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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, 22 February 2020

Saturday walk - Tring to Wendover - a canal and a hill

This is a repeat post of this walk after last week's outing was scuppered by Storm Dennis. 

Length: 21km (13 miles), with short cut possible to around 16km (10 miles) T=1.11
Toughness: 6 out of 10

9.24 train from Euston to Tring, arriving 9.57. If you just miss this train there is a 9.34 that gets in at 10.17

Tickets: slightly awkward in that two singles are needed. It is £11.50 to Tring and £8.05 from Wendover to London with a Network Card.

- You can reduce this by buying a zone 1-6 travelcard = £8.90 with a Network Card discount (in theory available even from Underground ticket machines at the weekend), so long as you also use this for travel to and from your home. Armed with this you only need a single from boundary zone 6 to Tring on the way out = £7.15, while on the way back you need to buy one from Wendover to Boundary Zone 6 = £6.40. This saves you £6 on the train fare, so as long as your travel between your home and Euston + Marylebone (now covered by the travelcard) would normally cost more than £2.90, you are ahead overall.

- You can save even more money, if you can find the elusive zone 1-9 travelcard (Underground ticket machines only) = £9.40 with a Network Card Discount. On the way out you still need to buy a ticket from boundary zone six, but on the way back you only need to buy a ticket to Amersham = £4.30. Your train fare saving is now £8.10, so as long as travel between your home and Euston + Marylebone normally costs more than 80p, you are ahead overall

For walk directions click here, for GPX click here, for a map of the walk click here.

If you can get over the ticket angst described above, this is an interesting outing, which falls into four parts. Firstly you follow the Grand Union Canal, initially in a cutting and then through a charming series of locks. Next there is a section around large reservoirs with interesting birdlife. (Firm paths on both of these sections, as far as I recall). Then a crossing of flat fields, enlivened by lunch. Then finally a walk over wooded hills to Wendover.

There is one lunch pub, after 7.4 miles, which I can attest from a midweek walk last year serves guargantuan portions. Food is served all afternoon. It is described as popular at the weekend, so I hope we can squeeze in. In Wendover the choice is between the chocolate cake heaven of Rumseys and the cosy Shoulder of Mutton pub: go to both (in sequence), say I.

Shortening the walk: the easy way to shorten the walk is to stay on the Wendover Canal in the afternoon: the walk document says this cuts out three miles: I would say more like two, so making the walk 10 to 11 miles, depending on who you believe. A short cut is also described in paragraph 11 of the walk directions that cuts out the last and largest reservoir by going along the Wendover Canal (the "Outer Aylesbury Ring" on the OS map): this only saves 1km, but on the midweek walk last year was enough for me to go from trailing well behind the group to getting to lunch first.

Trains back from Wendover are at 26 and 56 past the hour and take you into charming Marylebone. Don't forget to buy that return single before boarding the train.


PeteG said...

Harrow & Wealdstone is the boundary zone 6 Station for Tring. You can go to Watford on the Overground using oyster & get the Tring train from there.....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for rescheduling this gem of a walk.

Walker said...

Held over from last week, this walk was worth the wait. Instead of Storm Dennis, we had w=breezy-sun-and-cloud, the sun particularly in the morning. The wind was quite strong at times but only really troubling when walking round one of the reservoirs, when it whipped up spray. Apart from one stretch over claggy fields before lunch, when our boots all doubled in size, it was not over muddy.

There was an unusually large crowd for a Euston walk of n=21 plus one dog. The morning was particularly cheerful in the sunshine, with the interesting section along the canal, then the reservoirs and several old churches (none of which I actually visited...). Our thanks to M for ringing the pub and booking for ten people: in fact about 14 ate there. Despite the pub being busy, some of the food came incredibly quickly, and portion sizes were indeed as good as advertised.

After lunch at least four took the shorter canal route. The rest of us slugged up the hill, split into Gismo-ists and Wordists, the written directions and the GPX route apparently being different. Going downhill into Wendover was a bit sloppy in places due to wet chalk, but the town itself proved to have gratifying numbers of puddles to wash boots in.

Maybe eight of us squeezed into Rumsey’s in two shifts, the canal faction nicely keeping a table for the hill walkers. The pub contingent tried to hide from us by going to the Red Lion rather than the Shoulder of Mutton, but we tracked them down. The last of us got the 17.56 train, some paying for a return ticket to boundary zone whatever and some not, the latter ending up richer. Who says honesty is rewarded in this world?

A suggestion for the future for this walk: but a zone 1-9 travelcard and a single from Watford High Street (zone eight?) to Tring. Does this work?

David said...

It is worth mentioning in Para 30 that as of February 2020 there is still no sign of a way through the extensive Bellway housing development, so the diversion mentioned in Para 31 should continue to be taken

Anonymous said...

I found two places where the GPS route for this walk is wrong: it takes you along the car road through Wendover Woods, rater than along the path through the woods. It also doesn't include the diversion around the housing development. The group I was with avoided the road and figured out the diversion by looking at the OS map.