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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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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Wednesday Walk – Moonlight Special (hopefully) with Some Gentle Climbs and Greenham Common, a Re-naturalized former WW II and NATO Airfield

SWC Walk 34:  Newbury Racecourse to Woolhampton with possible extension to Aldermaston and Theale

Distance:  10.6 miles or 17 km for those more metrically minded (12.6 miles (20km) or 16.6 miles (27 km) with the Aldermaston and Theale extensions, respectively)
Difficulty: 2 out of 10

Train:  Take the 10:30 AM Great Western train to Bristol from London Paddington, changing at Reading (arrive 10:55; depart 11:12), arriving at Newbury Racecourse at 11:38.  Return trains (all requiring a change at Reading unless otherwise noted) from Midgham (Woolhampton) are at 15:24; 15:29; 16:24; 16:29; 17:23; 17:29; 18:24; 18:31; 19:29; 20:08; 21:02; 21:34; 22:24; from Aldermaston at 15:28; 16:28; 17:27; 18:06 (no change); 18:28; 19:25; 20:12; 21:05; 21:38; 22:28; and from Theale at 17:05 (no change); 17:32; 18:11 (no change); 18:33; 19:06 (no change); 19:20; 20:24 (no change); 21:10; 21:43; 22:33 . Buy a day return to Newbury Racecourse.   
This interesting walk takes you across Greenham Common a former WW II and NATO airstrip that has since been left to return to nature.  It is a gentle outing with a few minor climbs and views across Berkshire.  ALSO, as Wednesday is just one day before the full moon, if the weather conditions smile on us, it may be possible to extend the walk with a late afternoon/early evening moonlit stretch along the Avon & Kennet Canal to Aldermaston (2 miles/3km-ish) and eventually Theale (6 miles/10km-ish).  You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

The recommended lunch pub is the Travellers Friend (01189 713 156) in Crookham Common (5.2 miles/8.5 km into the walk). Tea can be had at the very pleasant Rowbarge Inn near Midgham Station.  If doing the extension, the Butt Inn at Aldermaston Wharf and various pubs near Theale Station (mostly clustered on the High Street) can also quench your thirst...

Enjoy the walk!


PeteG said...

Memories of the 1983 CND demo, that formed a human chain for 14 miles between the Greenham Common Peace Camp (cruise missiles) and Aldermaston (nuclear weapons research).

Walker said...

N=11 plus one dog on this walk, on a w=fairly-sunny day. Interesting to see the former Greenham Common Airbase, so notorious in the 1980s, now returned to nature. Otherwise a gentle walk over fields: pleasant if unexceptional.

We were the only customers at the pub, which produced passable food quickly and was reasonably friendly. The Rowbarge was cosy for tea.

Excitement rose at the end of the walk because the sky was still clear and a big nearly full moon rose confidently over a lake. This inspired all but one to do the extension to Aldermaston - a record number for an SWC moonlight walk. It was a less straightforward than expected walk along the canal, where we got lost at one point, but an entrancing expedition nevertheless. Five or six of us went to the Aldermaston pub before an 8pm train home.