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.

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Post # Weather
Wed, 22-Dec-21 Wednesday walk Aldermaston to Frilsham - for an Xmas lunch indulgence and extravaganza - [!] Change in train times 3 frosty winter sunshine
Sun, 31-Oct-21 Feasting in Frilsham (Aldermaston to Woolhampton) 5 bright blustery autumnal sunshine
Sat, 24-Jul-21 Saturday Walk - West Berkshire undulations and a magnificent foodie pub: Aldermaston - Woolhampton (via Frilsham) 11 sullen start improving to sunny breaks and always dry
Sat, 09-Nov-19 Saturday Walk - Autumnal Colours, Autumnal Food: Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Frilsham): woodlands, fields, commons, chalk stream valleys, heathland. 4 constant rain from noon
Sat, 06-Oct-18 Aldermaston to Woolhampton via Foodie Fun in Frilsham 7 rain did come
Sat, 02-Apr-16 Saturday Third Walk [New Walk] - Quiet and scenic West Berkshire Downs. One of Britain's best pubs for game. 24 glorious sunshine warm with light breeze perfect walking weather
Wed, 22-Dec-21
Wednesday walk Aldermaston to Frilsham - for an Xmas lunch indulgence and extravaganza - [!] Change in train times
SWC 260 - Aldermaston to Frilsham (morning leg of Aldermaston to Woolhampton walk)
Length: 9.7 km (6 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10
Earlier trains now posted
Either
London Paddington: 09-37 hrs Great Western service to Paignton Does NOT stop at Ealing B'way
Arrive Reading: 10-00 hrs Change trains
Leave Reading: 10-12 hrs Great Western service from Reading to Newbury
Arrive Aldermaston: 10-24 hrs
Or
Ealing Broadwayers: 09-08 hrs TFL Rail service from Paddington to Maidenhead
Arrive Slough: 09-30 Change trains
Leave Slough: 09-34 hrs Great Western service to Oxford
Arrive Reading: 09-46 hrs Change trains
Leave Reading: 10-12 hrs Great Western service from Reading to Newbury (as above)
Arrive Aldermaston: 10-24 hrs
Return: Midgham (Woolhampton) service to Paddington, changing at Reading: 15 mins past the hour
Rail ticket: For those travelling on Great Western trains, buy a day return to Midgham (from the edge of whatever rail card you may have). Seniors with London Councils Freedom Passes can travel on TFL Rail services from Ealing Broadway to Slough "free" of charge. You will just need to buy a day return from Slough to Midgham.
Walk posting - and train time changes - on behalf of Bridie

Today's half-walk is posted on behalf of SWC's Mid-Week "Foodies" who appreciate fine food - and an excuse to visit the Pot Kiln pub in Frilsham for an indulgent pre-Christmas luncheon.
For full enjoyment of your gourmet luncheon it is recommended you conclude the walk at the lunch pub - and take time over what is usually an excellent meal. There is no point in coming on this walk if you do not intend to have lunch at the Pot Kiln - you will not have time to continue on to Woolhampton in daylight. As the Pot Kiln is a very popular pub and gets booked up early please contact the pub asap if you wish to join Bridie and others for lunch: one table has been booked for six for 12-45 hrs. The Pot Kiln's telephone number is 01635 201 366 Places still available as of 21/12
As for the morning walk, it is a pleasant, undulating stretch through the woods and commons of West Berkshire.
After your leisurely lunch you will need to take taxis to the nearest railway station - Midgham (Woolhampton).
Indulge ! An alternative Wednesday walk is posted for our non-foodies today.
T=swc.260
Walk Directions are here: L=swc.260
  • 01-Nov-21

    We went to the Pot Kiln, Frilsham, yesterday. Good beer, from the Indigenous Brewery, and very good food indeed, not cheap, although good portions. Very busy, so as Marcus says, need to book.

  • 24-Dec-21

    3 in frosty winter sunshine . Six miles before lunchtime, then six afterwards, separated by Venison soup, Haunch of Venison, and wonderful Christmas puddings with full bodied wines and toothsome liqueurs. Still made the 17.15 by taking a shortcut.

