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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, 25 May 2019

Saturday Walk - Thames Valley and Berkshire Downs: Cholsey to Goring

Despite being 11 years old in its current form, this fine walk has only ever had one Saturday outing: in its first year...

Length: 24.1 km (15.0 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 250/248m; Net Walking Time: 5 ¼ hours
Toughness: 5/10

Take the 09.57 Didcot Parkway train from Paddington (10.05 Ealing Broadway), arrives Cholsey 11.14.
Missed the train? Take the 10.15 Cheltenham Spa train, change Didcot Parkway (10.55) and travel back one stop on the 11.02 Paddington train, getting to Cholsey at 11.07 (i.e. before the group!).
Return trains from Goring & Streatley are on xx.12 and xx.42, journey time 79 mins. Shave off up to 30mins  by changing at Reading onto a fast train. Buy a Cholsey return.

This walk offers a fine combination of gentle Oxfordshire countryside, wide grassy horse training gallops, a stretch of the Ridgeway with splendid views from the Berkshire Downs, and a final saunter along the banks of the Thames. Although the walk is fairly long, it has nothing too steep or demanding.
The main walk is best undertaken from mid spring to early autumn. With a fairly late start to accommodate the early lunch stop at The Red Lion Blewbury. The suggested tea stop is the Beetle and Wedge riverside restaurant at Moulsford, a place with ‘Wind in the Willows’ and ‘Three Men in a Boat’ associations. There are also plenty of hostelries in Streatley and Goring at the end of the walk.
Before starting the walk, devotees of Agatha Christie’s detective stories might want to make a short detour to visit the novelist’s grave in the churchyard of St Mary’s, Cholsey. To do this, follow the walk directions for the first 180 metres till you reach the railway bridge, but instead of turning left under the railway, turn right and follow the path for 700 metres as it climbs up to the church. Afterwards, retrace your steps and pass under the railway to re-join the directions.

Lunch: The Red Lion in Blewbury  (6.6 km/4.1 mi), or – a little further along and to the left off the route along London Road – The Blueberry (food to 14.30).
Tea: The Beetle & Wedge Boathouse en route plus lots of choice in Streatley and Goring-on-Thames (see the pdf for details).

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


PeteB said...

This is one of the few walks in SE England where you have a good chance of seeing brown hares. Its the valley path along Unhill Bottom which is en route to what was Starveall Farm but is now some sort of holiday lodge? They are usually on the steep slopes to your right often near the tree line. You reach the valley after about 11m. The last time I did this walk in the high summer of 2016 there was also a brilliant display of poppies in the valley but the land use changes here a fair bit and its probably too early in the year

Mr M Tiger said...

Weather was w=sunny-hot-turning-humid-later N=7 got off the train and we set off. And that’s all I can tell you. The other six were never seen again. (Twilight Zone music). The Red Lion was searched – no sign. Where had they gone? To this day no-one knows. It's as if they walked off the face of the earth.
The directions could do with at least one tweak. Where it says “head down to the right of Lower Chance Farm buildings” they should really say “head down to the right of the solitary light coloured shed”. There’s no buildings plural, there no sign of a farm and an inexperienced walker could be forgiven for thinking they had gone the wrong way. A really inexperienced walker might even trudge back up to the evergreens to check.

PeteB said...

Any sign of hares Mr Tiger?

Mr M Tiger said...

Didn't see no hares. Maybe they split. Split gettit? Hares.
But tbh I didn't go that way. I stayed on the Ridgeway into Streatley.
(Although according to noticeboards they can also be seen from the Ridgeway)