Bearing to next waypoint

START SU 2798 6458 226
WP1 SU 2770 6427 148
WP2 SU 2785 6407 139
WP3 SU 2816 6376 157
WP4 SU 2839 6332 180
WP5 SU 2843 6276 206
WP6 SU 2815 6207 278
WP7 SU 2799 6208 176
WP8 SU 2803 6181 268
WP9 SU 2704 6170 329
WP10 SU 2642 6257 321
WP11 SU 2594 6307 35
WP12 SU 2654 6408 352
WP13 SU 2637 6484 295
WP14 SU 2597 6499 17
WP15 SU 2606 6541 23
WP16 SU 2629 6606 87
WP17 SU 2675 6612 165
WP18 SU 2690 6569 138
WP19 SU 2728 6533 134
WP20 SU 2749 6515 129
WP21 SU 2786 6489 163
START SU 2798 6458 -
General:- This 8 mile walk is fairly flat but you do get good views and, unusually for Wiltshire, much of the route is through woodland. There are two routes back from Crofton, the short one along the canal, the other through woodland and open fields. 

There are 2 key points of interest on the route and as none of them take a long time to view it's worth a short detour. They are only open from Easter to end of September so it's worth saving this walk for the spring/summer period.

Crofton Steam Engine is unique and people often look in disbelief when they realise its sole purpose is to pump water up from the river below to the Kennet & Avon Canal. The canal suffered water shortage problems right from the outset, much of it went via leaks but the chain of locks at Devizes also consumed vast quantities of water each time a boat went through. The Victorian canal owners turned to James Watt, inventor of the steam engine. He provided a giant beam engine with cylinders 3 feet in diameter to pump the water and housed it in a massive 3 storey building with a chimney to match. The curious will notice a small building close to the canal, this houses a modern pump to do the same job as the steam engine and you cannot but wonder how far technology has come when you compare the size of one with the other. More remarkable still, the steam engine is in running order! A dedicated team of enthusiasts fire it up most Bank Holidays so you can see it in all its glory. At other times you can visit and imagine the vast machine hissing and whooshing as the beam rocks. Log on to www.katrust.org to learn more.

Wilton windmill is also fully restored and they too allow the public to watch it work on Sunday afternoons. At first sight it is hard to believe the sails are able to drive the crude wooden machinery to grind corn but, providing there is enough wind, once the sails are set you can see it work with a timeless grace little seen in modern machinery.

(GPS length short route 4.97 miles, longer route 7.58 miles). 

 How to get there: From A4 Marlborough to Hungerford Rd turn south at SU 2956 6789. Follow signs to Great Bedwyn passing through Chisbury on the way. Once in Great Bedwyn follow signs to railway station. Park in station carpark.

From the south: Turn left off A338 at SU2914 6142 Follow signs to Great Bedwyn passing through Crofton on the way. Once in Great Bedwyn follow signs to railway station. Park in station carpark.