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River Route & Cycleway

a blue river with white glare from the sun and green grass in the foreground

The River Avon is a major feature of Chippenham running through surrounding countryside and the town centre itself.

The North Wiltshire Rivers Route (NCN403) is a cycle route that runs along the route of the Avon through the town and links with the Millenium cycleway providing a safe and attractive route to walk, jog and cycle between Chippenham and Calne, and also out towards Lacock area.

The Route

From Chippenham Station (the cycleway is accessed via Monkton Park), the former track-bed passes over the River Avon at Black Bridge (now replaced by the metal cycle-bridge). Progressing further in the direction of Calne, there was a station at Stanley Bridge Halt (opened on 3rd April 1905 but no longer in existence). The track-bed climbed up over the former route of the Wilts & Berks Canal to Stanley.

Leaving Stanley, the route goes past the site of the former Cistercian Stanley Abbey, through Great Bodnage Copse, Searchers Wood and past the sewage farm. The route crosses the A4 road before reaching Black Dog Halt. Black Dog Halt and sidings enabled the Bowood Estate to benefit from the collection and distribution of goods for the House and for trade. Opened originally as a private station, it was not until 15th September 1952 that the Halt became a public station. The former Station Master’s House remains to this day a private dwelling and is visible when cycling or walking through the Halt towards Calne (on the left-hand side).

The final part of the route takes cyclists and walkers into Calne. The site of the Calne Station terminus can be evidenced only by the name of the current road – Station Road. Just along from Station Road is the starting point for those who want to commence the journey at Calne and travel towards Chippenham.

For more information on the route visit www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-403