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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

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Kintbury to Great Bedwyn


Length: 21km / 13m
Toughness: 5 / 10
Transport: Take the 10:07 from London Paddington to Kintbury arriving at 11:06. Return trains from Great Bedwyn at 16:45, 17:41, 18:41, 19:42 with changes at Newbury and Reading and the last train at 20:32.

From the description:

Though only an hour west of London by train, this walk has a decidedly West Country feel, far removed from the more manicured charms of the Home Counties. In the morning, it passes through an idyllic series of woods and pastures, with largely gentle gradients. After lunch at a quiet country pub in Inkpen (the sort of place where the conversation at the bar is as likely to be about farming than the price of second homes), it then climbs up onto a long ridge, giving views as dramatic, but even more unspoiled, than any on the South Downs. The rest of the walk follows the Test Way, a broad track along the top of this ridge, before descending to the valley and the pretty village of Great Bedwyn.

1 comment:

Bill S said...

n=7 on this walk, including 2 first-timers who had each independently turned up at Kintbury Station expecting to join 20 others who had signed up for a "SWC" meet-up group walk. Despite the initial confusion they were happy to join us, and one at least may have been converted to the cause. Leaving aside my being navigationally challenged at one point, we reached the lunchtime pub - the Swan at Lower Inkpen, without incident. The problem came with the pub itself, which was like the Mary Celeste - devoid of life. A hand written signed on the door simply said "Closed", and gave a telephone number for those wishing to buy organic beef. It looked somewhat forlorn and deserted, but the shrubbery had recently been pruned, and all of the tables in the restaurant section were laid with cutlery and crown folded napkins, which seemed somewhat odd. Lacking an alternative lunch venue (the next one on route was six miles away at Bedwyn where the walk ended) we sat on the picnic tables outside and shared out what food we had.

(Having looked at the pub's website when I got back, it transpires that it closed on 22 April. There is no explanation as to why, and no indication whether the closure is temporary or permanent, though a comment elsewhere on the internet suggest the latter. This somewhat puts the mockers on this walk as it is, though looking at the map, it might be possible to divert from the exiting route at Titcomb to go South to the Crown and Garter at Inkpen Common and then west to re-join the original route near Northcroft Farm.)

Thus refreshed we pressed on at differing speeds, and as a result the group split up. The two of us out front arrived in Bedwyn with time to spare before the train for a swift pint, which is when we discovered the second casualty - the Cross Keys has also closed. Thankfully the Three Tuns is still open and provided welcome refreshment.

An enjoyable walk with fine views from the ridge in the afternoon, though the path here (a byway) is heavily rutted, with the ruts often hidden in the long grass, which is potentially treacherous. w=overcast-but-dry , aside from a few spots of rain in the wind during the afternoon.