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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Last Minute Changes / News

Sunset is at 5.34pm on 25 February, with light for walking until 6.05pm

Spring flowers are now starting to appear - see Nature Blog

Avebury Weekend 22/23 April (cheap Advance Tickets now available), Brecon Beacons Walking Holiday 28 April-03 May (cheap Advance Tickets now available), Glencoe Walking Holiday 21-28 May: see listings below (in date order)

Support the Ramblers in their campaign to stop Network Rail closing footpaths across railway lines. Currently the threat is in East Anglia, but if they succeed there, the South East may be next. See here for more details and to sign the online petition.

Friday, 2 June 2017

The Pink Floyd Exhibition - Their Mortal Remains at V&A

This is the first international retrospective of one of the world’s most iconic and influential bands.  

Experience an unprecedented, innovative and multi-sensory journey through Pink Floyd's extraordinary worlds, chronicling the music, design and staging of the band, from their debut in the 1960s through to the present day.

Advance booking is highly recommended as tickets are likely to be sold out near the time.  To book, please click here.  Book 18:30 time slot.  Meet at the entrance to the exhibition 5 mins beforehand. 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

21st May to 28th May 2017: Walking Holiday in Glencoe

A week long walking holiday based in Glencoe, Scottish Highlands. 

Walks to suit all and plenty of local attractions in an area of spectacular scenery. Over 20 people have already signed up.

Contact Robin for full details.

Friday, 28 April 2017

May Bank Holiday Weekend - The Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons – Up to 5 Days of Walking

Book trains now, cheap Advance tickets are available now for both legs (13/02/17)!
For Abergavenny: to get the cheapest possible Advance tickets, you have to book split tickets London - Newport and Newport - Abergavenny, due to different operators on those lines. 
More detailed postings for the individual walks will follow…    

Arrive in Brecon anytime on Friday 28 April, either by car, or by train and bus:
·         Paddington – Abergavenny plus Bus Line 43/X43 from the bottom of Station Road,
·         Paddington – Merthyr Tydfil or Cardiff plus Bus Line T4,
·         Paddington – Neath (or Swansea) and Bus Line T6 from Neath Bus Station [5 mins away]).

If you arrive early in the day, check out the Tourist Information, they have brochures for whiling away the afternoon (a town map and guide, a town walk, a couple of woodland walks etc.), as well as some useful stuff for the days ahead, should you want to opt out of below group walks (a 'Mountain Walks by Bus' brochure, Maps, Commercial Walking Guide Books etc.). Stay either in Brecon  (lots of B&B’s, some hotels), or in the Llwyn-y-Celyn Youth Hostel (some distance away, but on Bus Line T4 and also an alt. start for the walk on Day 2 and 4) or anywhere else in the area if you have a car.

Preliminary proposed schedule, based on the current bus schedules (picnic lunch on all but one of the walks): 
South Britain’s best ridge walk, an exhilarating expedition into ‘the last wilderness’ in the Brecon Beacons, featuring some of the most spectacular upland scenery in Britain.
09.15 Bus T6 from Brecon Interchange to Glyntawe (Tawe Bridge), arrives 09.46.
21.9 km (13.7 mi), 1000m ascent, 10/10, or 15.6 km (9.7 mi), 720m ascent, 8/10, or even shorter/easier versions, just out-and-back to one of the first tops on the ridge or 20.6 km (12.8 mi), 760m ascent, 9/10 (Alternative Ending via Shake Holes Route). Return buses: 15.25/16.25/17.25/19.25. There are two pubs in Glyntawe to while away the time...

Ridge walk linking four distinguished table-top peaks (Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn and Fan y Big), best started from a remote car park, then it’s: 15.3 km (9.5 mi), 740m ascent, 8/10; else with a choice of 8 (!) different approach routes to the ridge, adding some distance and ascent to the core horseshoe walk, some busable (10.51 bus T4 to Storey Arms, arrives 11.07), one starting from the Youth Hostel mentioned above, others starting straight from Brecon; we’ll decide the evening before, based on weather forecast and appetite for distance and height, which route people prefer, and may well split up right at the start (the write-up is in the usual detailed SWC-style, so that no one should fear getting lost if they walk a different route than the main group).
There is also the option of doing the  horseshoe plus an extension loop  along the Waun Rydd upland peat bog, of course, the possibilities are endless…

An idyllic Country Park on the River Tawe, a clifftop stretch above the river, a spectacular wooded ravine up to South Wales’ highest waterfall, and back via lanes, fields and bridleways, with a very good lunch pub and a proper tea stop. 08.50 or 10.55 Bus T6 from Brecon Interchange to Craig y Nos (alternative start: Glyntawe, same bus), arrives 09.27/11.37 respectively. Last return bus: 16.03! 13.4 km (8.3 mi), 270m ascent, 3/10.
Want more distance and height? Join me in exploring a variation of the morning route by climbing up to the Cribarth plateau first to pick up the route in Ynyswen.
Want still more distance and height? Walk SWC 279 again, but with the other ending (08.50 bus, but last return bus is 16.09, so no dawdling…)

·   Tue 02/05  As you wish, any walk from any walking book or just anything else we fancy, but I would suggest to try SWC 278 again, but chose one of the 8 ascent routes we haven’t walked on the Sunday, spend some time on the ridge w/out doing the full horseshoe and walk down a different descent route, aiming to pick up our bags and catch one of the last buses out of Brecon to Abergavenny or Neath for our respective trains (book a late one). The weekday bus schedule also brings into play a Talybont-on-Usk start of finish (line 43/X43 Brecon – Abergavenny, as above).
·   Wed 03/05  As you wish, Sugarloaf maybe?

