MOTORWAY SECTION:
Broome Manor Lane to Croft Road (1.2 miles / 1.9km)

This section of the Green Trail runs parallel to the M4 motorway and through Croft Country Park.

Exit Coate Water Country Park through the gate and carefully cross over Broome Manor Lane to follow the Green Trail as it skirts around the edge of the Broome Manor Golf Course.

Railway Culvert

Keep your eyes open for a brick culvert on the southside of the Green Trail – this marks the route of the former Midland & South Western Junction Railway which, from Old Town Station, ran alongside Marlborough Road and Broome Manor Lane before heading out to Chiseldon and on to Andover.

Nightingale Farm

During the construction of the M4 motorway in the 1960s, shards of Roman pottery were found on this site suggesting that people have lived here for at least 2,000 years. The farmhouse dates from the early 19th century.

Casso's Wood

Casso’s Wood was planted by 800+ people as part of the ‘Plant a Tree for Africa’ initiative on 19 January 1992. An inscribed sarsen stone, partly hidden from view in summer by the surrounding trees and vegetation, memorialises the event. The inscription reads: Casso’s Wood planted January 1992 by friends in fond memory of Cassandra Clunies-Ross ecologist-forester 1965 – 1991 that her work to conserve woodlands here and abroad is not forgotten.

Stone Circle at Fir Clump

Next to Casso’s Wood is Fir Clump, and the remains of an ancient stone circle. It is understood that it consisted of two rings, about 351ft / 107m wide. 34 sarsen stones have been recorded – a few are visible in place in the bank. The memorial in Casso’s Wood is carved into a stone taken from this ancient site.

The Trail now runs adjacent to the M4 motorway, you’ll reach a pedestrian bridge over the M4 motorway at Ladder Lane (an alternative route), the Green Trail carries straight on.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE:
Ladder Lane

Ladder Lane heads south, over the motorway and up through Burderop Wood to Brimble Hill, meeting the Wroughton to Chiseldon road. This steep, historic trackway was the old Swindon to Marlborough route used by stagecoaches and carts drawn by horses or oxen that once hauled goods up and over the hill on the way to market.

You can access routes to the villages of Wroughton, Hodson, and Chiseldon, as well as the Iron Age hillfort of Barbury Castle and the Ridgeway National Trail via Ladder Lane.

The Green Trail now curves to the right at the motorway bridge and into Croft Country Park.

Croft Country Park

Croft Country Park is a mixed woodland established in the mid-1990s. There are ponds, grassy banks, pathways, and footpath links to Great Copse. Croft is also the location of a 3 miles / 5 km mountain bike trail managed and maintained by volunteers from the MB Swindon Club. The waymarked trail has a blue family/beginner trail, and a more difficult red technical trail for more experienced cyclists.

CAUTION: This section of the Trail passes close to the Swindon Mountain Bike Track, please keep to the designated footpath route.

Follow the Green Trail signs through Croft Country Park, past a small pond with adjacent sarsen stone and thriving wildlife, to the Wish Hounds sculpture at the end of one of the lime tree avenues.

The Wish Hounds

The Wish Hounds public artwork was created in 1994 by Lou Hamilton and consists of concrete cast lettering, powder-coated scrap metal and earthworks in a circle of trees. It doesn’t take much imagination to hear the hounds howling as they chase cars along the M4.

The Green Trail passes by a small public car park before it curves through the trees towards Pipers Way. Carefully cross over Pipers Way (alternatively double back and cross over Pipers Way using the traffic island just before the roundabout) and turn left along Pipers Way towards Croft Road. Cross Croft Road at the traffic lights and continue forwards on the footpath into East Wichel.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE:

For routes to the start of the Railway Path in Signal Way or to visit The Lawn via Bruddel Wood, cross Pipers Way and then turn back on yourself slightly and take the path between Glenwood Close Allotments and the roundabout. At the end of the track, turn northwards and head up into Great Copse and follow the trail to Pipers Way or Croft Sports Centre.

If you need some help please call us on 01793 317410 or e-mail admin@southswindon-pc.gov.uk