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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, 8 October 2016

Saturday Second Walk - an easy but beautiful walk along The Thames

SWC Walk 61 - Reading to Henley
Length: 14.8km (9.2 miles)
Toughness: 1 out of 10 - entirely flat

9.57 train (a big mainline one, destination Bristol Temple Meads) from Paddington to Reading, arriving 10.25.

(From Ealing Broadway it is quicker to get a train into Paddington to connect wth the above, but if you want to travel direct there is a 9.13 stopping service that gets to Reading at 10.21).

Buy a day return to Reading.

This is a very simple walk along the Thames Path, but there are a few places where you can go wrong, and these brief directions ensure you do not do that.

Simple does not mean ordinary, however. I gave this walk a check in March and had a dreamy day out (see the first five photos on the walk's photo page) and found lots to delight me. To begin with you are in the park-like surrounds of Reading but you soon escape into a quiet wooded section. Then past the delightful Sonning Lock and to Sonning itself. The Bull Inn here is a very charming and popular pub, but now has some competition from a new establishment by the river - the Coppa Club: see walk directions for details.

After lunch you have to cross the river (one of the crucial directions in the walk document!) and then there is an isolated section where the river meanders between fields, before you come to Shiplake, with its charming riverside meadows. You are forced a bit "inland" here, and you could take an early train back from Shiplake after 11.1km (6.9 miles). There is even a pub here to act as a tea stop.

But better by far is to push on to Henley, on a route which takes you past posh houses and then out into a lovely watermeadow, past beautiful Marsh Lock and into Henley with its nice tea options.

Trains back from Henley are at 24 past. Your return ticket to Reading may be accepted or you may have to pay a single for the relatively short hop from Reading to Twyford, where the two routes converge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

n=17, w=overcast-but-dry
14 set off from the station at the recommended time, 2 later comers joined the group at lunch, one early starter met us at Chocolate Factory in Henley. A nice and easy walk but scenic and enjoyable nonetheless. All stopped at The Bull - nice food and good service (food came very quickly) but expensive. We got to the pub before 12pm. So it is worth while to consider a later start if this walk comes up again. A small group pressed on to Henley or took the train from Shiplake (not sure). 9 stopped at Baskerville Arms for tea where Brexit debate has become rather heated. Another tea stop at Chocolate Factory, where ice creams were consumed to cool down the debate but several others could not take the heat and went to explore Henley. We took 4:20pm train back to London. A divided country, but we are keeping on walking....