Sun, 31-Oct-21
Feasting in Frilsham (Aldermaston to Woolhampton)

SWC Walk 260: Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Frilsham) t=swc.260

Distance: 14.1 miles or 22.7 km for those more metrically minded (and shorter SWC 117 option which shares start and finish available)

Difficulty: 7 out of 10 (8 out of 10 for the longer option)

Train: Take the 9:00 AM Great Western train from London Paddington, changing at Reading (arrive 9:23; depart 9:44), arriving at Aldermaston at 9:56. Return trains (all requiring a change at Reading unless otherwise noted) from Midgham (Woolhampton) are at 16:58 (change Newbury); 18:02; 18:58 (change Newbury); 20:03; and 22:05. Buy a day return to Midgham.

On the first day after the end of British Summer Time, an early start should be manageable….and well worth the effort for a fabulous lunch in Frilsham (not to mention, the walk should be lovely in full autumnal tint). It explores the undulating territory of the West Berkshire Downs, part of the Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It includes ancient woodland, commons, including Bucklebury Common (the largest in SE England) and pretty villages. You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here. For those preferring something shorter, SWC 117 shares the same start and finish – but has a completely different (and shorter) middle section.

The recommended lunch pub on the main walk is the Pot Kiln Inn (01635 201 366) in Frilsham (5.5 miles/9.6 km into the walk). Note that this is a real foodie kind of pub – specializing in game. I have booked a table (for five) at 12:30. There are some earlier and later lunch options mentioned in the walk instructions.

Tea can be had at the very pleasant Rowbarge Inn near Midgham Station.

Enjoy the walk!

  • 31-Oct-21

    Is anyone going on this walk?

  • 31-Oct-21

    Yes.....

  • 31-Oct-21

    Good. Im on 10.02 train, so hope to get to Pot Kiln Inn.

  • 31-Oct-21

    Okie dokie, stitting in the sun on the patio of the Pot Kiln having an aperitif....

  • 31-Oct-21

    Perhaps it was the early start on a Sunday or perhaps the hammering rain in London about 8am, but just 4 connected in Reading -- all hoping the Met Office forecast of clearing skies at 10am were accurate while at the same time listening to the ongoing deluge pounding the roof of the station....A short journey further west did indeed reveal some glimpses of blue sky and shortly after setting off we enjoyed bright blustery autumnal sunshine for most of the day. The ground was damp but the scenery stunning with some signs of autumn tint here and there. We arrived at the Pot Kiln a bit early and enjoyed an aperitif in the sun on the patio while perusing the menu. As we were just about to order, a 5th walker materialized from a later train via taxi to join our fantastic feast (making for 5 on this adventure and perfectly rounding out the booking)....Two hours later after indulging in a variety of starters, mains, puddings, wine, beer and coffees, we managed to set-off to complete the walk in the soft afternoon sun of autumn....through a delightful mix of woods, heath and fields...towards the end two opted for a short cut while the others stayed on course....we arrived at the road into Midgham about 5:20pm in the last of the fading light and easily navigated the final 10 minute walk down the road in the dark to meet the others at the Angel Pub, enjoying a swift bevie before catching the 18:02 back to London...some fancy footwork at Reading overcame a canceled train to get us on one departing earlier than the originally advised (canceled) connection.....to summarize a deliciously delightful day .

Sat, 24-Jul-21
Saturday Walk - West Berkshire undulations and a magnificent foodie pub: Aldermaston - Woolhampton (via Frilsham)
DAC is away...
Length: 22.6 km (14.1 mi) [longer walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 381/377 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ¼ hours
Toughness: 5 out of 10
Take the 09.32 Bristol Temple Meads train from Paddington, change at Reading (09.55/10.12, Newbury Train, usually departing from Platform 1), arriving Aldermaston at 10.24.
From Ealing B’way take the 09.05 Didcot service, change at Reading (09.44/10.12).
Return trains: xx.21 basically (change Reading), or xx.26 (change Newbury, but takes longer).
Buy a Midgham return.
This walk explores a surprisingly quiet part of the commuter area that is West Berkshire, less than an hour from Central London. It is an undulating landscape with some fine views over unspoilt countryside - the West Berkshire Downs, which are part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and consist of a mix of ancient woodlands, commons, fields and pretty villages with pleasant, historical pubs. The route passes through the chalk stream river valleys of the Kennet, the Bourne and the Pang, where you’ll also find some evidence of traditional water meadows. A long section of the walk leads through the elevated Bucklebury Common, one of the largest commons in Southern England. In the main this consists of a variety of woods, but you’ll also walk through one of Berkshire’s largest heathlands and see part of a famous Avenue of Oaks.
At the end there is a choice of finishes either through the landscaped Midgham Park or along the Kennet & Avon Canal. Carrying map and compass is recommended, as there are plenty of paths in the woods and on the heath.

