Aldermaston to Woolhampton via Stanford Dingley walk

Quiet and scenic West Berkshire Downs: woodlands, fields, commons, chalk stream valleys, heathland, finish along a canal or through parkland.

Kennet Valley and Hampshire Downs, from Wooten's SWC Walk 117 Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Stanford Dingley)

Kennet Valley and Hampshire Downs, from Wooten's

SWC Walk 117 Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Stanford Dingley)

23-Feb-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Midgham Church Aldermaston to Woolhampton

Midgham Church

Aldermaston to Woolhampton

28-Jan-12 • moontiger on Flickr

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Hedgerow and branches Aldermaston to Woolhampton

Hedgerow and branches

Aldermaston to Woolhampton

28-Jan-12 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walkicon swcwalks walk117 6785219143

Along the Kennet & Avon canal Aldermaston to Woolhampton

Along the Kennet & Avon canal

Aldermaston to Woolhampton

28-Jan-12 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walkicon swcwalks walk117 6785227143

Scene near Oakwood Farm, Beenham SWC Walk 117 Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Stanford Dingley)

Scene near Oakwood Farm, Beenham

SWC Walk 117 Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Stanford Dingley)

23-Feb-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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in King's Copse, Stanford Dingley SWC Walk 117 Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Stanford Dingley)

in King's Copse, Stanford Dingley

SWC Walk 117 Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Stanford Dingley)

23-Feb-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk117 24720885214

Murals, St. Denys', Stanford Dingley (II) SWC Walk 117 Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Stanford Dingley)

Murals, St. Denys', Stanford Dingley (II)

SWC Walk 117 Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Stanford Dingley)

23-Feb-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk117 24724656123

Length

20.4 km (12.6 mi), with 278/275m ascent/descent. For a shorter or a longer walk see below Walk Options.

Toughness

4 out of 10, with 4 ½ hours walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 7 ½ hours.

Walk Notes

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. Lunch destination is the very pretty village of Stanford Dingley in the Pang Valley.
The walk also leads through the Bucklebury Estate, one of the largest in the South, and 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 along the Kennet & Avon Canal or through the landscaped Midgham Park.

Walk Options

You can shorten the walk around lunch, cutting 4.7 km/2.9 mi and 61m ascent, rated 2/10.
For a longer walk (which also has an option for an extension), with the same beginning and finish, but a completely different middle part, try SWC 260 Aldermaston to Woolhampton (via Frilsham).

Maps

OS Explorer: 158 (Newbury & Hungerford) & 159 (Reading, Wokingham & Pangbourne)
OS Landranger: 174 (Newbury & Wantage) & 175 (Reading & Windsor)

Travel

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 nearest to 09.30 hours for the recommended lunch stops. Later trains are possible, as some lunch stops are reached after about an hour of walking.

Lunch

The Six Bells, The Green, Beenham, RG7 5NX (01189 713 368). This is a possible very early lunch stop. Located 2.8 km from the start of the walk.
The Blackbird Cafe, Chapel Row, Bucklebury, RG7 6PD (01189 712 332). This is a possible early lunch stop. Located 5.1 km from the start of the walk.
The Bladebone at Bucklebury, Chapel Row, Bucklebury, RG7 6PD (01189 714 000). This is a possible early lunch stop. Located 5.1 km from the start of the walk.
The Old Boot, Stanford Dingley, RG7 6LT (01189 745 191). This is a recommended lunch stop. Located 8.1 km from the start of the full walk.
The Bull Inn, Stanford Dingley, RG7 6LS (01189 744 582). This is the recommended lunch stop. Located 8.4 km from the start of the full walk.
Woody's Cafe, Bucklebury Farm Park, Bucklebury, RG7 6RR (01189 744 002). This is a possible late lunch/early tea stop. Located 12.0 km from the start of the full walk.
The Cottage Inn, 26 Broad Lane, Upper Bucklebury, RG7 6QJ (01635 864 544). This is a recommended possible lunch stop. Located 14.2 km from the start of the full walk and 9.5 km from the start of the short walk.

Tea

The Coach & Horses, Bath Road, Midgham, RG7 5UX (01189 713 384). Located 3.3 km from the end of the walk. This is a possible early tea stop.
The Angel Inn, Bath Road, Woolhampton, RG7 5RT (01189 713 827).
The Rowbarge, Station Road, Woolhampton, RG7 5SH (01189 712 213).

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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Jan-22 Thomas G

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Walk Directions  

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