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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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Saturday, 12 December 2020

Saturday walk - Pangbourne via Goring Circular - the Upper Thames Valley

Length: 16km (10 miles), with optional extensions to 19.1km (11.9 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10. T=3.170

9.57 train from Paddington (10.05 Ealing Broadway) to Pangbourne, arriving 11.00. 

A "whoops, I just missed the train" option is the 10.07 Bedwyn service from Paddington, which gets to Reading at 10.32, with a connection to the above train at 10.52

I am aware that by posting a Thames Valley walk I put off the South London walkers, for whom the Underground is a miasma of infection that they have sworn that they and their children's children will need enter again (Whoa, go easy there - Ed).... but on the other hand those benighted citizens of West London who have the same fears might like a walk on their side of London.

And for those who feel able to access it, this is a grand little winter walk, with some fine views of the Thames Valley in the morning and a pleasant walk along the river in the afternoon

It is based on very user-friendly sketch map produced by Streatley YHA (the 16km/10 mile version of the walk), but I notice one of our finest walk writers has now produced proper written instructions, which include two extensions to the walk, one in the morning (+1.1 mile), one in the afternoon (300 metres to 0.8 miles), the latter being an out-and-back steep climb up to a wonderful view, which I thorough recommend. These edge the mileage total up to as much as 19.1km (11.9 miles). The GPX and OS map of the walk present you all these options.

Of lunch pubs and tea places, I limit myself to observing that Goring has the former and Pangbourne the latter, access to which is governed by the Tier 2 rules, which you should have off by heart by now. At the start of the walk we will also split into groups of six, and share contact details within those groups.

Trains back are at 52 past the hour and take 1hr 09 minutes. You can save 25 minutes by changing at Reading for a fast train to Paddington: as far as I know reservation is not required on these, but it might be an idea to check before relying on them.


Anonymous said...

In Winter mornings, damp and dark..
Tis difficult to spring from one's bed and freezing toes to park,
On the cold floor.

Can we please have some late starting walks!?
Thank you

Anonymous said...

This comment is excellent so I tried to track it down but to no avail so I must assume that it came from the hand of Anon. Thanks
And in trying to track it down Ogden Nash blew in

Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes.
Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That's the season to be young,
Catching snowflakes on your tongue!
Snow is snowy when it's snowing.
I'm sorry it's slushy when it's going.

Thomas G said...

for anyone yearning for a 20+ km walk: longer finish along the Thames to Tilehurst Station; see route map, webpage or pdf for details

Anonymous said...

Anyone in South London wanting to avoid going to Paddington on the tube can reduce the amount of tube use by going from Clapham Junction on the Overground. Alight at Shepherd's Bush then cross to Underground Central line and travel to Ealing Broadway. There are 5 stops mostly in the open air and quiet.

Walker said...

Thank you, Anonymous: that is a very useful idea.

Walker said...

I reckoned that by posting a Thames Valley walk I would get about a dozen turning up, and that we would split into two neat groups of six. In that respect this walk was a massive failure. Perhaps it was the forecast of w=lovely-sunshine spreading from the west, but at least 25 alighted at Pangbourne, and more turned up as the day went on, having taken an assortment of earlier and later trains. Someone calculated n=35 and I am not going to argue with that.

In the morning all but one late starter seem to have ignored the extension: we stuck to the main walk route, weaving in and out a party of pheasant shooters only slightly less numerous than we were. In Goring a few went to the lunch pub, but sandwiches in the churchyard or by the river did for most of us. It was lovely to sit in the sunshine. Ridiculously, I later learned, some snowdrops were out in the churchyard.

Perhaps shamed by their lack of extra-curricular activity in the morning, or possibly swayed by the walk author’s persuasive prose, in the afternoon a gratifying number climbed to the optional viewpoint and quite a few went to the magnificent higher one (see photos on Facebook). I hear at least one walked on to Tilehurst. That still left 20+ people to congregate on Pangbourne station for the 3.52pm train, in a group that could have been seen from space. Ironically the problem here was that in the absence of indoor tea places we could have gone to, no one wanted to be stuck another hour in Pangbourne. At least once on the train we all spread out.