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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.

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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Saturday Third Walk - A Thames Valley Ramble: Dorchester with its Abbey and Wittenham Clumps Iron Age Hillforts


apologies for the late posting, but I have been away, and my pre-drafted posting didn't work out due to problems with pub availability

SWC Walk 44 – Didcot Circular

Length:  22.1 km (13.8 mi)
Ascent/Descent:  125 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 4 ¾ hours
Toughness:  3 out of 10 
  
Take the 09.22 Bristol Temple Meads train from Paddington, arriving Didcot Parkway at 10.12 (calls Reading 09.59)
(Fast) return trains are at: 15.47, 16.29, 16.47, 17.01, 17.30, 17.47, 18.01…hours (from 59 minutes journey time)

This walk takes in an attractive part of the Thames Valley south of Oxford, with a lunchtime stop in Dorchester-on-Thames. This handsome village is now bypassed by the traffic but used to be an important staging post between London and Oxford. It has retained a large number of coaching inns and other pubs, so there's plenty of choice for refreshment.  You should be sure to visit Dorchester Abbey, one of the few large monastery buildings to survive the Dissolution; it now functions as an impressive parish church. In the afternoon the walk comes to the Wittenham Clumps, the name given to a pair of Iron Age hill forts set in a nature reserve managed by the Earth Trust.

The lunch pub will be any one of a handful in Dorchester (11 km/7 mi), for details see the walk directions. For tea in Didcot, the Prince of Wales, right by the station, is the obvious watering hole to spend the time waiting for a train.
                                                                                                               
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.
T=swc.44
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4 comments:

Wendy Gibson said...

I trust you will be going on the walk you posted Thomas? The walk sounds great but we are expecting strong winds on Saturday.

Walker said...

It is the CHRISTMAS PARTY on Thursday - don't forget!! See listing below

Thomas G said...

Intend going, indeed. Good news: it's a circular walk, the wind will be in the back half the time!

Thomas G said...

n=9 w=dry-windy-with-gusts
7 off the posted train, 2 on an earlier one (one slow walker, one fast walker).
Certainly grows on you, this walk. Starts very tarmacky out of Didcot and along fields on a cyclepath, but gets interesting from Long Wittenham onwards (fascinating leaning house). On to the Thames meadows, along a really pretty, un-built-up stretch, all the way to Dorchester with a few nice pubs. The Fleu de Lys looked empty and we feared that indicated nad quality, but not so: very tasty fare at middling prices, and a nice welcome to boot. We then paid a visit to the very interesting abbey and walked a loop through the village, then back towards the confluence of Thame and Isis, and along the river to the Wittenham Clumps, providing panoramic views over this lovely part of the Thames Valley. Field boundaries with long views and interesting light all the way back to Didcot. A dramatic sunset for desert. 16.29 train, then on to The Fountain's Abbey pub in Praed Street, by Paddington Station, where everyone paid for a round each. Finish at 10.
Splendid day out, if maybe a little too alcoholic...