A westerly extension leads through more fascinating, undulating woods and the large and impressive Neolithic hillfort site of Grimsbury Castle. This version of the walk (26.8 km/16.7 mi, more if you lunch in Hermitage) is rated 7/10.

Lunch: The Pot Kiln in Frilsham (9.7 km/6.0 mi, pre-booking strongly recommended; 2 tables have been booked, contact me if you want a place) or on the extended walk, The Fox Inn and The White Horse, in Hermitage, but they are off-route and add 2.3 km (more for the 2nd pub), see the pdf for details.
Tea: The Cottage Inn in Upper Bucklebury (17.2 km/10.7 mi), The Angel Inn or The Rowbarge Inn in Woolhampton (near Midgham Station).
For walk directions, map, photos, height profile, and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.260
  • 22-Jul-21

    Better train time!

    Expect more tub disruption with little or no notice.

    Austen

  • 23-Jul-21

    Pingdemic latest:

    Circle, H&C, Metropolitan and District (to Edgware Road) Lines will all be closed in da mornin', as per TfL email just in. So, just the Bakerloo travelling via P'ton (and on a Covid schedule = about every 10 mins).

  • Anonymous
    23-Jul-21

    Or take Central Line to Lancaster Gate and walk to Paddington. (about 8 mins)

  • 23-Jul-21

    Or Jubilee to Baker Street which is a brisk five minute walk from Marylebone.

  • Anonymous
    23-Jul-21

    Train leaves from P'ton though, Bill! Just in case you're thinking of coming along...

  • 24-Jul-21

    Likelihood of precipitation in the Aldermaston area during the day: starting at 86% and dropping to 37%, with thunderstorms possible all day. That was the forecast, and not just on the Nation's favourite site. The reality was a sullen start improving to sunny breaks and always dry day. 11 had turned up, with 9 of those booked onto two tables at The Pot Kiln, the carnivore's choice amongst the SWC lunch pubs. We got there a little ahead of the booked times, and stayed for 2 1/4 hours, with every minute of it worth it and the resultant expense. Even the 2 picnickers joined us at the tables and stayed for the duration! 3 then took a taxi to a station, citing exhaustion and/or evening commitments. 1 other had met a couple of friends at The Kiln and I've lost track of when and where they went. So, 7 walked on, 4 of those catching the 18.23 comfortably, the others missing it narrowly (we could see them as the train pulled out). I guess, the Rowbarge Inn was their next destination...

    As for the walk: some muddy bits in woods, else an always satisfying mixture of scenery: some rolling hills, some large fields, plenty of fine woods, a heathland common (skirted by my group as it's still ground nesting season) and some pretty villages and several large stately piles.

  • 25-Jul-21

    A fabulous walk and a superb, over-indulgent luncheon. The three of us who just missed the 18-21 hrs train enjoyed a relaxing hour at the Rowbarge Inn before catching the 19-21 hrs service which sped us home. Many thanks to Thomas for posting his excellent, rural West Berkshire walk - and for reserving tables for us at The Pot Kiln. A great day out in the best of SWC company.

Sat, 09-Nov-19
Saturday Walk - Autumnal Colours, Autumnal Food: Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Frilsham): woodlands, fields, commons, chalk stream valleys, heathland.
In Reverse and map-led if you want to be sure of a place at The Pot Kiln!