p.s.  if the suggestions for the Saturday and the Sunday sound too tough for you, why not try the ‘Tourist Versions’ of the two walks, as featured on our website: SWC 86 and SWC 85 ?
p.p.s.  for a mountain weather forecast for the area we’ll walk in, either check our very own website on the respective walk's page, for example here, under the tab 'Mountain', or try the ever reliable Mountain Weather Information Service (funded by the Scottish Government) and their forecast for the Brecon Beacons here. There are also live webcams at the Brecon Beacons National Park’s Visitor Centre, available here.
p.p.p.s.  your options for getting out of Brecon by bus on the Sunday or the Bank Holiday are fairly limited: either  take the T6 to Neath or Swansea (15.37 and 17.37 straight from the waterfall walk ending in Craig y Nos, or at 15.00/17.00 from Brecon after going back there first to fetch your luggage), or  the 16.51 T4 from Brecon to Merthyr Tydfil.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Saturday Walk - Bluebells and Megaliths: Pewsey to Avebury or Circular (Daywalk or Overnight in Avebury)

SWC Walk 255 – Pewsey to Avebury (World Heritage Site) or Circular
[Revised route! Now including Windmill Hill and The Sanctuary, i.e.: ALL the important Neolithic sites within walking distance of Avebury!]

Walk one of the Pewsey to Avebury Options or the full Pewsey Circular and return the same day or walk Pewsey to Avebury incl. Silbury Hill, West Kennett Long Barrow and The Sanctuary on Saturday, stay overnight (see a list of B&B’s on the webpage or in the pdf) and walk the Windmill Hill Loop from Avebury (see webpage or pdf for details) plus Avebury to Pewsey on Sunday (no lunch pub unless we divert to Honeystreet as in SWC 127)

Pewsey to Avebury
Length:  18.1 km (11.3 mi)
Ascent/Descent:  352 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 ¼ hours
Toughness:  5 out of 10 
Pewsey to Avebury (incl. The Stone Avenue, Silbury Hill, West Kennett Long Barrow and The Sanctuary)
Length:  27.1 km (16.9 mi)
Ascent/Descent:  526 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ½ hours
Toughness:  8 out of 10 
Pewsey Circular (incl. The Stone Avenue, Silbury Hill and West Kennett Long Barrow)
Length:  36.3 km (22.6 mi)
Ascent/Descent:  666 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 8 ½ hours
Toughness:  10 out of 10 

Without doubt, Avebury is the most impressive of all remaining pre-historic earthworks in Europe.”

Take the 08.00 Exeter St. David's train from Paddington (08.35 Reading), arriving Pewsey at 09.25.
Pewsey suffers from an infrequent train service, explaining the early start (the next train is at 11.00, arriving 12.02, just about early enough to make it to Lockeridge for lunch on the short option). Return trains: 16.23 or 20.23 on Saturday (66-68 mins journey time) and 16.11, 18.13 or 21.59 on Sunday (74-88 mins journey time).

Buy cheap Advance Single Tickets (available as of 03/02/17), else…Super Off-Peak returns are £37,90 at full price, and £25.00 with Senior, Two Together, etc. (but not Network) Railcards.  
Splitting the ticket !! is the cheapest option though if returning on Saturday !!, especially if travelling on a Network Railcard (buy separate London - Reading and Reading - Pewsey returns).
If you are going to walk “just” to Avebury, the Bus #49 takes you from outside the pub in Avebury to Swindon Station in 25 mins (roughly hourly service until 20.36). You should buy separate tickets as follows: London to Reading return, Reading-Pewsey single and Swindon-Reading single!

The full circular walk is a strenuous excursion into the heart of Neolithic Wiltshire, a mysterious landscape full of pre-historic earthworks, standing stones, sarsen fields and hillforts as well as barrows – burial mounds of kings and warriors. The route passes through or past four of the most important prehistoric sites in Britain: Fyfield Down Sarsen Stones Field, Avebury Standing Stones and Bank & Ditch Earthworks, Silbury Hill and West Kennett Long Barrow (two other sites, The Sanctuary and Windmill Hill, can be explored on extensions).
You walk out of the beautiful Vale of Pewsey over the southerly ridge of the Marlborough Downs, from where there are stunning far views over this land of wave-like hills, with its scarps, ridges and valleys, before heading through West Woods, The Forestry Commision’s best bluebell wood in England, to Fyfield Down and Avebury.
Later the walk leads along The Wansdyke, a 5th century earth bank and deep ditch. It was built by the beleaguered Romano-British Celts as a fortification to stem the Saxon advance. From there it is just a short walk to Wiltshire’s highest peak (Milk Hill) with its stunning Down.
After a scenic descent into the Vale of Pewsey an undemanding stretch along the Kennet & Avon Canal leads back to Pewsey.

For the walk directions click here. For a map, a height profile, gpx/kml files and photos click here.
The lunch pub on any of the long walk options is The Red Lion in Avebury (18.1 km/11.2 mi), 
the one on the short walk is The Who'd A Thought It in Lockeridge (9.7 km/6.0 mi).
For the tea options in Avebury and Pewsey check page 2 of the walk directions.