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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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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Return of the Moonlight Special (hopefully)  

SWC Walk 117:  Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Stanford Dingley) with possible extension back to Aldermaston or on to Theale T=SWC.117

Distance:  12.6 miles or 20.3 km for those more metrically minded (14.6 miles (23.5km) or 18.6 miles (30 km) with the Aldermaston or Theale extensions, respectively)

Difficulty: 5 out of 10

Train:  Take the 10:30 AM Great Western train from London Paddington, changing at Reading (arrive 10:55; depart 11:12), arriving at Aldermaston at 11:25.  Return trains (all requiring a change at Reading unless otherwise noted) from Midgham (Woolhampton) are at 17:23; 18:24; 18:31 (change Newbury); 19:29 (change Newbury); 20:08 (change Theale) ; 21:02; 21:34; 22:24; from Aldermaston at 17:27; 18:06 (no change); 18:28; 19:25 (change Newbury); 20:12 (change Theale); 21:05; 21:38; 22:28; and from Theale at 18:11 (no change); 18:33; 19:06 (no change); 19:20 (Newbury); 20:24 (no change); 21:10; 21:43; 22:33 . Buy a day return to Midgham.   
This walk explores a quiet corner of West Berkshire with undulating countryside and fine views.  It also goes through the Bucklesbury Estate and the elevated Bucklesbury Common, one of the largest in the Southeast of England.  The walk includes a variety of woods, common and large heathland.  ALSO, as Wednesday is just one day before the full moon, if the weather conditions smile on us (and hopefully to atone for the debacle in January), it may be possible to extend the walk with an early evening moonlit stretch along the Avon & Kennet Canal back to Aldermaston (2 miles/3km-ish) and eventually Theale (6 miles/10km-ish).  You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.
The recommended lunch pub is the Bull Inn (01189 744 582) in Stanford Dingley (5.2 miles/8.4 km into the walk). Tea can be had at the very pleasant Rowbarge Inn near Midgham Station.  If doing the extension, the Butt Inn at Aldermaston Wharf and various pubs near Theale Station (mostly clustered on the High Street) can also quench your thirst...
Enjoy the walk!

2 comments:

Marion said...

Please remember those of us requiring the time of the train from Ealing Broadway. Its the 10.05.

Stargazer said...

Although grey clouds were abundant, for a Wednesday of late, the conditions were quite pleasant -- w=dry-with-patches-of-sun-and-moon and made for a very enjoyable autumnal outing for the n=8 who disembarked from the train at Aldermaston. The morning terrain was very picturesque with rolling fields and some woods starting to tint. Lunch was a rather amusing affair -- with good intentions and mistake by yours truly, we booked from the train station at the "other" Stanford Dingley pub. A brief separation in the group before lunch meant that the error could not be rectified before it was too late....So with more than a little doubt, we spent some time in a rather rustic pub awaiting our orders from a rather basic looking menu (all in name of good SWC research of course) discussing interesting dining establishments in and around London. After quite some time and hearing lots of feverish chopping from the kitchen -- much to our surprise several well presented, interesting and tasty meals arrived (the only disappointment being some bread -- due to a failed delivery). So -- yes, the other pub is also a good option....The afternoon route passed through a small animal park with some interesting critters and across the heathland of Bucklesbury Common before an always lovely descent to Midgham. Most caught the 18:24 leaving one behind who continued on to Aldermaston along the canal to catch a few glimpses of a great big moon before it disappeared behind some clouds...offering a brief taste of the highlights to come during the approaching winter evenings....