The Three Castles Path is a long distance route from Windsor to Winchester, providing 60 miles of easy walking through peaceful historic and beautiful countryside. The idea for this route was inspired by the well documented 13th century journeys of King John between Windsor Castle and Winchester, via the castle he built near Odiham.
A straight line drawn on the map joins these three historic places, with Odiham exactly half way. While many aspects of the countryside have altered dramatically in the 800 years since John's time, the lie of the land remains unchanged; we see the horizons he saw and follow some of the old ways that he may have known. Today the route still passes through a variety of attractive scenery; parkland and forest, over heaths and downland, beside quiet streams and through picturesque villages.
Despite recent developments, notably in east Berkshire, the route mainly follows a continuous chain of public rights of way. With the addition of some permitted paths belonging to the Crown Estate our route is completed using less than five miles of mainly unclassified roads.
This is not a strenuous walk and can be planned in stages over 3 to 5 days depending upon fitness and inclination. There are few steep hills to climb, not that many stiles and it’s rarely difficult underfoot, making the route ideal for a first long distance path.
The route has good rail connections at the start, middle and end. The path is not specifically waymarked, but is shown on OS maps and annotated on Google Earth. Clear maps, illustrations and a detailed route description (with historical notes) form the basis of this popular guidebook, now in its third edition.
The following Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps cover the route:
- 132 Winchester
- 144 Basingstoke
- 159 Reading
- 160 Windsor