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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, 31 January 2018

Wednesday Walk - The Roman Town of Calleva Atrebatum: Mortimer to Aldermaston or Midgham or Theale

Length:  15.9 km (9.9 mi) (or 18.4 km to Midgham Station or 21.7 km to Theale)
Ascent/Descent:  94/92m
Net Walking Time:  3 ¼ hours
Toughness:  1 out of 10 
Take the 10.03 Penzance train from  Paddington, change at Reading (10.28/10.40, Basingstoke service), arrives Mortimer 10.51.
Return trains from Aldermaston are at 15.27 (chg Reading), 16.10 (chg Reading), 16.15 (chg Newbury), 17.18 (chg Reading), 18.06 (direct). From Theale they are on 16.03, 16.15, 17.01, 17.23… Buy a Mortimer return, this is usually accepted on the return journey.

From St. Mary's Church in Stratfield Mortimer, the route follows a clear stream - Foundry Brook - eventually to the amphitheatre and the 2.5 km of Roman walls surrounding the 107-acre site of the Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, and the whitewashed 12th century church at its entrance. The  remains of the fort are quite modest - just earthworks, but still very impressive, as is the amphitheatre.
The lunch stop is at a pub on Silchester Common and the afternoon route is mainly through woods of Scots pine, and commons of gorse and birch trees. Aldermaston, the teatime destination, is reached over the weirs of the River Kennet. Longer Walk: from Aldermaston continue along the Kennet & Avon Canal either to Woolhampton (Midgham Station) for some very nice pubs, or to Theale, for more frequent trains and several pubs. 

Lunch: Calleva Arms, in Silchester Common (6.8 km/4.2 mi, food to 14.30).
Tea: Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Information Centre in Aldermaston, The Rowbarge and The Angel in Woolhampton, plenty options in Theale, 400m beyond the station on the High Street.

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. t=1.33


Selina said...

Hi, Does anyone else want to get super saver tickets from Paddington with me? My number is 07981494967.


Stargazer said...

An "almost super" blue moon and clear evening skies forecasted, almost too much to pass up really......will aim to take the 17:03 arriving in Aldermaston at 18:06 to walk to Theale with anyone who has not already raced back to London.....

Thomas G said...

w=occasional-rain-until-lunch-then-sunny n=10
10 off the train in the rain, which lasted all of 10 minutes or so, then reappeared in assorted short bursts, but wasn't much of a nuisance really, then - while at the lunch pub - we watched the cloud cover turn from dark grey to light grey to barely there, and then the sun came out, all this in a very short time.
Generally fine walk with some indifferent to dreary bits, especially pre-lunch on the way to Calleva Roman Town, just before which we bumped into a shooting party (modest success they've had, I'd say, not THAT many pheasants to show for) and turned right to admire the amphitheatre, then all those info panels around the town wall and the church etc.
On to lunch which was standard old school pub fare. The beer was nice though.
On in the dry, through woods, fields and commons (we tried the 'alternative' route through Burnt Common, much nicer than the road route) and then the many ponds and waterways by Aldermaston. Got there around 15.45, but the café at the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Information Centre was shut (as was the centre) for a re-furb/new build.
So without any further ado, 7 (I think) walked on to Theale, where in the last hundreds of metres of walking we saw the fabled blue moon rising. 17.23 train.
...and to honour the world class dedication of one particular swc walker who took the train out after a day in the office to walk just the Aldermaston to Theale bit into the Blue Moon, I declare the attendance herewith:n=11...

Stargazer said...

....and from the late starter who set-off from Aldermaston just after 18:00, the moon did not was big, beautiful and bright and perfectly positioned for the route to Theale, reflecting on the river and occasionally providing atmospheric backlighting to the speckling of bare trees along the way....a special night with a special moon....