Follow the white arrows

Going Circular via Hill Bottom

02-May-15 • moontiger on Flickr

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Rapefield with Didcot PS

Going Circular via Hill Bottom

02-May-15 • moontiger on Flickr

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Yellow fringe

Going Circular via Hill Bottom

02-May-15 • moontiger on Flickr

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Woodland bouquet

Going Circular via Hill Bottom

02-May-15 • moontiger on Flickr

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DSCN5824

Goring Circular via Hill Bottom

28-Apr-19 • moontiger on Flickr

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View from the top

Goring Circular via Hill Bottom

28-Apr-19 • moontiger on Flickr

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Wild Garlic

Going Circular via Hill Bottom

02-May-15 • moontiger on Flickr

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Goring circular via Hill Bottom walk

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.

Updated: Sat, 16-Jan-21

Date # Post
Sat, 07-Mar-20 18

Saturday Walk - Goring Circular via Hill Bottom - the OTHER OTHER Goring Circular

Length: 18km (11.3 miles) T=3.243
Toughness: 4 out of 10

9.27 train from Paddington (9.35 Ealing Broadway) to Goring, arriving 10.35.

Or get the 9.47 Swansea service to Reading, arriving 10.10, and pick up the above train there at 10.23.

Buy a day return to Goring and Streatley (NOT Goring-by-Sea)

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here. For a map of the route click here.

There are two much better known Goring Circulars in our library of walks - the one with the sandwich pub (done last Sunday) and the one via Pangborne (or vv). But this isn't either of those, and it in fact has not had a Saturday outing for nearly three years. It explores a gently hilly area to the north of the Thames, with some woods...and that is about all I can remember about it, because it is even more than three years since I did it.

Perhaps it is the convoluted debate about the lunch pubs in the comments for this walk that put posters off. But as far as I can see, on its most recent outings the Sun Inn on Whitchurch Hill has proved perfectly good, and as for it welcoming walkers, they actually solicit our custom on their website and the wording there and comments posted on our website suggest the warning about having to pre-book is no longer valid: it serves food till 3pm. Otherwise there are two pubs in Woodcote: one (the Black Lion) only does drinks, but the Red Lion from its website looks to have a respectable food offering and does food all afternoon.

Goring at the end of the walk is not lacking in refreshment options and, the days now being longer, there is the possibility of an after tea extension along the Thames Path to Pangbourne - or even, it being nearly a full moon, a moonlight walk if conditions are favourable.

Trains back from Goring are at 18 and 48 past, and again changing at Reading in theory cuts the journey time to Paddington by around 23 minutes (50 minutes versus 1 hour 13 minutes)


Newish to group. Which Saturday walk likely to be least muddy. You are the experts.
Unless the walk poster goes out and walks all 3 routes today or tomorrow (which obviously they won't do) they have no way of knowing what the conditions are on the ground or comparing them. It's winter, it's raining. Expect mud on all walks. Best thing to do is to look at the walk details/map for each walk and use your own judgement.
Apologies to Newbie. Mr Sarcastic is untypical of the group. Stick around and don't be put off. And don't join the Ramblers:we're more interesting.
I don't think the earlier commenter was being sarcastic. I would say that there is no reason to think that any of the walks this Saturday will be un muddy, or that any will be particularly drier underfoot than any other, put it that way. We have had quite a bit of rain this week and the ground is still soft. Usually during March the ground starts to dry of its own accord due to increased sunshine and evaporation, but that will probably not be for two or three weeks this year.
Hi Newbie the mud will not be as bad as Haslemere. I did a Haslemere circular via Bkackdown last weekend you would have given up before lunch.There was all kinds of mud some where your boots struggle with each step.By the end of the walk your heart and lungs will thank you but your le gs will curse you. So enjoy the walk as Goring on Thames is beautiful.
Monica.
Thank you very much, Monica.
As the walk author my experience is that the muddiest sections will be through the woods before lunch but I am fairly confident this will prove a "below average" muddy walk compared to those around Wadhurst or in the Chilterns. Like many walks the best time do this walk is probably late April when the beech trees look particularly vibrant see Moontiger's excellent photos on the walks pages. Enjoy the walk whilst I berate England's Rugby Team who are playing Wales.
Did this lovely walk today. Mud only in certain places and nowhere near as bad as some recent walks.
In the worse areas you can take dry parallel paths.
Sun Inn gone downhill, only four food options plus one veggie (Spring Rolls)
Owners gone off for weekend leaving nice old gent to look after kitchen and bar himself. Friendly black cat likes to sip beer, perhaps not advisable in these virus days.
My sausage and mash with peas was reasonably priced £8
But the mash was Smash and the peas left a curious metallic taste in my mouth.
Landlord of Red Lion further on says he is short of staff so can only take a party of six at most. Also last food order is at 13.45 hrs.
So, bit of a food desert but a really gorgeous walk. Lots of mature woods with distant views in the bright spring sunshine.
Confucius says "Bring sandwiches"
Confucius also says "Thames Path likely to be more Thames than Path"
18 on this walk, a good turnout for a western walk, I would say. We set off in sunny ish weather and quite spring like temperatures. The ground was still very muddy in places, but surprisingly dry in many others. In fact I would answer the first commenter on this post by saying that the mud seems to be starting to dry out at last, despite the recent rain.