Length: 22.7 km (14.1 mi) [longer walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 430 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ¼ hours
Toughness: 7 out of 10
Take the 09.30 Bristol Temple Meads train from Paddington, change at Reading (09.55/10.12, Newbury Train, usually departing from Platform 1), arriving Aldermaston at 10.25 and Midgham at 10.29.
From Ealing B’way take the 09.05 Didcot service, change at Reading (09.50/10.12).
Return trains: xx.27 until 19.27, then 20.19, 21.16 hours (change at Reading, 55-62 minutes journey time). Trains are calling Aldermaston 4 minutes later.
Buy a Midgham return.
“This walk explores a surprisingly quiet part of the commuter area that is West Berkshire, less than an hour from Central London. It is an undulating landscape with some fine views over unspoilt countryside - the West Berkshire Downs, which are part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and consist of a mix of ancient woodlands, commons, fields and pretty villages with pleasant, historical pubs. The route passes through the chalk stream river valleys of the Kennet, the Bourne and the Pang, where you’ll also find some evidence of traditional water meadows. A long section of the walk leads through the elevated Bucklebury Common, one of the largest commons in Southern England. In the main this consists of a variety of woods, but you’ll also walk through one of Berkshire’s largest heathlands and see part of a famous Avenue of Oaks.
At the end there is a choice of finishes either through the landscaped Midgham Park or along the Kennet & Avon Canal.
Carrying map and compass is recommended, as there are plenty of paths in the woods and on the heath.
An optional westerly extension leads through more fascinating, undulating woods and the large and impressive Neolithic hillfort site of Grimsbury Castle.
This version of the walk (26.8 km/16.7 mi, more if you lunch in Hermitage) is rated 8/10. “

Lunch: The Pot Kiln in Frilsham (9.7 km/6.0 mi) or The Cottage Inn in Upper Bucklebury (17.2 km/10.7 mi, food to 15.00).
Lunch (if walking in reverse): The Pot Kiln in Frilsham (13.0 km/8.1 mi), regarded as one of Britain's best country pub restaurants (a table has been booked), or The Bladebone (food to 14.30) in Chapel Row (5.1 km from the end).
On the extended walk, other lunch options exist in Hermitage (The Fox Inn, food to 14.30, and The White Horse), but they are off-route and add 2.3 km (more for the 2nd pub), see the pdf for details.
Tea: The Angel Inn or The Rowbarge Inn in Woolhampton (for Midgham Station), The Butt Inn in Aldermaston Wharf (open all day).
For walk directions, map, photos, height profile, and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.260
  • Anonymous
    07-Nov-19

    Hi. Newbie and a bit confused. Where do you think most people will start this walk? Thank you.

  • 08-Nov-19

    Aldermaston. We all meet on the platform at Reading waiting for the Newbury train, and it'll become clear then who does what.

  • Anonymous
    08-Nov-19

    Merci bien.

  • 08-Nov-19

    Da nicht für.

  • 09-Nov-19

    Smashing autumn colours early on in Midgham Park, and better still in some of the woods in the middle of the route, very vivid despite there being no sunshine at all. The mud situation was not too bad, most importantly it was never gooey or clingy, so in conjunction with the constant rain (as of 12.00), the gear stayed relatively presentable. Bucklebury Common was (perhaps surprisingly, judging by past experience) NOT under water, but later there was one pasture with plenty standing water and deeply-rutted-by-hoofs stretches, just before lunch.

    Lunch at the wonderful Pot Kiln it was, of course. We arrived 15 minutes before the booking but our table was available straight away. All 4 ordered the Venison Shoulder as their main course, and it was an allround delight, accompanied by some very nice red. After about 100 minutes it was time to move on, by then knowing that we'd have about an hour of walking in darkness to contend with. More stunning woods were to come (again with impressive mushrooms), a few corners of the route were cut when it was dark, as views weren't to be had anymore anyway and - close to Aldermaston station - one walker on dinner-for-the-kids cooking duty started to run to catch the 17.31 (which he did catch), us remaining 3 walked on to The Butt Inn to await the 18.31.

    All in, the most fun you could possible have - with your waterproofs on...

    constant rain from noon

Sat, 06-Oct-18
Aldermaston to Woolhampton via Foodie Fun in Frilsham
SWC Walk 260: Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Frilsham) T=SWC.260

Distance: 14.1 miles or 22.7 km for those more metrically minded (with longer (16.7 miles/26.9 km) and shorter (bus or SWC 117 which shares start and finish) options available)

Difficulty: 7 out of 10 (8 out of 10 for the longer option)

Train: Take the 9:33 AM Great Western train from London Paddington, changing at Reading (arrive 9:58; depart 10:12), arriving at Aldermaston at 10:25. Return trains (all requiring a change at Reading unless otherwise noted) from Midgham (Woolhampton) are at 17:27; 18:27; 19:27; 20:19; and 21:16 (no change). Please note there may be some timing adjustments after 20:20 due to some engineering works in the Reading area. Buy a day return to Midgham.

