Savernake Forest

Starting from Postern Hill Car Park this circular route explore much of the beautiful forest including several of the named oaks and the arboretum.

Technical sheet

A Savernake walk posted on 14/05/20 by Willow Gentian. Last update : 16/11/21
  • Walking
    Activity: Walking
  • ↔
    Distance: 6.62 km
  • ◔
    Calculated time: 2h05 
  • ▲
    Difficulty: Easy

  • ∞
    Return to departure point: Yes
  • ↗
    Vertical gain: + 69 m
  • ↘
    Vertical drop: - 68 m

  • ▲
    Highest point: 201 m
  • ▼
    Lowest point: 153 m
  • ⚐
    District: Savernake 
  • ⚑
    Start/End: N 51.410834° / W 1.715539°

  • …
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Just like an oil painting
Cathedral Oak


(S/E) Postern Hill Car Park. Walk along the tarmac track from the car park to find Bumble Oak, with a Forestry England map of the forest opposite. Facing the map, take a track setting off from the left of it. Follow the broad track. Reaching a crossroads turn left.

(1) Almost immediately see White Road Oak. Continue to another crossroads and turn right. The track goes down and up, passing straight on over a junction. As it curves left, look out for and take a small path to the right on Long Harry path. This brings you to Saddle Oak 2.

(2) Where Long Harry path split, turn right down a narrower path. At the fork at the bottom, bear right and come into the open and take the path straight on. Enter woods and turn left at T junction. Almost immediately, go straight on up a narrow path. Very soon, turn right at T junction by a barbed wire fence. soon turn left at a fork and keep near the fence on left.

(3) As the fence turns left, look to the right to see True Braydon Oak. Continue downhill on the path and reach a gate with a field straight ahead. Head towards this and take 2nd left turn near the fence.

(4) This leads to the Arboretum area with many international trees. Do explore but return to a central path through and come out onto Grand Avenue. Turn left. At hill bottom, turn right onto a grassy path. Go through a gate and immediately turn left. Keep straight on.

(5) After a fallen tree on left, look left to see Surveyed Oak, 2 minutes walk from the path. Continue on the path and when you hear traffic on the nearby A4 very close, look out on the left for a narrow path. This path goes uphill and up and down over little earthworks. Soon reach Grand Avenue again. Go straight over onto a path dropping downhill. At crossroads at the bottom, turn right onto a broad grassy path. Go straight over first crossroads and right at the next.

(6) Very soon see Old Paunchy on the left. Continue uphill to a gate onto a broad unsurfaced track. Turn left then almost immediately right onto a narrow path.

(7) Lookout on the right for Cathedral Oak. No name sign, but you cannot miss it as it has a huge trunk and is the oldest tree here. C.1500 years. Continue until you reach a grassy area. Take a few paces forward and turn left to soon join a broad track. Turn right Follow the track curving to the left to bring you back to Bumble Oak and the car park.(S/E)


  1. S/E : km 0 - alt. 200 m - Postern Hill Car Park
  2. 1 : km 0.73 - alt. 184 m - White Road Oak
  3. 2 : km 1.78 - alt. 172 m - Split
  4. 3 : km 2.45 - alt. 175 m - True Braydon Oak
  5. 4 : km 2.82 - alt. 169 m - Arboretum
  6. 5 : km 3.84 - alt. 161 m - Surveyed Oak
  7. 6 : km 5.2 - alt. 181 m - Old Paunchy
  8. 7 : km 5.75 - alt. 191 m - Cathedral Oak
  9. S/E : km 6.62 - alt. 200 m - Postern Hill Car Park

Useful Information

Boots recommended as parts can be muddy after rain.

Always stay careful and alert while following a route. Visorando and the author of this walk cannot be held responsible in the event of an accident during this route.

During the walk or to do/see around

This is a beautiful ancient forest at any time of year.
Enjoy finding the named trees and enjoy the majestic trees in the arboretum.
Good place for a picnic.

Reviews and comments

4.2 / 5
Based on 3 reviews

Clarity of route description
4.3 / 5
Clarity of route map
3.7 / 5
Walk interest
4.7 / 5
le Mon 15 Nov 2021 04:28:48 EST

Overall rating: 4 / 5

Date of walk: 06/11/21
Clarity of route description: ★★★★☆ Good
Clarity of route map: ★★★☆☆ Average
Walk interest: ★★★★★ Very good

The walk is pleasant and enjoyable.
Good for a relaxing walk. Easy access.
The parking is free.

le Mon 26 Oct 2020 13:44:05 EDT

Thanks very much for your comments and I am glad you enjoyed the walk.
I walk in the forest regularly and know it well. It is quite hard writing directions for forest walks as there are not too many landmarks. Also the mapping is not great, and does not show all paths.

le Mon 26 Oct 2020 12:08:41 EDT

Overall rating: 4.7 / 5

Date of walk: 21/10/20
Clarity of route description: ★★★★☆ Good
Clarity of route map: ★★★★★ Very good
Walk interest: ★★★★★ Very good

A lovely walk through ancient woodland, with an arbouretum area too. We wandered around for more than 2 hours, but could have spent much longer there, as the area was so interesting.

Parking may be a problem at popular times.

le Mon 26 Oct 2020 10:12:41 EDT

Overall rating: 4 / 5

Date of walk: 20/10/20
Clarity of route description: ★★★★★ Very good
Clarity of route map: ★★★☆☆ Average
Walk interest: ★★★★☆ Good

A lovely time of year for a walk in a deciduous forest. There's masses of space to amble and picnic ... but not so many parking places so it pays to think about timing of one's arrival. The maps of the forest paths are few and far between so ability to read the map (helpfully supplied with the walking guide) or a splendid sense of direction are certainly beneficial as the written instructions were probably prepared by someone who can either do that or who knows the forest well. Rather helpfully the named oaks have signs beside them which help those of us challenged with the above to orient ourselves.
This was my first experience of visorando and I would definitely try it again.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.