We got to the Sun Inn at about 12.20. But as per some of the previous comments, it did not really impress either with its menu (pie and chips, fish and chips, beef burger and chips, spring rolls) or its lack of any evident enthusiasm for our business. I understand two did eat there and were not overjoyed with the quality of the food.

Others of us pressed on, having been told by the staff at the Red Lion that they did food till 1.45pm. We got there at 1.25 to find two of our group already eating, but to be told the kitchen had just shut. But they reopened it at our request and the food that came out was perfectly palatable. I would say this is the best lunch option on the walk, and it at least had some local customers (one, I have been asked to mention, with a grey parrot in a cage) and so is perhaps a more viable long term proposition than the other two pubs, at least on today’s showing.

Did I mention we saw a few wood anemones in the morning? Lots of bluebells to come were also in evidence. I heard greenfinches and chaffinches singing several times.

After lunch the bright skies gave way to grey cloud. We got to Goring at 3.55, well in time for tea at Pierrepoints cafe, one might think. But no, it had closed its doors already (closing time now 4pm), so most went to the Miller of Mansfield. But three of us, later joined by two others, went to the Village Cafe, which has a good selection of cakes and a comfortable upstairs seating area, accessible to those who give the secret password. (It had a “closed” sign on it for the first three of us, but magically opened for the latter two and when I went up to see them, other customers were also upstairs, so how had they got there?).

After joining those in the pub for a further drink, most went home but three of us set off at 5.45pm to walk the Thames Path to Pangbourne. This quickly proved to be flooded in places, so we diverted onto an inland lane, later joining the Thames Path on a more raised section. There were good views of the near full moon at first, but alas it was not yet fully dark on this section. Later when it was finally dark, the gaps in the clouds had closed. Still we had a nice walk and had time for a quick drink in one of Whitchurch’s pubs before catching the 7.53 (?) train home.
Thank you to the poster who did the route on Friday. Very useful comments. I actually found the lady in the Sun Inn to be very helpful. Tea for £1 and a choice of teabags. Not a venue for the foodies, though.
Sun, 28-Apr-19 10

Sunday Walk - The Chilterns and the Thames Valley, Spring Flowers and Beech Woods: Goring Circular (via Hill Bottom) or to Pangbourne

