Cricklade - Cerney Wick - Latton - Cricklade

Cricklade has been described as the best preserved example of a Saxon town. It was one of a number of fortified towns built around Wessex as a defence against the Danes.

It also the first town the River Thames passes through from its source and the walk begins by following the Thames Path out of the town, upstream to North Meadow National Nature Reserve. This is one of the best examples of a lowland hay meadow in Europe. A wide variety of wildflowers can be seen here, but it is most well-known for the very rare snake's head fritillaries. About 80% of all of these flowers in Britain can be found in this one meadow. They flower from late April to early May. In midsummer other flowers such as lady's bedstraw, meadowsweet and greater knapweed provide a colourful spectacle.

The walk then follows a disused railway into the Cotswold Water Park and after circling one of the lakes, heads into Cerney Wick, a small Cotswold village. There is a traditional country pub here, called the Crown, where chickens are free to roam around the garden. The waterside theme to the walk continues after leaving the village as it follows the North Wilts Canal to Latton, then heads across fields to rejoin the Thames Path, which is followed back to Cricklade.

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