Saturday Walkers Club

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.


20.3 km (12.6 mi)

OS Maps

OS Landranger 174; Explorer 158, 159


5 out of 10.

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

Buses 101/104/105 (Newbury to Tilehurst Triangle) run through Upper Bucklebury and Chapel Row, two of the lunch destinations, about every two hours Mon-Sat (last bus mid-afternoon). This gets you to Theale High Street, which is a 5 mins walk from Theale Station (closer to London than Aldermaston).

You can also shorten the walk around lunch, cutting 4.7 km/2.9 mi and 61m ascent, rated 3/10.

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).


Trains go from London Paddington (changing at Reading), to Aldermaston and Midgham (for Woolhampton). Buy a day return to Midgham, (one stop down the line from Aldermaston).

Saturday Walkers Club Take the train nearest to 09.30 hours for the recommended lunch stops. Later trains are possible, as some other lunch stops are reached after about an hour of walking.
Lunch and Tea
  • The Six Bells, The Green, Beenham, RG7 5NX (T: 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 (T: 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 (T: 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 (T: 01189 744 292). This is a recommended lunch stop. Located 8.1 km from the start of the full walk.
  • The Bull Inn, Stanford Dingley, RG7 6LS (T: 01189 744 582). This is the recommended lunch stop. Located 8.4 km from the start of the full walk.
  • Woodys Cafe, Bucklebury Farm Park, Bucklebury, RG7 6RR (T: 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 (T: 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.
  • The Coach & Horses, Bath Road, Midgham, RG7 5UX (01189 713 384). Open 11.30-15.00 and 17.00-23.00 Tue-Sat and 12.00-17.00 Sun. 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 713 307). Under new management as of 03/16, this is a possible tea stop.
  • The Rowbarge, Station Road, Woolhampton, RG7 5SH (01189 712 213). Food served 12.00-22.00 Mon-Sat and 12.00-21.30 Sun. This is the suggested tea stop.

Help us! After the walk, we would love to get your feedback


Upload your photos to the SWC Group on Flickr, and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:


Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: RG7 6PU | Directions at 4pm

Finish: RG7 5SE | [Directions] at 10am


Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234



Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only.

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