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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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Friday, 25 March 2016

Good Friday Second Walk - Haddenham to Aylesbury via Gibraltar and Ford

'tis not easy to find a north-of-the-river walk for today, that isn't cursed by engineering works, pub refurbs, upcoming postings by other walk posters or relatively recent outings of the same walk...so here's one of mine
                       
Length: 23.3 km (14.5 mi) [shorter walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 180 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 hours
Toughness:  4 out of 10 

Take the 10.05 train from Marylebone, arrives Haddenham & Thame Parkway at 10.40;
Return trains from Aylesbury: XX.29 hours (67 minutes journey time via Princes Risborough as the via Wendover route has engineering works).
Buy an Aylesbury (any route permitted) return, [i.e.: NOT an ‘Aylesbury (via Chalfont & Latimer) Return’], this covers the outward journey up to Princes Risborough. You might then have to pay on board for a single, one-stop Princes Risborough to Haddenham extension.

To quote the write-up:
This pleasant walk through the scenic heart of Aylesbury Vale passes through the tranquil Thame Valley in the morning, linking up many unspoilt and picturesque hamlets with gentle views to the surrounding hills, while passing three good village pubs en route. After lunch several grassy fields and a substantial newly planted community woodland are passed through. Later the stately mansion of Hartwell House is rounded, before the route heads in to Aylesbury for tea. The regular Oxford to Aylesbury bus service is never far away from the route, making it easy to choose a shorter option.“ All the convenient bus stops are detailed in the write-up.

The recommended lunch stops are The Bottle and Glass in Gibraltar (10.3 km/6.4 mi) or The Seven Stars in Dinton (10.9 km/6.8 mi). There’s also The Crown at Cuddington  early in the walk (7.1 km/4.4 mi). For tea the choices are The Bugle Horn as well as Hartwell House Spa Cafe and Bar, both in Hartwell (ca. 3.5 km from the end and close to a bus stop) and numerous options in Aylesbury (check page 2 of the directions for details).

For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.
T=swc.193

3 comments:

Marion said...

Intend going. Weather forecast looks great

Thomas G said...

n=16 w=sunny
1 walker chose an earlier train, whom we caught and lost at the lunch pub, then caught and lost again at Hartwell. 15 off the - delayed - 10.40 arrival.
A beautiful day for this walk through the lower parts of the Thame Valley, incl. several pretty villages. The overnight rain had cleared the air and the Chiltern views were as good as I've seen them on this route.
The group soon split up into faster and slower walkers, all briefly re-uniting at the Bottle & Glass in Gibraltar, where food, drink, service and atmosphere were just right. 4 sandwichers then moved swiftly on, as the lunchers took a while (order taking the bottleneck, a regular problem these days), not to be seen again.
The other 12 stayed together to Hartwell and visited the - not quite as posh as expected - Hartwell House Spa Cafe. Then again: how many tea stops are there on the circuit where you can overlook the pool of a five star hotel from your table...?
There was some criticism of the quality of the cakes (not shared by me, I had an excellent toasted tea cake), but then - apparently - we should have phoned ahead, so that the cafe would have been better 'prepared'...(more cakes? a pre-arranged large table? doors shut and locked?).
All in: excellent views, dry ground, good company, pretty villages, some impressive stately piles and a swift train journey.
18.29 train for the 12, a drink or two at the cosy pub in Marylebone station for the hardcore...
Onwards, another walk tomorrow...

Marion said...

Good Friday walk
The Hartwell Spa cafe is open until 7pm during weekdays and 9pm weekends as they serve dinner as well as afternoon yes fare and it opens at 9am even for non-residents. The in-mates can wander around in dressing gowns so no-one needs to feel intimidated about the ambiance which is old-fashioned country house. They had had a very busy day so only 6 cakes left and no scones so booking is definitely advised and the service slow and less than enthusiastic about 12 walkers rocking up at 5pm.

I for one was most grateful for the refreshment stop after 13 miles of relentlessly long vistas of flat fields and endless sunshine culminating in the expedition support vehicle whisking 2 of us off in luxury to Aylesbury station (local bus) without having to complete the full 15 miles. All in all a great day out and nice to meet some weekend walkers who endure the toil and strife of full-time work.