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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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Saturday First Walk - Through the woods and down to the Thames

Book 1, walk 40 Gerards Cross to Cookham (or Marlow, or Maidenhead)
Length: 15.4km (9.6 miles) - with possible 1.5, 4.4 or 5 mile extension after tea
Toughness: 2 out of 10

9.43 train from Marylebone to Gerards Cross, arriving 10.02

This walk requires two single tickets, as it starts and finishes on totally different lines. But this is not that expensive with a Network Card. Outward to Gerrards Cross the fare is £5.95. Back from Cookham to Paddington it is £8.05. So £14 altogether, less if you are buying a ticket from a London Transport zone boundary. A six zone travelcard bought with a Network Card (available from rail ticket machines but not Underground ones) might also reduce the cost.

For walk directions click here.

I am not sure when this walk last had a Saturday outing, but I don't think it has had one for a while. If you can conquer your irritation at having to buy two single tickets, it is a very pleasant gentle walk through woods and fields down to the Thames at Cookham. One other reason I chose it for today is that it has three possible lunch stops, which may be useful if Mother's Day entertaining spills over from tomorrow to today.

For tea, as well as the three pubs in the Cookham high street, there is a tea room (described as "Infusions" in the walk directions but now the Teapot Tea Room, open till 5pm). Failing that, just before the station on the right is the Pizza Dreams Cafe, open till 9pm, and across the level crossing and to the left a Costa Coffee open to 6.30pm daily

Lengthening the walk

Looking at our walks database, I see two options are mentioned for lengthening this walk which have not been done since 2010.

The nicest is to continue on the Thames Path from Cookham to Bourne End (1.5 miles) or Marlow (another 3.5 miles from Bourne End). The path is well signposted and to get to it from central Cookham either cross the churchyard, or take the path to the right on Cookham Moor 100 metres beyond the Crown. If you need directions when you come into Marlow, page eight of this document ("Riverside ending in Marlow") will help, taking you to the tea options and then the station.

- If you are only walking to Bourne End there is a quirky riverside pub as a tea option (stay on this side of the river when the Thames Path crosses the railway bridge and it is 200 metres on the left). To get to Bourne End station, take the path that doubles back up steps on the eastern side of the bridge on the north bank - it follows the railway line to the station.

- Alternatively you can follow the Thames Path from Cookham in the other direction, down to Maidenhead - a distance of 4.4 miles. Print off the directions for walk 24, Cookham to Maidenhead for this and follow them from point 37. This document also outlines the tea options. The last mile or so of this walk is along urban streets but it is otherwise very pleasant, and your fare back will be cheaper (see below)

Trains back 

From Cookham at 21 past the hour.
From Marlow at 06 past and the fare is £9.25 with a Network Card.
From Bourne End at 17 past.
From Maidenhead there are four trains an hour and the fare is £7.95.


IAN T said...

Just to add insult to injury, correct me if I"m wrong but I don't think the Marylebone ticket office will sell you the ticket for the return journey. They only look after their own.You either have to get it in advance or remember to buy it at Cookham from a machine. Certainly was the case unless someone's banged some sense into them by now.

Walker said...

N=9 on this walk, one of whom caught us at lunch having caught the stopping train. Hope no one else was confused by this - it was the 9.43 to Banbury stopping at Gerrard's Cross, not the 9.46 all stations to Gerrard's Cross (which I did not know about).

A nice easy walk in the woods. Not over-muddy at all, though enough somehow got onto our boots and trousers to make it look as if we had been through the Battle of the Somme. The Jolly Woodman was cosy and empty - one reason for the latter might have been the unsmiling staff and so-so food: next time we will try one of the other pubs. The weather was w=nothing-like-as-bad-as-expected-with-some-sunny-intervals-after-midday - ie not much wind and only three very brief and light showers (one with some hail). The tea room in Cookham was as cheerful as the lunch pub was not and begged us NOT to remove our boots.

Six of us comtinued after tea to Bourne End, five going on to Marlow. It was a bit slippy on the Thames Path but the sun increasingly came out (shining straight in our faces, but you can't have everything). We had a drink in the Donkey and caught the 6pm train, suitably satisfied with our exertions.