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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

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Chilterns and the Thames Valley: Goring Circular (via Hill Bottom) or to Pangbourne

Length: 18.0 km (11.1 mi) or 25.0 km to Pangbourne
Ascent/Descent:   350m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 hours or 5 ½ hours to Pangbourne
Toughness:  4 out of 10 

Take the 10.15 Cardiff Central service from Paddington (change Reading 10.40/10.51), arriving Goring & Streatley 11.05.  
With Railcards other than Network RC: take the 09.57 Didcot Parkway service (this may show as a ‘Cholsey’ train at Paddington), stops Ealing B’way 10.05.
Return trains: xx.12, xx.40, xx.44 (4 mins later from Pangbourne).
Buy a Goring & Streatley return in any case.

First Wednesday outing for this walk…
It is a mix of beautiful, rolling Chilterns countryside, forest trails and quiet country lanes. Passes through some bluebell woods, but will the wee blighters be out yet?
Walk Option: from Goring station find the Thames Path and continue along it (with the water on your right hand side) to Whitchurch and thence across the Thames to Pangbourne station.

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

Lunch: The Sun Inn in Hill Bottom (8.2 km/5.1 mi, food to 15.00); the chef is ex-Gordon Ramsay and Tom Aiken, so expect gastro-food. There is some talk on previous postings that walk-in custom will not be fed, but I can’t see anything to that tune on their website. But if that is true, then there are other options…
The Red Lion (trad village pub fare) and The Plaice (fish & chips), in Woodcote (11.9 km/7.4 mi, food to 14.00 at both establishments). As long as you beat a 4 km/h average pace…
Tea:  Plenty of options in Goring (a little beyond the station) and in Whitchurch/Pangbourne. For details see the pdf. T=swc.243


cinzia said...

is there anyone going?

Thomas G said...

It's been a long winter. And March and April have also been really wet. And then, within a few days, we get to this: w=warm-but-not-hot-and-with-a-breeze, the blackthorn blooming, the rape oil seed fields starting to turn yellow, some butterflies about (yellow ones and some brown ones) and lots of flowers in the woods (yellow, white and blue ones, which means Celandines, Wood Anemones and Bluebells, I'm reliably told). 'tis the best time of the year for walking, in my book.
In light of the temperatures we walked at medium pace and almost all arrived at the lunch pub, the much maligned Sun Inn, before 13.00 hours. After a recent particularly negative experience on the Pangbourne Circ walk, one walker had insisted calling them ahead to make sure they had ample food available this time. So we were a little apprehensive, but without any reason: the service was quick and friendly, the food arrived reasonably quickly and was of good quality, so much so that even some of the more gastro-critical Wednesday regulars confessed to be happy with it all. New staff maybe?
The sandwichers, who had rested patiently outside in the sun, moved on when they saw some lunchers ordering desserts or coffee and most were never seen again. At Goring, of my sub-group of 6 people, 3 opted for the extension to Pangbourne along one of the better stretches of the Thames Path (with hills!), and rounded off the day at The Swan's terrace by the river weir with a refreshing drink.
A varied route with some fine views, a nice mix of woods and fields. And the woods were not too densely canopied, so the sun broke through all the time. A very fine day.
Bluebell Index: early on about 1 out of 20 out and about half of those with bells open, later hardly any out, then towards the end (High Wood especially) almost all out and almost all bells open, so there it is only a few days to 'Peak Bluebell'. n=17

Thomas G said...

... and ladybirds, how could I forget them?