Aldermaston to Woolhampton via Frilsham walk
West Berkshire Downs: ancient woodlands, commons, pretty villages, historical pubs, chalk streams, water meadows, heathland, finishes via landscaped park or the Kennet canal.
|Length||22.9 km (14.2 mi), with 407/404m ascent/descent. For a longer and a shorter walk see below Walk Options.|
|Toughness||6 out of 10, with 5 hours 15 minutes walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 8 ½ hours.|
This walk explores a surprisingly quiet part of the commuter area that is West Berkshire, less than an hour from Central London. It is a mildly undulating landscape with some fine views over unspoilt countryside - the West Berkshire Downs, part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and consisting of a mix of ancient woodlands, commons, fields and pretty villages with pleasant, historical pubs.
An optional westerly extension leads through more fascinating, undulating woods and the large and impressive Iron Age hillfort site of Grimsbury Castle.
You can lengthen the walk by routing along a more westerly route. This adds 4.2 km (2.6 mi) and 68m ascent, and is rated 7/10 (and a diversion to a late lunch stop in Hermitage adds another 2.3 km).
|Maps||OS Explorer: 159 (Reading, Wokingham & Pangbourne) & 158 (Newbury & Hungerford)
OS Landranger: 174 (Newbury & Wantage) & 175 (Reading & Windsor)
Aldermaston station, map reference SU 601 673, is 71 km west of Charing Cross, 13 km south west of Reading and 54m above sea level; Midgham station, map reference SU 572 666, is 3 km west of Aldermaston and 57m above sea level, both are in West Berkshire. Both stations are on the Berkshire and Hampshire line from Reading to Newbury (and on to Bedwyn and Taunton). Journey times are from 47 minutes Mon-Fri (hourly), 51 mins Sat (hourly) and 53 minutes Sun (between hourly and two-hourly). Change at Reading. Midgham station is one stop further from London with a journey time from 49 minutes.
Saturday Walkers' Club: Take the train closest to 9.30 hours.
The Six Bells, The Green, Beenham, RG7 5NX (T: 01189 713 368). A possible very early lunch stop. Located 2.8 km from the start of the walk.
The Cottage Inn, 26 Broad Lane, Upper Bucklebury, RG7 6QJ (T: 01635 864 544). A possible early tea stop. Located 480m off-route, 5.9 km from the end of the walk.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
Dec-21 Thomas G
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk