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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

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Sunday Walk - The Thames Valley: Pangbourne Circular (via Goring)

Length: from 16.0 km (10.0 mi), Ascent/Descent: 203 m [shorter ending possible in Goring] to 23.4 km/14.5 mi with 267m ascent, if adding a new morning extension and finishing in Tilehurst.
Net Walking Time: ca. 3 ¾ hours, Toughness: 3 out of 10, for the 16.0 km version.

Take either the 10.29 Didcot Parkway stopping service from  Paddington (Ealing B’way 10.37, Reading 11.26) or the 10.46 Worcester Foregate Street service and change at Reading (11.12/11.26), arrive Pangbourne 11.34. 

Return trains: xx.04 (from Tilehurst: xx.08). Shave off some minutes by changing at Reading onto a fast train. Buy a Pangbourne return (but buy a Goring return if you are finishing there).

Starting on the West Berkshire side of the Thames, this short walk links three pretty Thames-side villages via wooded ridges with splendid views. From Pangbourne you cross the river on the delightful Whitchurch toll bridge into Oxfordshire and ascend through Whitchurch-on-Thames and then some pastures to the highest point of the walk, with first scenic views down some pretty combes. The route follows the part-wooded ridge above the Thames Valley, with occasional splendid views of the valley and the Goring Gap between the Chilterns and the Berkshire Downs, before descending through a wildflower nature reserve and then leading along the valley bottom to Goring-on-Thames for lunch.
In the afternoon you return along the Thames Path Long Distance Trail, mainly through the river meadows, occasionally framed by wooded hills, then up through Hartslock Wood, and back down through Whitchurch and Pangbourne with its many tea options.
A finish in Goring-on-Thames, a modest extension in the morning, and a longer extension at the end of the walk along the Thames to Tilehurst station are possible.

Lunch: Picnic, although some of the cafes and pubs in Goring may sell takeout wares.
Tea: plenty of options in Whitchurch-on-Thames and Pangbourne; check page 2 of the pdf for details, some of whom should sell takeout drinks and snacks.

For walk directions, map, photos, height profile and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.170


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

5.4 Can I use public transport to get to green spaces?

You should still avoid using public transport wherever possible. Consider all other forms of transport before using public transport. If you need to use public transport, you must wear a face covering and you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.

Anonymous said...

I did this walk on Saturday. The morning segment was lovely making a nice change from urban parks. The afternoon along the Thames was busy with families and large groups having picnics along the river. I met walkers and cyclists from both directions every 50-100 yards in the narrow path all the way to Pangbourne, felt like walking on the Thames Path near Richmond.

Thomas G said...

No big problem that then: the initial stretch of Thames Path from Goring is a wide grassy area, mostly not even fenced, and then the bridleway towards Whitchurch (not Pangbourne) is about 2 metres wide all the way. And meeting someone going the other way every 50 - 100 metres should not really be a big deal in anyone's books, surely? It's more populated on every pavement or in every park in London, never mind in a supermarket or corner shop...

Thomas G said...

Anon at 14.45: thanks for your repeated reminders, but that is exactly what we have been doing today and will be doing tomorrow: consider other modes of transport, travel off-peak, wear facemasks, stay at safe distance, respect others, be good citizens. Done.

Thomas G said...

So much for a rushed walk posting: both Bakerloo and Hammersmith & City lines are not running, although the Circle Line least

Thomas G said...

n=9 walkers, incl. one car driver, splitting into fast and slow group, after email addresses of walkers unknown to the poster had been taken down for track-and-tracing.
One of those came to this walk through our Meetup feed (I quote: "It was the only walk up there for today."). Young and fast, she also was least concerned with distancing on the paths and as it later turned out, with putting on a face cover on the train. So here is one more APPEAL TO THE WEBMASTER: PLEASE DISABLE OUR AUTOMATIC MEETUP FEED.
Even outside a pandemic, Meetup folk inevitably turn up without written directions and/or a gpx route, as that's just not what Meetup walks require people to do. So they end up asking loads of questions during the walk, most of which are answered in the text (they don't have) or in the walk post (they haven't read). A drain on resources...

As for the walk: the weather was w=overcast-briefly-then-sunny-always-humid. The fast group walked the slightly longer version and the slower group got to the obvious picnic spot, a hanging curving meadow overlooking the Thames Valley and with views across to the Streatley Hills, first. In Goring only Pierrepont's Cafe seemed open and had the resulting long queues (w/o best practice social distancing on display, for sure). The potentially congested Thames Path out of Goring (10 minutes worth of walking) was busy but everyone stepped out of their way to let people pass at distance. Later, the bridleway towards Whitchurch was half-busy but it is 2 metres wide and unfenced, so - again - no problems were encountered.
In Pangbourne a Costa was open, but we bought coffees oposite it at an Italian deli (big piles of flour for sale there as in almost every other shop window in the village, P'bourne must be the capital of homebaking).
16.04 train