I do not think this walk has been done since it’s well-received debut in 2016 and early autumn seemed like a perfect time to give it another outing. It explores the undulating territory of the West Berkshire Downs, part of the Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It includes ancient woodland, commons, including Bucklebury Common (the largest in SE England) and pretty villages. You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here. For those preferring something shorter, SWC 117 shares the same start and finish – but has a completely different (and shorter) middle section.

The recommended lunch pub on the main walk is the Pot Kiln Inn (01635 201 366) in Frilsham (5.5 miles/9.6 km into the walk). Note that this is a real foodie kind of pub – specializing in game. I have booked 2 tables (for a total of 13) one at 12:30 and the other at 13:00 (hopefully we arrive somewhere in between). There are some earlier and later options mentioned in the walk instructions.

Tea can be had at the very pleasant Rowbarge Inn near Midgham Station.

Enjoy the walk!

  • 06-Oct-18

    As an addendum to the main walk report.

    The morning was wet and got wetter as it wore on. However the route was lovely with fields and autumnal woods and only a little mud in a recently ploughed field.  The morning seemed to lack smells apart from some wood smoke but that may be due to my having a lingering cold.

    Lunch was lovely as well with most of us opting for fallow dear - delish. One of our group had a vegan meal especially prepared for her. Rocky the manager also provided us with a portion of said vegan dish for us to try but for some reason it didn't move down the table

    The overall difficulty of this walk is 7 out of 10. Well the morning was a 2 to 3 so the afternoon maybe hard

    After lunch sadly the others left, after telling us goodbye.

    3 of us went for a taxi during which we saw a muntjac crossing the road and hopping off into the woods. I wore red jodhpurs, another a striped tie.

    A point of information - I took the taxi as I had overeaten at lunch.

    The Pot Kiln as been suggested as a possible venue for our SWC Christmas lunch.

    Best to start saving now

    Bridie

  • 06-Oct-18

    For those who looked at the forecast and stayed at home, the rain did come ,-heavy-and-hard; however, the 7 who braved the elements were rewarded with a wonderful walk with some nice early autumn tinting, not to mention an amazing lunch....Hoping to wait out the bad weather, we spent a solid two hours sampling a good cross-section of the menu...all of which was amazing...After lunch 3 opted for a taxi and 4 headed out into the lingering drizzle through more undulating countryside with some great vistas and bright autumnal colors. The rain finally stopped about midway along and we arrived at Woolhampton about 18:30 where we enjoyed a drink at the Rowbarge Inn before catching the 19:27.

Sat, 02-Apr-16
Saturday Third Walk [New Walk] - Quiet and scenic West Berkshire Downs. One of Britain's best pubs for game.

SWC Walk 260 – Aldermaston to Woolhampton [Midgham Station] (via Frilsham): woodlands, fields, commons, chalk stream valleys (Kennet, Bourne, Pang), heathland.

Length: 22.7 km (14.1 mi) [longer walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 430 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ¼ hours
Toughness: 7 out of 10
Take the 09.30 Bristol Temple Meads train from Paddington, arriving Aldermaston at 10.25; change at Reading: arrives 10.05, departs 10.12 (Newbury Train, usually departing from Platform 1). [!] NOTICE: as of today Bakerloo Line trains are [!] non-stopping at Paddington [!] (until mid-August), you have to walk from Edgware Road or Warwick Avenue stations (ca. 10 mins), or use other tube lines.
Return trains: XX.24 until 19.24, then 20.10, 21.17 hours (change at Reading, 65-79 minutes journey time)
Buy a Midgham return.
First posting of this former map led walk (SWC 117 old), now newly re-routed, split into two walks and fully written up, we will take the opportunity to check the walk directions of this second walk.

