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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, 26 January 2019

Saturday Walk - The Thame Valley (Aylesbury Vale), Rolling Buckinghamshire Landscape, 4 Pubs, Variable Length

This walk passes four pubs during opening hours (plus a 5th one a little off-route in Stone), while offering flexible lengths as the route crosses the A 418 several times, where the 200/280 Oxford to Aylesbury Bus runs frequently to get you back to Haddenham or on to Aylesbury.

Length:  from 10.3 km (6.4 mi) to 23.3 km (14.5 mi)
Ascent/Descent: up to 180 m; Net Walking Time: from ca. 2 hours to 5 hours
Toughness:  from 1/10 to 4/10 

This pleasant walk through the scenic heart of Aylesbury Vale passes through the tranquil Thame Valley in the morning, linking up several unspoilt and picturesque hamlets with gentle views to the surrounding hills, while passing three good village pubs en-route. After lunch several grassy fields and a substantial, newly planted community woodland are passed through. Later the stately mansion of Hartwell House is rounded, before the route heads into Aylesbury for tea.
The regular Oxford to Aylesbury bus service is never far away from the route, making it easy to choose a shorter option.

Take the 10.00 Oxford train from Marylebone (High Wycombe 10.25), arrives Haddenham & Thame Parkway at 10.42.
Return trains from Haddenham: xx.14 and xx.38 hours (55 mins and 43 minutes journey time resp.).
Return trains from Aylesbury: xx.18 and xx.48 hours (61 mins journey time) via Amersham, your ticket is not technically valid, but there are usually no ticket inspectors on that line; and xx.34 via Princes Risborough (87 mins journey time, your ticket is valid from Princes Risborough onwards).
Buy a Haddenham & Thame return, this covers the return journey to London from Princes Risborough. You then need to buy an Aylesbury to Risborough single at Aylesbury station and travel via Princes Risborough, or argue with the ticket inspector…

Befuddled by the ticket arrangements? (As Anonymous says:) Take the 09.43 Warwick Parkway train (stops Gerrards Cross, Beaconsfield, High Wycombe, Princes Risborough), arriving Haddenham & Thame Parkway at 10.36. Buy an Aylesbury (Any Route) Return, you then have to buy a one-stop Princes Risborough – Haddenham single on the train (if you can find a ticket inspector).

Lunch: The Bottle and Glass in Gibraltar  (10.3 km/6.4 mi, food to 15.00) or the The Seven Stars in Dinton  (10.9 km/6.8 mi). There’s also The Crown at Cuddington early on (7.1 km/4.4 mi, from 11.30).  
Tea: The Bugle Horn  (open all day) and Hartwell House Spa Cafe and Bar (open to 19.00), both in Hartwell (3.5 km from the end); and numerous options in Aylesbury (check page 2 of the pdf).

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


Anonymous said...

Why not buy a day return to Aylesbury?

Thomas G said...

not valid to haddenham. not valid to princes r either, as the outbound train disnae stop there...

Anonymous said...

Yes of course, if you wanted to use an Aylesbury return (and be bona fide on a fast train back from there) you'd have to catch the 9:43 and buy a single from Princes to Haddenham & Thame Parkway (£1-80 with a rail card)

Thomas G said...

Just n=4 on this outing, with the weather being better than forecast, as - after 20 minutes or so of drizzle - it stayed dry bar a few minute-long squalls. Even some specks of blue sky could be spotted in the afternoon. That's after the wait for food at the lunch pub, The Seven Stars in Dinton, had been implausibly long (a humble salad and a minute steak shouldn't take 40 mins, surely?).
The handful of arable field crossings yielded some clay packs clinging to boots, else the ground in the pastures and along the paths was firmish. Mostly clear views of The Chilterns and the hills to the North, with the fast-moving bands of clouds at higher levels. The dark clouds moved in again late in the afternoon though, but by then we had stopped to have tea at The Bugle Horn and then took the bus from there. 17.18 train.
Unfortunately there was no staff at Aylesbury station or on the train, so we had no way to check the ticket validity situation. w=largely-dry-if-very-overcast-at-times