Length: 18.3 km (11.4 mi) or 25.0 km (15.5 mi) to Pangbourne
Ascent/Descent: 300m or 350m to Pangbourne
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 hours or 5 ½ hours to Pangbourne
Toughness: 4 out of 10
Take the 10.15 Didcot Parkway service from Paddington (may show as a ‘Cholsey’ train at Paddington; stops Ealing B’way 10.23). Or take the 10.27 Cheltenham Spa service and change Reading (11.03/11.14). In each case arriving Goring & Streatley 11.27.
Return trains: xx.14 (direct, but shave off 15 mins by changing at Reading), xx.27 (via Didcot). From Pangbourne: xx.19 via Reading (shorter), xx.22 via Didcot (longer).
Buy a Goring & Streatley return in any case.
Last year we walked this mid-April mid-week and it seemed – as the walk author says in his blurb – the best time of year to do this walk. Bluebells then weren’t at their peak (see the walk report on the site), they should be today.
From the blurb…: “This circular walk is best done anti-clockwise and the walk instructions are written to reflect this. It is a mix of beautiful, rolling Chilterns countryside, forest trails and quiet country lanes. This is a spring to early autumn walk. The best time to do it however is probably late April or early May when the foliage of the beech trees is at its most vibrant and where there should be good displays of bluebells and other spring flowers in some woods. Sections of the trails through woods will be muddy after rain. There are very short but safe stretches along potentially busy roads. There are three pubs en route before you reach Goring. …”
Walk Option: At the end, from Goring station find the Thames Path and continue along one of the best stretches of it (with the water on your right-hand side) to Whitchurch and thence across the Thames to Pangbourne station (not written up but with a gpx file on the site). The Swan pub on the river is an ideal spot to await the train (2 mins from the platform).
For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.
Lunch: The Sun Inn in Hill Bottom (8.2 km/5.1 mi, food to 15.00); the chef is ex-Gordon Ramsay and Tom Aiken, so expect gastro-food. Welcoming walkers these days and proved a very good lunch stop last year. Further along, as long as you beat a 5 km/h average pace…: The Red Lion (trad village pub fare, on Sundays: Roasts only) and The Plaice (fish & chips), in Woodcote (11.9 km/7.4 mi, food to 14.00 at both establishments).
Tea: Plenty of options in Goring (a little beyond the station) and in Whitchurch/Pangbourne. For details see the pdf. T=swc.243
Note for future walkers : the Sun Inn must be under new management; there wasn’t a soupçon of Gordon Ramsey’s influence in the cuisine. Unless, as one of my fellow hikers commented, it was from ‘Hells Kitchen’. We were the only three dining in an empty pub with no atmosphere and sub standard grub. I advise the next time this route is followed to have a large breakfast and keep going until you reach the other pub by the cricket pitch.
10 turned out. Weather was cool cloudy dry sunny glimpses later
The real stars of today were the beech woods with an iridescent green light shining through the young leaves. In second place, a field of buttercups. Bluebells were much in evidence but, for jaded old me, they lacked the “wow” factor. One off piste wood glimpsed across a field WAS spectacular. Maybe the bluebells are always bluer on the other side of the field.
I think this walk could give more indication of distance at times. The word “soon” is open to misinterpretation. I had trouble with the stretch through Great Chalk Wood 4 years ago and exactly the same thing happened again (at points 8 9). I was walking for so long that I doubled back to check I hadn’t missed the way out. I hadn’t.
I thought I’d found my way through a later wood alright. Then I realised I was walking past the same “primitive Methodist” building I’d passed on the way in! That could have been my fault though …. LOL …(as you young people say)….. Luckily, Mr Google was on hand to sort me out.
I was slower than the others, even when I wasn’t walking round in circles. Just missed the 17:14 so had to spend some time in the Miller of Mansfield which was OK.

Wed, 18-Apr-18 17

The Chilterns and the Thames Valley: Goring Circular (via Hill Bottom) or to Pangbourne