To quote the write-up: “This walk explores a surprisingly quiet part of the commuter area that is West Berkshire, less than an hour from Central London. It is an undulating landscape with some fine views over unspoilt countryside - the West Berkshire Downs, which are part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and consist of a mix of ancient woodlands, commons, fields and pretty villages with pleasant, historical pubs. The route passes through the chalk stream river valleys of the Kennet, the Bourne and the Pang, where you’ll also find some evidence of traditional water meadows. A long section of the walk leads through the elevated Bucklebury Common, one of the largest commons in Southern England. In the main this consists of a variety of woods, but you’ll also walk through one of Berkshire’s largest heathlands and see part of a famous Avenue of Oaks.
At the end there is a choice of finishes either through the landscaped Midgham Park or along the Kennet & Avon Canal.
Carrying map and compass is recommended, as there are plenty of paths in the woods and on the heath.
An optional westerly extension leads through more fascinating, undulating woods and the large and impressive Neolithic hillfort site of Grimsbury Castle.
This version of the walk (26.8 km/16.7 mi, more if you lunch in Hermitage) is rated 8/10. “
The recommended lunch options are The Pot Kiln in Frilsham (9.7 km/6.0 mi), regarded as one of Britain's best country pub restaurants, or (at good pace) The Cottage Inn in Upper Bucklebury (17.2 km/10.7 mi). The Pot Kiln does not normally take bookings for groups larger than 6 on weekends, but we have two tables of 6 lined up...there are also endless seats outside. On the extended walk, two other lunch options exist in Hermitage, but they are off-route and add 2.3 km (more for the 2nd pub).
For tea The Rowbarge Inn in Woolhampton, 2 minutes from Midgham station, is the only option.
For walk directions, map, height profile, and gpx/kml files click here.
T=swc.260
  • Paul
    17-Mar-16

    I'm planning to do this walk but.... it's 4 trains and 3 hours, so I'm planning to drive, should be able to park at Aldermaston Station. If anyone would like a lift from Tadworth, then please let me know. Room for 4 passengers, depart Tadworth 0900 ish. Return from Aldermaston 1600 latest.

    Paul (Porky)

  • 29-Mar-16

    Intend going.

  • 03-Apr-16

    24 glorious sunshine warm with light breeze perfect walking weather

    A record turnout for a Thomas walk on a lovely sunny day - tempting at least one walker to don shorts, although the pink knees will have scared the horses otherwise engaged in churning up the fields and pastures we had to cross. The muddy fields and heavy duty mud in the woods encountered all day would have made today's walk very tedious if it had not been for the perfect walking weather and the fine views we enjoyed over the West Berkshire Downs and river valleys.

    Thomas had kindly booked the gourmet lunch pub for us - the Pot Kiln in Fresham - and 18 sat down in anticipation of the fine food promised. We were not let down nor disappointed. The Venison scotch egg starters were to die for, and hats off to those who shared vast venison haunches, washed down with a surfeit of wine and beer, and then managed to walk afterwards. Indeed I believe at least 3 succumbed to the indulgent occasion and gave up on the walk: how sensible of them.

    Over-fed and over-watered in the nicest possible way, our walkers then split up into small groups, setting off at different times, some doing the standard walk of 14 miles and some the longer version, still in glorious sunshine. Our picnickers set off first, on the long walk, and they managed to go off piste to such an extent they chalked up 18 miles by the time they staggered into the Angel pub at walk-end for a much needed pint. The rest of us made it at various times back to the Rowbarge Inn, next to Midgham railway station, where refreshments were duly taken. We were concerned that the trains back to town would be chocker full of race goers having had a good liquid day at Newbury Racecourse but we need not have worried, the trains were not full, although on my train a good few racegoers had enjoyed a sherbet or two.

    As for the walk, the weather saved the day. Wednesday walkers had tried out the twin to today's walk 260- walk 117 - some six weeks ago in wet conditions. Not a lot to choose between them and both shared the traverse of Bucklebury Common towards walk-end, although today conditions under foot were soggy rather than in flood.

    Signs of Spring - 5 % of bluebells open in woods, not many wood anemones, some wild garlic, no drying out of paths !

    Having well-indulged over lunch and a day spent in lovely warm sunshine, I expect our walkers slept well last night. And maybe the pink knees had gained some colour?

  • Karen
    03-Apr-16

    Really liked this walk. The afternoon, in particular, was lovely. The walk took us through lots of woodland. In fact, I guess through clever routing, it felt like we were walking through one large forest with a nice bit of heathland thrown in at the end. Sure, it was muddy in places, but it's what one would expect at this time of year.

    Five of us did the extension and suggested diversion into Fence Wood. A map, GPS and compass proved very useful there; we took a few wrong turns, but got back on track easily enough.

    The only letdown of the afternoon was the discovery that the much ballyhood Neolithic hillfort site at Grimsbury Castle is, in fact, Iron Age. A disappointment, for sure, but the Iron Age has its charms, so we didn't let it get us down for long.