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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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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Sunday Walk 2 – A gentle Oxfordshire ramble

Extra Walk 190 – Thame Circular
Length: 21 km (13 miles), with shorter options. Toughness: 3/10

09:49 Banbury train from Marylebone, arriving Haddenham and Thame Parkway at 10:38. Outside the station catch an Arriva 280 bus due at 10:53 for the short journey to Thame High Street, arriving at 11:03.

Return buses from Thame to the Parkway station are half-hourly at 23 & 53 minutes past the hour to 17:23, then 18:07, 18:51 and hourly at around xx:45 through the evening. The trains back to Marylebone are also half-hourly (at xx:14 & xx:47), so you shouldn't have too long to wait.

This “scenic and gentle ramble” from a historic market town seems to have been unfairly neglected since its début two years ago. The bus connections are a minor nuisance but the service is half-hourly and it's a short journey to and from the start; in fact the OS Map page on the SWC site shows a possible walking route.

I suggest you use the 15 minute wait for the bus to choose one of the three lunch pubs and call ahead to check it's not fully booked. The author's recommendation is the Clifden Arms in Wormingshall, which essentially commits you to the full 21 km as it's the furthest out. A more flexible option is the Rising Sun in Ickford, which would let you take a short cut bypassing Wormingshall (not mentioned in the Introduction but described in the directions). If you decide to do a significantly shorter walk of about 15 km (Shortcut I) your lunch stop would be the Old Fisherman in Shabbington.

An advantage of taking one of these short cuts is that you're certain to be in time for tea at Rumsey's Chocolaterie in Thame, a name familiar from its much-praised outlet in Wendover. The other tea rooms (including the appropriately-named Timeout Café) are closed on Sundays but the walk document lists a faintly alarming number of pubs so you won't leave Thame thirsty.

You'll need to print the directions from this pdf document.

1 comment:

Ian T said...

N=8 w=cloudy-then-wet-then-sunny
7 on the train, 4 of whom decided to start walking from the station, 3 got the bus and an 8th met up in Thame High St.
The 4’s cunning plan was to start walking early before the 3 o’clock rain came. Their plan wasn’t cunning enough, however. The 3 o’clock rain came at about 11:30. It was heavy and prompted a switch to the Shabbington shortcut for all except one. The pub there, The Old Fisherman, seemed fine but only one ate. The rest just drank.
The rain cleared after lunch and we made our way first to a church with enormous buttresses. Then on, through a hunting estate, and across countless fields with stiles. A herd of young cattle followed us through one large field. They were more inquisitive than dangerous but did seem to be practising their stampede manoeuvres. I was volunteered to walk at the back and wave my arms about from time to time, which, of course, I was very happy to do. :(
Later, approaching Thame, the majority of the walk opted to walk back to the station. They had a map so they could do things like that. 2 of us continued on the proper walk, almost tripping over a Bee Gee’s grave on the way in. (Bee Gee Robin is buried in the churchyard within sight of his house).
We continued into Thame passing a few open teashops, driven by a hunger for Rumseys chocolate cake (with a raspberry coulis) and coffee. A hunger that was eventually sated.