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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, 1 January 2017

New Year's Day Walk - West

Book 1, Walk 1 (R) - Henley Circular  

Length: 16.1 km (10 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10

London Paddington: 09-45 hrs (Oxford Train)  Ealing Broadway: 09-53 hrs
Arrive Twyford: 10-36 hrs
Leave Twyford: 10-43 hrs (Henley train)
Arrive Henley-on-Thames: 10-55 hrs

Return: 07 minutes past the hour

Last year our attempt at this walk - our traditional New Year's Day walk west of London - was nearly thwarted by two suicides on the railway line which closed Paddington for six hours.  Car drivers came to our rescue - but let's hope no such tragedies on the line disrupt our departure by train this year.

As in recent years we do this walk "backwards", or clockwise, heading out of Henley onto the Oxfordshire Way and up into the hills of Henley Park above the town, where we stop to toast in the New Year with some bubbly. If I bring the shampoo, perhaps others could bring some savoury nibbles.

Then onwards through the village of Fawley and down through the Great Wood (which can be muddy) before we descend to Hambledon for lunch at the (usually excellent) Stag & Huntsman pub. We have a table reserved for our SWC New Year regulars - others will have to take pot luck.  The pub is usually very busy on New Year's Day, and to make life easier for the pub's staff  please bring cash if eating at our reserved table - no cards (last year the bill was recalculated a dozen times as individuals presented their debit / credit cards ). Only cash payments today, please.

Post prandial, we head for the River Thames and Hambledon Lock and its impressive weir, which we cross before taking the tow path beside the River all the way back into Henley. We will be losing daylight along this stretch, but provided we do not have to detour into the hills to avoid flooded sections of the path, we should be OK. But in case we have to make some detours please bring along a torch.

Tea in Henley is usually taken at the former Henley Tea Rooms (now called the Chocolate Theatre Cafe) but there are plenty of watering holes in the town, usually open, for those in need of a stronger drink. From the Tea Rooms it's a short walk to the railway station for your journey home.

For our Clapham Junctionite friends who do not like travelling north of the Thames, a Sunday Walk Poster will be posting a New Year's Day Walk - South, especially for you.
Directions for Henley walk  here L=1.1


Anonymous said...

Hope to be able to take part in this traditional walk posted and hosted in such a lovely way by Marcus jfk

Marcus said...

A disappointing turn out of n=8 (half our usual muster) probably due to the poor weather forecast, which for once turned out to be accurate w=drizzle-turning-to-steady-rain-all-day-temperature-mild-but-conditions-miserable. However, the inclement conditions did not affect our good NYD humour and the drizzle was only starting as we toasted in the New Year above Henley. Onwards then as the weather deteriorated but with the bonus of mud levels being lower in the Great Wood than on previous New Year Days. The Stag & Huntsman pub was far less busy than usual (again, twas the weather) and we were served a pleasant lunch during which our damp walking gear dried off. We said goodbye to the 3 in our group after lunch who sensible opted for a taxi back to Henley, leaving 5 of us to re-don the gear and head back out into the steady rain as we maintained a good pace along the Thames path back to Henley. We judged the daylight well as darkness was setting in when we were made welcome at the Chocolate Cafe for tea and a shared huge wadge of triple chocolate cake. A short walk to the railway station, and the 5 of us were on the 17-07 hrs train with good connections to London, to end an enjoyable, albeit damp day in the very best of SWC company.
Having now set this walk for our NYD walk west or north for a number of year's now, the consensus amongst our small group was we need something different for January 2018 - so plenty of time to plan that !

Anonymous said...

VEry enjoyable new years Day Champagne walk in the rain. As usual admirably hosted and led by Marcus so big thanks to him jfk
No better way to start the New Year.