Length: 18.0 km (11.1 mi) or 25.0 km to Pangbourne
Ascent/Descent: 350m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 hours or 5 ½ hours to Pangbourne
Toughness: 4 out of 10
Take the 10.15 Cardiff Central service from Paddington (change Reading 10.40/10.51), arriving Goring & Streatley 11.05.
With Railcards other than Network RC: take the 09.57 Didcot Parkway service (this may show as a ‘Cholsey’ train at Paddington), stops Ealing B’way 10.05.
Return trains: xx.12, xx.40, xx.44 (4 mins later from Pangbourne).
Buy a Goring & Streatley return in any case.
First Wednesday outing for this walk…
It is a mix of beautiful, rolling Chilterns countryside, forest trails and quiet country lanes. Passes through some bluebell woods, but will the wee blighters be out yet?
Walk Option: from Goring station find the Thames Path and continue along it (with the water on your right hand side) to Whitchurch and thence across the Thames to Pangbourne station.
For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.
Lunch: The Sun Inn in Hill Bottom (8.2 km/5.1 mi, food to 15.00); the chef is ex-Gordon Ramsay and Tom Aiken, so expect gastro-food. There is some talk on previous postings that walk-in custom will not be fed, but I can’t see anything to that tune on their website. But if that is true, then there are other options…
The Red Lion (trad village pub fare) and The Plaice (fish & chips), in Woodcote (11.9 km/7.4 mi, food to 14.00 at both establishments). As long as you beat a 4 km/h average pace…
Tea: Plenty of options in Goring (a little beyond the station) and in Whitchurch/Pangbourne. For details see the pdf. T=swc.243
Hi
is there anyone going?
It's been a long winter. And March and April have also been really wet. And then, within a few days, we get to this: warm but not hot and with a breeze, the blackthorn blooming, the rape oil seed fields starting to turn yellow, some butterflies about (yellow ones and some brown ones) and lots of flowers in the woods (yellow, white and blue ones, which means Celandines, Wood Anemones and Bluebells, I'm reliably told). 'tis the best time of the year for walking, in my book.
In light of the temperatures we walked at medium pace and almost all arrived at the lunch pub, the much maligned Sun Inn, before 13.00 hours. After a recent particularly negative experience on the Pangbourne Circ walk, one walker had insisted calling them ahead to make sure they had ample food available this time. So we were a little apprehensive, but without any reason: the service was quick and friendly, the food arrived reasonably quickly and was of good quality, so much so that even some of the more gastro critical Wednesday regulars confessed to be happy with it all. New staff maybe?
The sandwichers, who had rested patiently outside in the sun, moved on when they saw some lunchers ordering desserts or coffee and most were never seen again. At Goring, of my sub group of 6 people, 3 opted for the extension to Pangbourne along one of the better stretches of the Thames Path (with hills!), and rounded off the day at The Swan's terrace by the river weir with a refreshing drink.
A varied route with some fine views, a nice mix of woods and fields. And the woods were not too densely canopied, so the sun broke through all the time. A very fine day.
Bluebell Index: early on about 1 out of 20 out and about half of those with bells open, later hardly any out, then towards the end (High Wood especially) almost all out and almost all bells open, so there it is only a few days to 'Peak Bluebell'. 17
... and ladybirds, how could I forget them?
Sat, 19-Aug-17 9

Goring Circular via Hill Bottom

Goring Circular via Hill Bottom T=swc.243

Length: (11.3 miles) (18km). Toughness: 4/10. If it's a fine evening, there is an extension down a scenic stretch of the Thames Path to Whitchurch and Pangbourne adding 4.5m (7km). Be aware that from 1930 trains are not stopping at Pangbourne and there is a 10 minute journey on a connecting replacement bus to Tilehurst, so check the train times.

Apologies for not spotting this was posted last Sunday.
This is different from the original Goring Circular, passing through gently hilly territory just to the north of Book 1, walk 4 Pangborne Circular. The walk description promises "beautiful rolling Chilterns countryside, forest trails and quiet country lanes".

Trains: get the 1015 Cheltenham train from London Paddington, changing at Reading (arr 1040) for the Goring train 1053 arriving 1107. Alternatively the direct 0957 train calling at Ealing Broadway 1005. Return trains are xx12 & xx42 up to 2042, then 2108, changing at Reading for a faster train to Paddington. Buy a return to Goring & Streatley.

Lunch: The recommended pub is the Sun Inn (5m or 8.2km), but you might want to take note of the following walk feedback: "We had both brought sandwiches so we bypassed the Sun Inn by taking a slightly shorter route to reach Woodcote where we had our lunch on a bench overlooking the huge Green and cricket pitch before popping into the Red Lion (7.5m or 12.2km) for a drink. The pub is a real 1970s throwback carpeted floors, a few old regulars, an open fire and meals for around £7; excellent." So not a gastro pub. The instructions are in the latest PDF walk directions here.

Tea: The Swan is being refurbished. As well as those in the directions, I like the Catherine Wheel in Station Road, which is reached via a left turn after the railway bridge down Red Cross Road, or by a left just after The Village Cafe. You can get to the station from Station Road, crossing the footbridge to get the London trains.



