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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, 9 September 2017

Henley via Turville Circular - hills around the Thames

SWC Walk 223 - Henley via Turville Circular
Length: 24km (15 miles): options from 15.8km (9.8 miles) to 21km (13 miles) using buses
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.42 train from Paddington (9.50 Ealing Broadway) to Twyford, arriving 10.20, changing there for the 10.38 to Henley, arriving 10.50.

Buy a day return to Henley-on-Thames (ie NOT -in-Arden)

For walk directions, click here.

This walk apparently visits many locations that featured in Midsomer Murders, but to those like me who never watched that TV series it is just a pretty walk in the Thames Valley and southern Chilterns. You might describe it as "Henley via Hambleden plus" since it explores the territory north of the lunch stop on that book two walk. It has four pub options for lunch, and although all are described as busy on summer weekends, it is arguably not so summery any more, so hopefully we will be able to squeeze into one.

The full walk is quite long at 15 miles - there is an even longer 17.2 mile version through Stonor Park if you are training for a Himalayan holiday - but there are two ways to shorten it using buses:

- Take a bus at the start of the walk to Hambleden Lock, cutting out 5km (3.1 miles) and making the main walk 19km (11.9 miles). See the Walk Options on page 3 of the walk pdf for directions on how to find the bus stop in Henley. Assuming the train runs on time, possible buses are the X80 at 11.05 or the 850 at 11.23

- Catch a bus from Hambleden Greenlands stop towards the end of the walk: 800, 850, X80 buses are roughly on the hour and half hour till 19.30, then 20.14, 21.15, 22.15. This saves 3.2km (2 miles) of walking (admittedly quite a flat two miles along the river) and so reduces the main walk to 21km (13 miles).

If you did both of these bus shortcuts, the walk would be just 15.8km (9.8 miles) - or 19.5km (12.1 miles) if you did the longer route in the afternoon.

Trains back from Henley are at 23 and 53 past till 18.53, then 19.35, 20.23, 21.23, 22.21, 23.11. T=3.223


PeteB said...

Watch out for the body sticking out of the hedge. You have been warned......:>)

Walker said...

N=14 on this walk, one joining us by car at Mill End and the other coming on a later train and getting the bus to the same place. One on the original train also stated his intention of getting the bus to Mill End but was never seen again. Two boots were found sticking out of a hedge halfway through the morning (see photo on our Facebook page) so possibly he will be featured in a future episode of Midsomer Murders.

The weather was w=quite-a-lot-of-sunshine-with-one-huge-hailstorm-in-the-afternoon. The sun lasted long enough for some of us to have lunch in the garden of the Frog in Skirmett. Others, including three newbies, had lunch in the Bull and Butcher in Turville (never saw them again either: people certainly do disappear with amazing frequency in this part of the world). You are spoilt for choice for pubs on this walk, as both places were very pleasant. The Frog staff were a bit unsmiling but the food was damned tasty, so we forgive them.

The morning is very flat. In the afternoon we were threatened with lots of hills, but in fact there was one big long hill (a gentle one) and otherwise lots of fairly level tracks through woodland. The woodland came in useful as shelter when the hailstorm hit: after that it was a bit iffy weatherwise but little rain really.

Coming down to the main road we found that the Henley Show was just coming to an end with showjumping, traction engines and I don't know what. Some got the bus here, while four of us (and maybe two later?) did the riverside walk. This was beautiful with sunshine chasing the dark clouds away to the east. A lot of geese and swans on the river for some reason.

A good number of us got to the Chocolate Cafe in time, where we overcompensated for the calories used up in our 15 miler. Top marks to them for having a vegan chocolate cake. And so homewards, breathing great lungfuls of particulates on our diesel train, but with a brief glimpse of a cleaner electric train (they are being rolled out) at Southall.