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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, 23 February 2019

Saturday walk - Henley Circular via Great Wood - the original SWC walk

Length: 16.1km (10 miles) T=1.1 (with possible 3.7km/2.3 mile extension)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

9.42 train from Paddington (9.50 Ealing Broadway) to Twyford, changing there (arrive 10.30, depart 10.38) for Henley-on-Thames, arriving 10.50

Walk directions are here. The walk home page is here. The GPX file is here.

I thought we would go back to where it all began this week - book one, walk one, the original SWC walk. It is a very simple outing, with an easy walk along the prettiest stretch of the River Thames in the morning and then over the fields to picture-perfect Hambleden, beloved of film makers.

Lunch will hopefully be at the Stag and Huntstman: it is always a popular pub but we usually squeeze in. The alternative is the Hambleden Village Stores nearby which has some deli items, serves hot drinks and has a couple of outside tables.

The hard work, such as it is, is after lunch - an extended climb up through Great Wood. (It is for this reason that I have bumped the toughness rating up from the stated 2 out of 10). After that it is downhill all the way on quiet lanes and the Oxfordshire Way to the lovely delights of the Chocolate Cafe in Henley, or the characterful Angel on the Bridge pub.

If you want to extend the walk after tea, it is 2.3 miles down the Thames Path to Shiplake, a very lovely walk for the mile and a half or so, taking in the striking Thames Lock and a watermeadow. After that, it is a bit more suburban, though you get to see how the other half lives. The Baskerville Arms by Shiplake station is a possible drink stop. A day return to Henley covers return from Shiplake.

Trains back are at 23 and 53 past from Henley (27 and 57 past from Shiplake) until 18.53, and then at 19.35, 20.23, 21.23, 22.21....


Anonymous said...

Table booked for SWC at the S&H pub for 12.45 (eight peeps).The Llunch Monitor.

Walker said...

N=20 on this walk in w=lovely-sunshine after early mist and cloud cleared (it only affected the first 45 minutes or so). A nice simple outing on a beautifully spring-like day. Chaffinches sang, daffodils and celandines were out and someone (not me, alas) reported seeing a brimstone butterfly.

Our thanks to Anonymous for booking for eight at the pub, but surprisingly it was not that busy. Many of us decamped to the garden, where we sat in warm sunshine for the first time this year. Food came very quickly: in one or two cases it was on the table before its recipient had the chance to sit down.

After lunch, the climb up into Great Wood and then a descent in the golden haze to Henley. Most seemed to go to the Chocolate Cafe, and eight of us carried on afterwards along the river to Shiplake. The first third of this walk - to Marsh Lock - was as busy as Piccadilly Circus, but it emptied out thereafter. At Shiplake we saw a train go up and while we waited for it to come back three blackbirds serenaded us.

Just think: there will be days and days and days like this.