The Sun Inn only serves meals to people and groups who have pre booked. Drop in customers will not be served food. I don't know how much notice they need.

My advice, having done this walk last Sunday, is to bypass the Sun Inn using the shortcut and eat at the Red Lion which is friendly and serves big portions. Best to give them a ring beforehand too. When back at Goring treat yourself to tea and cakes at either the Village cafe or Pierreponts both excellent and then take a lovely early evening stroll along the Thames Path back to Pangbourne (4.5m). Finish with a meal/drinks in one of the fine pubs in Whitchurch or Pangbourne. There I've sorted your day out for you! Enjoy your walk.
This walk was featured last Sunday, literally 6 days ago. Pity it comes up again so soon after last outing.
Hi #2 Anonymous, Tue 15 Aug 17, 21:06
Re your comment below
You could offer to post if you don't like what is being given
Luckily you still have two other walks to choose from on the Saturday posting and of course a plethora of other clubs, meetup and Ramblers etc from which you can also choose

To the posters thank you for all your hard work and don't let the petty whingers get you down, your work is appreciated



To # 3, Happy to be a walk poster if I can get away with the same walk every week 52 weeks a year! Thank you for posting this walk.
Just to let you know that following last Sunday's outing I have up dated the pdf file for this walk including a short cut that bypasses the Sun Inn at Hill Bottom if you have not pre booked a meal there. This means you should reach the Red Lion at Woodcote at a reasonable time; ie before 1.30pm.
Apropos the issue about the walk being set so soon after its last outing: Saturday and Sunday groups are often completely different so I hope there is a good turn out on Saturday with the weather looking good.
9 on this pleasant, heavily wooded walk. We took the short cut, missing out the Sun Inn to eat at the Red Lion, which we discovered finishes food at 1400 (1200 1400 Tues Sun no food Monday), with about 20 minutes to spare. I would suggest pub lunchers check out the Black Lion we just went straight past it.
From my latest researches the Black Lion does not serve food so unless you pre book some time in advance for a meal at the Bell the Red Lion in Woodcote is your lunch pub option.
Sun, 13-Aug-17 7

Exploring the West Chilterns

SWC 243 Goring Circular via Hill Bottom

Length 18km (11.3m); toughness 4/10.

Trains:

Either a slow stopping train from Paddington 09.48 ( Ealing Broadway 09.57) arriving at Goring and Streatley 10.59 or take a fast train from Paddington at 10.00 arriving at Reading at 10.36 to pick up the above slow train at 10.45.

Return trains from Goring and Streatley to London Paddington at xx:00 or xx:01 past the hour. You may care to change at Reading for a fast train back to Paddington but these trains are often very busy.

This is a walk of rolling countryside, woods and quiet country lanes with the three pubs. You should also be in time to visit the Village cafe in Goring for tea and cakes.

Click here for the walks page and the pdf for the full walk instructions.t=swc.243
Six off the designated train but one other walker who started an hour later appeared at Goring station at the end of the walk(?) so 7. Weather was warm sunny some cloud in the afternoon.
I posted this walk to check a stretch which has been overgrown in the past and up date any other details. Firstly the old and long derelict former Railway inn by Goring statsion has now been transformed into a Tesco Direct ideal for buying stuff before the walk or for refreshments for the journey home. The designated lunch time pub the Bell Inn now only provides meals if you have booked ahead (Is this a developing business plan for pubs now?) and drop in custom will not be served meals. We walked on to the Red Lion getting there just in time for their 2.15pm cut off point for meals and their huge portions and friendly service were much appreciated. I had a sandwich and watched a cricket match on the green which the pub overlooks.
In the afternoon we enjoyed the quiet tracks and woodland glades getting back to Goring at around 4.30 where 4 of the group went to the station whilst 2 of us ambled to the Village cafe for delicious tea, cakes and scones. Fired up by the tea and cake and feeling rested I decided to do the lovely 4.5m Thames path stretch to Pangbourne which is a superb coda to any walk ending in Goring. Timed just right to catch a train at 7.06pm.
Superb day out in brilliant company (all women) with the best moment when a young boy in an approaching family group asked his father on seeing us "are these people high walkers". No son his father replied they are hikers. From now on I'm a high walker!
I'll be up dating the pdf for this walk.
Sun, 16-Oct-16 2

