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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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Friday, 30 December 2016

Friday Walk - a Goring-on-Thames walk

A regular walker had suggested she might post a walk for today, but with 2 ½ days to go, there is none. So let’s do this, acting to recent events: 
In this annus horribilis for Rock- and Pop-Stars another famous name has died over Christmas, at home in his house in Goring: George Michael
So here’s a gentle country walk to Goring that – as far as I can see – leads right past the house (Mill Cottage on Lock Approach) after lunch, where you can either pay homage, or ogle at the people paying homage, at the shrine that the entrance will have become by now.

SWC Walk 170 – Pangbourne Circular (via Goring-on-Thames)

Length:  15.8 km (9.9 mi) [shorter and longer walks possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  230 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 4 hours
Toughness:  3 out of 10 
  
Take the 10.00 Penzance train from Paddington, change at Reading (arr. 10.28, dep. 10.51) onto an Oxford stopping service (i.e. do not take the 10.45 Newcastle via Oxford train), arriving Pangbourne at 10.59. The train you are changing on to is the 09.39 from Paddington (Ealing B’way 09.47).
Return trains: xx.17 and xx.51 (journey time just over an hour, shave off 15 mins by changing onto a fast train at Reading)
Note: Paddington station is closed until Thursday evening for extended engineering works. In case of overrun of those we will have to start from Ealing B’way, so best check the National Rail website on Friday morning for updates.

This is the only one of the Goring walks that hasn’t had an outing this year (apart from the ‘can’t be finished in winter daylight’-SWC 171) and looks like a lovely route on the map… 
Talking of maps: It is a map-led walk adopted from a 3rd party (the YHA Streatley) and has no written directions, but fear ‘ye not. It looks easy to follow if you print out the route map on our website here. (There is also a link on our site to the original sketched map from the YHA, but it’s naturally less precise).
The walk offers fine views of the Thames Valley  from the inland heights above Goring. It visits both Pangbourne and Goring, two interesting and pretty riverside villages. The walk can be done in either direction, but the anti-clockwise direction does the hillier section first, saving the shorter flat Thames Path for after lunch, providing a fine contrast with the inland section. Walk Options: It is possible to do just a short walk to Goring, in which case buy a Goring return. For a longer walk either follow a route further north from Beech Farm, through Cold Harbour higher up the hill and then west through Great Chalk Wood back down to the route, or extend along the Thames by 6 km to Tilehurst station (the last 2.5 km seem to be along tarmac though…)

There are several options for lunch in Goring and tea in Pangbourne respectively, some are listed on our webpage, where you’ll also find the mentioned maps, a height profile, photos and gpx/kml files.T=swc.170

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this apt and thoughtful choice, Thomas.

Thomas G said...

Intend going.

Colin said...

Me too.

Thomas G said...

8 met off the scheduled train, with 2 others having taken an earlier one and walking the route clockwise w/o a lunch stop, the groups passing each other near Gatehampton Manor, so n=10 walkers in total in w=foggy conditions for the whole day, i.e.: no views at all, which was a shame as I'm sure they're good...
Like other 3rd party walks this one suffers a little from being quite tarmac- and concrete-heavy, but this could easily be reduced by re-routing it a little, a quick look at the map would suggest, by leading further north and by making some use of the Open Access Land in the middle. Nevertheless: some nice mixed woods, plenty impressive houses to look at and lots of pubs, both in Goring (& Streatley) and in Pangbourne. So not all bad on the day.
We found the Miller of Mansfield fully booked, so went back to the John Barleycorn, which served good-value-for-money stuff, and quickly, with sarnie options available as well.
Onwards to Mill Cottage, easy to find by following the people with bunches of flowers in hand. Just off route, as suspected, down by the river, with all manner of objects put down in homage and rememberance.
On along the Thames Path, with the initial stretch, like some of the morning route, afflicted by railway noise from the busy Reading-Oxford line. Good paths (if a little slippy at times), a couple of nature reserves, a climb!, and more interesting woods. Then more tarmac into and through Whitchurch.
7 in our group went for tea and cakes in Pangbourne at the Cafe St. Louis (1 went to Costa instead). 16.17 train.

Anonymous said...

To the walk posters: thanks v much for the walks you post/create/organise. Happy New Year!
E