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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.

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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Saturday Second Walk - a new Thames walk

SWC walk 242 - Cholsey to Goring via Wallingford
Length: 20.5km (12.8 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10: "This walk is stile-free"

9.27 train from Paddington (9.35 Ealing Broadway) to Cholsey, arriving 10.39

or

9.45 Swansea train from Paddington to Reading, arriving 10.10, to connect to the above train at 10.21 - But be aware that a First Great Western strike is due to start tomorrow which will affect long distance trains and the Swansea train could be very busy with people trying to travel before it starts. This should not affect the direct local train above: see ** below

For walk directions click here.

This is an entirely new walk - and so is not not not any previous Cholsey or Goring walk that you might have gone on. It has been sat on the website all summer without having an outing, as far as I know, so I hope its author will forgive me for giving it an airing now.

The route goes from Cholsey down to the Thames Path and follows it (a very pretty stretch) to the very attractive town of Wallingford which has lots of options for your lunch stop, relatively early in the walk. In the afternoon you cross rolling countryside with extensive views, passing through the village of South Stoke which has a pub as a refreshment stop.

The walk finishes along the Thames Path to Goring, though only faster walkers are likely to get to Pierrepoints, the tea room there, before it closes at 5pm. However, I have put up a slightly earlier train thant the author suggests to give you a fighting chance of making it in time.

Trains back from Goring are at 12 and 42 past till 21.12, and then at 22.16. Changing at Reading may save you 20 minutes off a 1hr 12 minute journey, but you may find the fast trains from Reading into London very very crowded due to the imminent strike, so personally I would not bother.

** Looking at the details of this strike, it does not look as if local services into London from the Thames Valley will be much affected in any case: The First Great Western website says that London Thames Valley trains will operate as normal with minor alternations to Gatwick services: so I conclude that it is safe to post a walk there today, which is the day before the strike starts anyway.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Walker. As the author I'll be going along to check the directions and take on any comments from fellow walkers. The Perch and Pike Pub in South Stoke about 3.5km from Goring station and which we pass en route is open all day Saturday and offers " real ales, craft lagers and some delicious new wines". Hopefully it might do some sweets as part of its pub food menu so slower walkers do not have to bust a gut to reach Pierreponts.

Pete B

Walker said...

n=30 on this new walk, w=very-hot-sun but with some cloud and a cooling breeze later which was very welcome as a relief from the heat.

The highlight for me was definitely the lovely four mile stretch along the Thames into Walingford in the morning. (I wish I had taken the opportunity to have a swim then!). This section would be lovely in late spring when its meadows would be full of flowers. Walingford is a very pretty town and the specified pub had a fine terrace overlooking the river, which it rather spoiled by playing loud music. Half of us ate inside as a result (which was also a bit cooler), though the other half did eventually prevail on the friendly pub stuff to turn the noise down.

The core of this walk is a six mile walk across undulating arable fields and hills with minimal shade, which in the blazing heat caused some to flag. (At one point we took refuge on shady grass by the road like hobos). But the reward, particularly in the bit before South Stoke, was very panoramic views. What these vast fields would be like in winter is another story….

The South Stoke pub provided much needed refreshments to all. One or two took a bus from here to Goring and think the walk directions should point out this amenity. But the rest of the walk was in fact a short and pleasant stroll, with glimpses down to the river, though disappointedly always separated from it by rich people's houses. By this time it was cloudy and sultry but a few of us sat beside the river for a bit before training home.

Anonymous said...

Great new walk Peter, and yes the Perch and Pike is a welcome stop in the afternoon section - nice garden to sit out in too.
Interesting aircraft activities at the private airfield beforehand.
We briefly intermingled with some charity walkers who apparently had set off from Chinnor - I do hope they raised lots of money,
I met two SWC stalwarts on the journey home who had continued to Pangbourne (bravo!)
All in all a great day out.
AD

Karen said...

3 of us continued on to Pangbourne (may have been others?). Much needed refreshments were taken at The Pike and Perch in Stoke. This section of the Thames Path was very pleasant with lots of shade as you are mostly walking between rows of trees - a nice contrast to the open fields earlier in the day, especially on such a warm one. You walk right by the river for a while after leaving Goring, but for the most part there are properties between the path and the river.

We arrived in Pangbourne at about 17:30, where one of our party took the next available train and the remaining two enjoyed a couple of beverages at The Swan by the river. Changing trains later in Reading, we were treated to the sight of the Mayflower 61306 passing through the station on its journey between Southend and Stratford-Upon-Avon.

PeteB said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Amended pdf walk file now on walk's page. If anyone took any photos it would be good to have them uploaded to the pages too.