Sunday Walk 1 – The rolling Chilterns countryside

Extra Walk 243 – Goring Circular via Hill Bottom
Length: 18 km (11.3 miles). Toughness: 4/10

10:00 Weston-super-Mare train from Paddington, changing at Reading for the Oxford train (arr 10:34, dep 10:46), arriving Goring at 10:59. If you get to Paddington early you can take the same Oxford train at 09:45 (Ealing Broadway 09:53) and not need to change. Buy a return to Goring & Streatley.

Trains back are hourly at 32 minutes past. Because of engineering works along the line it doesn't look as if you can save much time by changing at Reading for a non-stop train to Paddington.

This walk had a couple of Saturday outings last year but this is its first Sunday posting. Unlike the SWC's first Goring walks this one ranges over the undulating hills to the east of the river, with just a small overlap with Book 1's Walk 4 (Pangbourne Circular) around Hill Bottom. The Sun Inn here is the suggested lunch pub, with two later alternatives in Woodcote. Goring has several nice pubs to revive you before the journey home, and feedback from last year's walk said that the Village Café in its High Street was open to 5pm on Sundays: if someone could confirm this I'm sure the walk author will update the document to include it.

The walk document suggests a possible 7 km extension along the Thames Path to Whitchurch and Pangbourne, but at this time of year you'd have to keep up a brisk pace to avoid finishing in the dark (sunset is at 6:08pm). If you decide to do this, trains back from Pangbourne are at 37 minutes past.

For more information about the walk and a link to the Directions, OS Map, etc, go to the Extra Walk 243 page. T=swc.243
Remembering the old SWC proverb "early rain in the Great Wen means fine weather after ten" I travelled to Goring but only 1 other was at the station so just 2 set off in sunny and mild conditions which we enjoyed for the entire day. (OK there was one 30 second shower in the afternoon whilst walking through a wood.)

We had both brought sandwiches so we bypassed the Sun Inn by taking a slightly shorter route to reach Woodcote where we had our lunch on a bench overlooking the huge Green and cricket pitch before popping into the Red Lion for a drink. The pub is a real 1970s throwback carpeted floors, a few old regulars, an open fire and meals for around £7; excellent.

After lunch we continued along woodland trails and open field with some superb views of Didcot. Not much leaf colour and some beeches looked positively verdant and we were a bit surprised to see a dragonfly!

We reached Goring early enough to catch the 15.32 but decided in the interests of research (and cake) to check out the Village Cafe which had a superb range of delicious confectionaries but their pots of tea could be a bit larger. After taking a photo of the weir and river for the walks page we ambled back to catch the 16.32. A fine days walking and glad I was not put off by the rain in London.
Sat, 28-Nov-15 19

Saturday Second Walk - Nearly new Goring walk

SWC Walk 243 - Goring Circular via Hill Bottom
Length: 18km (11.3 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

9.20 train from Paddington (9.29 Ealing Broadway) to Goring & Streatley, arriving 10.36

For walk directions click here.

It is hard to keep up with all the new walks these days. This one had its SWC debut in May, but it passed under my radar and perhaps under yours too.

It explores completely different territory from the original Goring Circular, passing through gently hilly territory just to the north of Book 1, walk 4 Pangborne Circular. The walk description promises "beautiful rolling Chilterns countryside, forest trails and quiet country lanes".

There are a choice of earlier and later pub options - three in all - so cross fingers we can squeeze into one or other of them. Though it is a longish outing for a shorter winter's day, we seem to whizz through walks these days and you are getting quite an early start. (Bring a torch just in case, though.) An incentive to get a move on is the chance to get to the lovely Pierrepoints Cafe in Goring before its 5pm close. If not, other hostelries are available.

