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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, 20 April 2019

Marlow to Henley-on-Thames

With the temperatures set to soar over the Easter weekend, It's been suggested that I post a short walk in the Henley-on-Thames area, so here it is :-)


Getting there

Catch the 9:57 Didcot Parkway train from London Paddington (10:05 from Ealing Broadway) to Maidenhead. Change trains here (4 minute changeover time) to catch the 10:38 train to Marlow (advertised on platform 5B at the time of writing). Arrive into Marlow at 11:01


Getting back

Catch a train at 53 minutes past the hour from Henley-on-Thames, changing at Twyford to catch the London bound train on the adjacent platform (unless you've travelled from the Reading area)


Tickets

I suggest buying a day return to Henley-on-Thames and a single from Maidenhead to Marlow

Length 8.4 miles
Toughness 2/3 out of 10


Overview

This is a derivative of the Marlow Circular walk with lunch at the Flower Pot Hotel.  After lunch (at bullet point 39 on the walk instructions) the walk continues to Henley rather than returning to Marlow.

During the morning section, walkers may stop at the tea kiosk located at Hurley lock for a late morning beverage. Here there are seats on a pleasant lawned area next to the river. For lunch, The Flowerpot Hotel has a large back garden with plenty of seating. There used to be an African Grey Parrot in the bar which I seem to remember chattered a lot...
There are plenty of opportunities to dawdle by the river during the walk and enjoy the higher temperatures and Old Father Thames and of course the opportunity to take afternoon tea and yummy cakes at The Chocolate Café in Henley which closes at 6:00pm.

Click the link below (ignore the Marlow circular reference) for all the details 
L=2.8

2 comments:

Mike A said...

Just a few notes on this walk:
w=Glorious_sunshine_all_day
The Temple Foot bridge was closed ( see https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/thames-path/news/temple-bridge-extended-closure-between-hurley-and-marlow) for details).
Many thanks to Bill and everyone who helped to devise a diversion via Low Grounds Farm, East Lodge, Harleyford Golf Club, Medmenham, then following tjhe towing path to Hambledon Place before crossing the weir and then back tracking to the Flowerpot Hotel at Aston. This made for a longish morning (12km or about 7.5miles) with just 4km or 2.5 miles in the after lunch section, making the total walk about 16km.
Hopefully the environment agency will be able to re-open Temple Bridge shortly, however if this is not possible an alternative lunch stop at the Dog and Badger in Medmenham could be considered with the afternoon leg along the towing path from Hambleden Lock to Henley cutting out the Flowerpot Hotel altogether.
I thought I'd mention the diversion was particularly scenic and worth a walkover if you are in that neck of the woods.
Bluebell buffs might like to know there is a stunning display in Oaken Grove just to the north of the A4155 about midway between Mill End and Henley, almost up to Dockey woods standard.
Looking forward to others reports.

Bill S said...

n=14 on this w=gloriously-warm-and-sunny day.

A kilometre (whatever one of those is) into the walk the front runners (or should that be front walkers?) encountered a notice on the path alongside the Thames which stated that the bridge at Temple Lock (our intended crossing point) was closed and indicating a diversion up a footpath away from the river. As we had no way of knowing how old the notice was we decided to press on in the knowledge that there was another footpath near to the lock that we could take if the footbridge was closed that would link up with what we assumed was the route of the diversion. After a mile or so (I'm far more comfortable with miles - I understand miles, and furlongs and chains and gnats and smidgens) we reached the lock and were told by the lock keeper that the bridge was indeed closed and that the recommended "diversion" involved backtracking to Marlow to cross the river there (which begs the question why the earlier notice didn't simply advise people to turn round and retrace their steps along the river bank: some things defy explanation).

After debating whether we could persuade a passing boat to ferry across the river, we decided to trust our map reading skills and head away from the river to chart a path across country to cross at Hambledon Lock where we would re-join the published route. What the alternative route lacked in riverside walking it more that made up for in other delights. Quite footpaths, wonderful life-size driftwood sculptures of animals dotted round a golf course (including a pride of lions lazing in and around a tree stump that formed part of the ensemble), a delightful hidden semi-natural garden (sadly separated from the footpath by a high fence) squeezed in between sheer chalk cliffs on one side and a small stream that ran alongside the path, and a long, narrow, unlit brick tunnel that we had to pass through. And we had the added bonus of crossing over the weir at Hambledon Lock, which I always enjoy.

On the other side we were treated to the sight of competitors in the junior section of the annual Devises to London Kayak race portaging their boats overland at speed from one side of the lock to the other while their supporters bellowed, well, support.

From there it was a short walk to the Flower Pot Hotel where almost all of us gathered. Surprising, despite the fact it was a sunny bank holiday weekend it was not that busy and our food orders were speedily delivered.

Three of us, having finished our meals, left ahead of the pack and, forsaking the river once again, took the Remenham Hill route into Henley. Our musing about what had happened to the walk poster (he had not turned up at the pub by the time that we left) were answered soon afterwards when one of our number received a text from him saying that he was enjoying tea in the Chocolate Café in Henley. Turns out he stopped to rest in a bust stop at Hambledon Lock and whilst there devised a cunning short cut which entailed catching a bus for the rest of the way. This has been noted in his record card.

Shortly before we reached Henley discussion, which had ranged widely, turned once again to, well, suffice to say we were still technically in the Chilterns.

We ended the afternoon by joining said walk poster in the Chocolate Café were we partook of tea and cake.

All in all a very enjoyable day which was probably enhance by our unplanned detour.

(Oh, and it almost goes without saying that there was a plethora of Red Kites. We also spotted the odd Buzzard, some duckings and goslings and a lone ring necked parakeet, heard skylarks sing, saw bluebells (still not at there best) and other wildflowers, and brimstones and orange tip butterflies).