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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, 8 September 2018

Saturday walk - Didcot or Appleford Circular - A late summer walk along the upper Thames

Length: 18km (11.2 miles) to 20km (12.4 miles) T=3.44
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.30 (Bristol Temple Meads-bound) train from Paddington, to Didcot, arriving 10.12

Optional onward connection leaving Didcot 10.31 to Appleford, arriving 10.35

From Ealing Broadway, take the 9.05 train to Reading, arriving 9.50 and connect to the Bristol Temple Meads train there, leaving 9.58, arriving Didcot 10.12. OR just stay on the 9.05 all the way to Didcot, arriving 10.21: you will then have to walk a bit faster to catch up the Didcot starters, but would be in time to make the Appleford connection.

Buy a day return to Didcot - or a day return to Appleford if you plan to start or finish there (or want to leave open the option of doing so).

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

I have never done this walk but have had good reports over the years from those who have done it. The highlight is an attractive section of the upper Thames, with the ancient village of Dorchester-on-Thames at its heart (not to be confused with Dorchester, Dorset, which features in one of the other walks today....). Dorchester Abbey is apparently a must-see here. In the afternoon you climb up onto Wittenham Clumps, a pair of Iron Age hill forts and a nature reserve.

APPLEFORD OPTIONSFor convenience the normal start to this walk these days is from drab Didcot, but the original shorter start from Appleford (prettier, apparently) is possible by making the above mentioned train connection. The easiest thing to do is then finish the walk at Didcot - the 18km (11.2 mile) version. If you end the walk at Appleford, the walk is slightly longer (18km/11.8 miles) and the trains only every two hours: see below. Your tea stop on this route is the Plough in Long Wittenham, there being nothing in Appleford itself: given the infrequency of Appleford trains, you would need to time your departure from this carefully.

Finishing in Didcot there is a pub by the station, the Prince of Wales, which looks nice enough in online photos.

Trains back from Appleford are very limited: 16.17, 18.17 and 20.17 with a change at Didcot (57 minutes to London).

Trains back from Didcot are at 23/24 and 30/31 past the hour (fast ones, 44 minutes) or 02 and 32 past (stopping services: 1 hr 29 mins, stopping at Ealing Broadway).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The weather was w=overcast-with-occasional-raindrops-and-likewise-ocaasional-sunshine so a great walking day
N=11 walkers in total some starting from Didcot and most from Appleford and nice scenery and gentle walking apart from those two horrible hills after lunch.
This was a foraging walk really for those of us who like foraging. We snacked on blackberries, quinces, apples, pears, green walnuts and veg being given away at an allotment who were also selling pots of jam and if we had of wanted them road kill rabbits and a mink by the bank of the Thames. One tall walker with a moustache assured us it was a dead baby panther but then again he said that the hills were delightful. They did have lovely views though.
Oh and I forgot that there were a load of Damsons in distress as we ate them.
Spolit for choice for lunch in Dorchester as there are three 'hotels' ( bars with accomadation really) so in the end we plumped for the George where food was good albeit very slow in arriving. We were virtually the only ones there but that didn't stop the two male bar staff clucking around in a small panic as if they had never had customers in before.
Dorchester cathedral is alright - if you like that kind of thing.
4 of us finished at the pub opposite Didcot station where a vegan desert was enjoyed by one whilst the others went for apple crumble with lashings of CUSTARD
Appleford is a great start and we totalled 20.5 km finishing in Didcot
All the best
Nat West
PS the green walnuts stain your fingers and nails something rotten
PPS time I gave up using a rucksack - it weighed 13 kilos with all the produce that I snaffled en route. Tomorrow some of it will be encroute.