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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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Sunday, 12 July 2015

Sunday First Walk - Buckinghamshire woodlands

Extra Walk 189 – Beeches Way – Cookham to West Drayton
Length: 27.3km (17 miles) (with shorter options) Toughness: 3/10

10:04 Newbury train from Paddington changing at Maidenhead (arr 10:31; dep 10:35) arriving at Cookham at 10:42.
Or 09:35 Oxford train from Ealing Broadway, also changing at Maidenhead.

There are two return trains per hour from West Drayton (stopping at Ealing Broadway) at approximately xx.12 and xx:49 (journey about 24 mins). All stations mentioned (including those for the shorter options) are on the same line, so an off-peak day return to Cookham will cover your journeys, whichever option you choose.

With no apologies to those who resent seeing long walks posted, this is the first club outing for this long but interesting walk close to London. The Beeches Way, running from the Thames at Cookham to the Grand Union Canal at West Drayton, explores rare lowland heaths and mature woodlands. It has been created by Buckinghamshire County Council and is well waymarked throughout. The council has published a Beeches Way leaflet that provides basic walk directions and OS map extracts. If doing the full walk, see the comment about a missing canal footbridge on the Walk 189 feedback page.

Owing to its length, this walk can be posted only in summer, but if you don’t feel you can attempt the full walk, it can be shortened to 13.5 miles by diverting to Langley station. To do this, continue southwards for 2km instead of turning east at Treal’s Farm (para 18 of directions). An even shorter option is to take a 74 or X74 bus from the lunchtime pub at Farnham Common to Slough. On Sundays these buses run at 13:40, 14:44 and 16:10.

The recommended lunchtime pub is The Foresters (01753 643340) in Farnham Common, about 6 miles into the walk. If you prefer a late lunch you could press on to The Black Horse (01753 663183) in Fulmer, about 9.5 miles into the walk.



Andrew said...

Good choice Chris. I was about to request someone post this walk... Thanks! Farnham Common also has coffee shops and (I think) a Tesco Metro. Photos and feedback would be appreciated.

Karen said...

Happy to see this long walk posted for Sunday as I can't do a Saturday walk this week. Huzzah!

Anonymous said...

Huzzah indeed. I can't make Saturday either & don't fancy another Djokovic/Federer final on Sunday

Thomas G said...

n=5 w=overcast-but-dry-until-mid-afternoon-then-drizzle-followed-by-rain
Very pleasant walk up to Langley Park, with varied woods, a few short climbs, pretty villages, well waymarked, if a little heavy on the tarmac count. Very nice lunch pub in Fulmer. Black Park then probably a little to tame to count as country walking. Langley Park though very pretty, although not 'wild' either.
But then the stretch from Langley Park to West Drayton had little of interest (one tree-lined avenue in Coppins, Colne Valley Park and the Grand Union Canal near the end) to justify it. The rest was spent either roadside or through industrial estates or crossing the M25, and of course there is also the disappeared footbridge over the Slough Canal, which necessitates yet more road walking.
This would work well as the short walk Cookham-Langley, preferably ending in Cookham though, as it's a much nicer place.
The group stayed together to near Uxbridge, where one walker left us for a direct route back home (in Uxbridge), and then one more cut short in Iver to the station there. After a long-ish wait then: the delayed 18.12 train for the rest.

Anonymous said...

There are no trains from Iver on Sundays so I wouldn't recommend that as a short cut

Karen said...

The first two thirds of this walk were quite lovely - much nicer than I anticipated. Walking through the heathland was particularly nice. There were also lots of nice sections through woodlands, so it would probably be very lovely in the autumn.

There is quite a lot of roadwalking on this walk, and the last section from Langley to West Drayton is not very inspiring, even less so on a wet afternoon like the one we had today. Agree that a Langley to Cookham walk would be pleasant.

Lunch at The Black Horse in Fulmer was very good. The route (the Beeches Way) is also well waymarked.