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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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Saturday, 28 May 2016

Saturday Second Walk - Gentle fields, buttercups and an ancient town

SWC Walk 190 - Thame Circular
Length: 21km (13 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.05 (Oxford Parkway-bound) train from Marylebone to Haddenham & Thame Parkway, arriving 9.40. *** Go quickly to the bus stop *** in the front forecourt of the station for the 9.43 bus 280 (destination Oxford) to Thame, arriving 9.54. If you miss this, the next bus is the 10.03 arriving 10.14.

Buy a day return to Haddenham and Thame Parkway. You will also come back on the bus from Thame so get a return for this journey too if it is cheaper.

For walk directions click here.

I know this walk had an outing just two weeks ago on a Sunday, but as it has not otherwise been put on since 2013 I thought that Saturday walkers may fancy a pop at it. It was the words "gentle rolling landscape with fields packed with buttercups" which caught my eye from the walk report two weeks ago, since I was looking for a buttercup-rich walk. Thame is also apparently a charming place to start and finish the walk and the walk also passes through "various quiet villages".

There are two lunch options 11.9km/7.4 miles and 13.3km/8.3 miles in, which explains the early train. Thame does not seem to lack tea options.

To return from Thame you once again take the 280 bus (destination Aylesbury this time: from outside the Town Hall):
- The best choice is at 15 past the hour, arriving at Haddenham and Thame Parkway station at 21 past, connecting with the 38 past train which takes 40 minutes to Marylebone.
- You can also get the 55 past bus, which gets to the station at 02 past the hour and connects with the 13 past train, but this takes 54 minutes to Marylebone and so arrives only 11 minutes earlier than the next 38 past train.

These times are valid until 18.55: after that buses are at 19.26, 19.54, 20.24, 20.54, 21.39 (etc): you might want to check how these connect with trains if you plan to come back this late.


Anonymous said...

any reason why this walk starts so early? Any options for a later start?

Walker said...

It is 7 or8 miles to the lunch pub and the bus connection at the start is quite tight. If one misses that one is delayed by 20 minutes.

Chris L said...

If you plan to do the optional 3.6km extension you'd need to get the 9.05 train. Otherwise the 10:05 train would probably be fine for brisk walkers, especially if you take the short cut to the Rising Sun in Ickford and cut out the stretch to Worminghall and back. On a recent Sunday we started from Thame after 11:00am and reached Ickford before 2:00pm.

Walker said...

OK, just n=3 on this walk, but the rest of you missed a treat. The weather was w=hot-and-sunny with just a bit of white cloud in the early afternoon. And there was field after field after field intensely carpeted with buttercups, great white drifts of cow parsley lining every path and lane, and huge dollops of hawthorn blossom on every hedgerow. In short, the perfect late May walk. (I will post some photos on Flickr and our Facebook page.)

The tight bus connection to Thame worked fine as the bus stop is in the station forecourt, so we started walking at about 10am. But we still did not get to lunch before 1pm, so the early train seemed justified. If anyone decided to get a train an hour later we never saw them (if you did, put up a separate report).

We thought the morning half of the walk was the more interesting bit: despite few contours on the map it managed to display a variety of pleasant scenery. By contrast in the afternoon there were a lot of large flat fields, and the end of the afternoon the charm of wading through enormous knee-high meadows began to wear off a bit.

For lunch we skipped the recommended lunch pub in Worminghall and took the shortcut to the second pub in Ickford (this was mainly my doing: I had a cold and fancied a slightly shorter walk: my companions would have done the main walk had I not swayed them). This pub turned out to be EMPTY, a nice change after the fully booked pubs of recent weeks, but a bit worrying from a business point of view. Their food was perfectly nice so I don't know why they did not have more punters.

We went to Treacles in pretty Thame for a "proper" tea, glad to avoid the dreaded Costa and got the 17.15 bus, again with swift train connections.

All in all a lovely walk....but I am not sure I would want to do it in winter.