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Marlborough SN8 4NG
OS map 157 Grid ref: SU212642

  • Not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs
  • Dogs on leads are welcome
  • 1 hectare

Hat Gate reserve map © WWT

We bought this small section of dismantled railway from British Rail in 1988 for £1. It comprises an embankment, the abutment of two railway bridges and a bridleway. It has a variety of common plants and birds such as whitethroat and garden warbler. The grizzled skipper butterfly is attracted by its wild strawberries. You might spot a beetle with long antennae - the golden-bloomed grey longhorn beetle. Small areas of grassland contain eyebright, marjoram, black knapweed and fairy flax.

Fairy Flax © Rob Large Grizzled skipper © Andrew Kerr White throat © Pete Blanchard Golden-bloomed longhorn beetle © Dluogs


If driving - from Marlborough High Street drive east to mini roundabout and take second exit onto the A4 signposted Salisbury A346, Hungerford A4. At mini-roundabout take second exit and continue up the hill on A346. At next mini-roundabout take second exit to continue uphill on the A346, signposted Burbage A346, Salisbury A338. Drive through Cadley and about 2.7 miles after the mini roundabout take turning on right signposted Wootton Rivers, Brimslade. Drive for 0.5 miles until you see a brick abutment. Immediately after this, park on right in lay-by, being careful not to block Mud Lane bridleway. Access to reserve is by steep steps on right from bridleway.

Please be aware that in a rural county postcodes often cover wide areas; some may point you to a reserve entrance, others may direct you to its centre and others may simply direct you to the reserve's vicinity. 

If using bus – bus 70/80 Swindon to Ludgershall stops in Marlborough. Visit

If cycling - visit

Nearby reservesHam Hill, Jones’s Mill, Morgan’s Hill

What to see locally - Pewsey Downs National Nature Reserve (5 miles), West Kennet Longbarrow (8 miles), Avebury (8 miles), Ludgershall Castle (8 miles).

(Photo: Hat Gate © Steve Day)