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This Week's Walks - Archive

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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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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Wednesday Walk – Kintbury Circular

Book 2 Walk 9:  Kintbury Circular (Short Version) – Exploring the North Wessex Downs with Possible Moonlit Canal-side Extension to Newbury

Distance:  10.7 miles or 17.5 km for those more metrically minded (15.7 miles (25km) with Newbury extension)

Difficulty: 5 out of 10

Train:  Take the 10:18 AM Great Western Bedwyn train from London Paddington, arriving at Kintbury at 11:17 AM.  Return trains from Kintbury are at 15:15 (no change); 16:17 (change Hungerford); 17:48 (no change); 18:05 (change Reading); 19:13 (change Newbury); 20:04 (no change); 20:43 (change Reading) and from Newbury (no change unless stated) 18:53; 19:51; 20:11; 20:50 (change Reading); 21:42. Buy a day return to Kintbury.   Note:  There may be a tube strike – so monitor travel options to Paddington carefully. Things should be back to normal by the time we return from the walk.
This walk explores the North Wessex Downs which have a decidedly West Country feel – although being only an hour from London. The route ambles gently through some idyllic woods and pastures; then makes a steep climb (just after lunch) up onto the Downs before dropping back into the valley to Kintbury.  ALSO, as it happens, Wednesday is just a few days before the full moon (on Saturday), so, if the weather conditions merit, it may be possible to extend the walk with a late afternoon/early evening moonlit stretch along the Avon & Kennet Canal to Newbury (5 miles; 8km).  I promise not to get anyone lost this time! You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.  Make sure to bring the instructions for BOTH the main walk and the circular option, as they are designed to work together! 

The recommended lunch pub is the Swan Inn (01488 668 326) in Lower Inkpen (4 miles/6.5 km into the walk), a delightful country pub with its own organic farm. Tea and other post walk refreshies can be had at the very pleasant Dundas Arms along the canal near Kintbury Station. 

Enjoy the walk!

3 comments:

Marion said...

Intend going

Walker said...

N=17 on this walk. The weather was w=cold-and-grey but the song of chaffinches (first I have heard this year), greenfinch and song thrushes promised that spring is on its way, and Kintbury churchyard was a glorious carpet of snowdrops. The morning was pleasant and the steep climb up onto the downs after it was bracing. The circular route then takes you along a ridge as fine as any on the South Downs but without the ghastly rutted track of the main walk. Pregnant ewes eyed us along the way. It would be nice to do this in summer with the skies blue and the larks singing....

The Swan in Inkpen got mixed reviews. About half enjoyed hearty hot lunches. The other half had barely warm dishes that would have done with more time in the microwave. The pub has just reopened after a January break and someone had forgotten to put on the heating.

The Dundas Arms at the end looked like it would be an idyllic riverside pub in summer. It served a huge pot of tea and then in keeping with midweek walk traditions we rushed for the first available train. Four of us had to duck under a descending level crossing barrier to catch it, doubtless earning us a place on some Stupid Stunts on the Railway reality TV show.

Sandy said...

Some of us pressed on having gobbled our sandwiches before the pub lunchers had been served. We thought it best to get on the train rather than stop at the tea place, which turned out to be a good decision as far as I'm concerned, as I didn;t get home till 8.