Trains back from Goring are at 12 and 42 past and take 1 hour 20 minutes. You can in theory shave 15 minutes off this on the 12 past train by changing to a fast London service at Reading.
There is no Hammersmith and City or Circle eastwards from Edgware Road this weekend, and no District or Circle south from it either. So the only way to Paddington from these directions will be the Bakerloo
Yes I hope to do this walk.As stated in walk details the lunch options are very simple but good.jfk
The planned train was cancelled due to an alert at Paddington. The 6 who showed up at Goring 40 mins late were mostly Ealing Broadway starters. Maybe Paddington non starters came up with a plan B. mostly dry occasional light rain a bit blowy Four raced off and were not seen again. That left 2 more leisurely walkers. Going was slow thanks to a liberal but shallow coating of slippery mud. And directions through Gt Chalk Wood still managed to confuse. We made it to the Sun by two. After lunch we two did a wicked thing. We disobeyed instructions and switched to the last half of the Pangbourne Circular. For one this led to a quick finish in Pangbourne. For the other, a trip along the river back to Goring.
Correction to last post. 19 Yes, NINETEEN! It takes more than a fire alert causing a complete evacuation of Paddington to put us off, Ian T!!! After a half a hour delay in the lovely sunshine the specified train finally left but skipped stops to Slough to make up time. 12 of us started at Goring. Of the six on the Ealing Broadway train, "the four who rushed off" caught up with us mid morning and we added another walker briefly who had come by car.

A pleasant walk, all agreed. Despite some mud, plenty of tracks and lanes made it a good walk for winter. Gentle gradients, some nice views, woods. Directions OK but could be improved by adding more distances. Weather grey but quite mild with showers and some bright flashes. Most of us pushed on to the last possible lunch pub, the Red Lion, arriving there 2pm. This is not gastro as the walk directions would have it but served nice food reasonably fast.

We made it to Goring as the light was fading and some even made it to Pierrepoints tea room. Others explored the pubs. Some did both.
:(
Thanks to Ian T for the comments in his e mail to me and to Walker for his points in the post below. I'll add this to my Spring/Summer 2016 to do list
Sat, 02-May-15

Saturday Third Walk

New Walk: Goring Circular via Hill Bottom, Woodcote and Cleeve

Length: 11.3 miles (or 16 miles if extended to Pangbourne)
Difficulty: 4 out of 10
Train: Take the 9:53 First Great Western Oxford train from London Paddington to Goring & Streatley, arriving at 11:06 (if you miss this train, you can also take the 10:06 Penzance train and change onto the above train at Reading arriving 10:29/departing 10:53). Return trains from Goring are at 12 and 42 past the hour until 20:42; then at 21:13 and 22:15 and are generally quicker if you change at Reading. If you extend the walk to Pangbourne the return trains are at 17 and 47 past the hour until 20:47; then there is a 21:18 (again quicker to change at Reading). Buy a day return to Goring & Streatley.
This is a brand new walk being taken on a test drive today. It covers completely different territory from our other Goring Circular walk (SWC 17). This picturesque walk encounters a beautiful mix of rolling Chiltern hills, forest trails and quiet country lanes. At this time of year, there should be some nice flower displays in the woods. After some refreshments in Goring, the walk can be extended by following the well-sign posted Thames Path from Goring to Pangbourne. You can also shorten the walk by catching the X40 bus in Woodcote to Reading (the bus runs hourly until late). More information and the instructions for the walk can be found here.
The recommended lunch stop is the Sun Inn at Hill Bottom (0118 984 2260), located 5 miles into the walk. Large groups should call from the station. A further 2.5 miles on, there are two pubs in Woodcote (the Red Lion and the Black Lion) which could serve as late lunch options or just a mid-afternoon watering hole.
The recommended tea stop is Pierreponts, a lovely cafe on the riverside in Goring. It is open until 5:00 pm on Saturdays. There are also a few pubs along the river in Goring.

Enjoy the walk!
T=swc.243
I'll be doing the walk checking/amending the directions as I go. Any volunteers to help with this greatly appreciated.
I'll give it a go too Pete! On paper the instructions look great: I love a mixed narrative of landmarks and the occasional bearing thrown in. One thing which would be really helpful to rank amateurs like me would be if each paragraph were separately numbered (many a time you'll have heard the conversation... "Where are we now?" "Oh, we're at number 61"). See you Saturday!
I am hoping to come along and maybe able to do some walk checking.jfk
Train stops at Ealing Bdwy 10.04