02-Sep-09 • JonCombe on Flickr

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Hambleden Lock

Henley Circular walk

30-Oct-10 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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06-Oct-12 • Brooksie85 on Flickr

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Hambleden Mill

Henley Circular walk

09-Jun-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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The Thames, laid out for the regatta

Henley Circular walk

09-Jun-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Henley-on-Thames (round walk)

The weir at Hambledon Lock. D.Allen vivitar 5199mp

01-Apr-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Book 1 Walk 1 Henley-on-Thames (round)

Weir are we? Hambledon Lock. D.Allen Vivitar 5199mp

01-Jan-08 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Henley Circular via Great Wood walk


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: Mon, 01-Mar-21

Date # Post
Sat, 15-Aug-20 8

Saturday Walk Henley Circular (reverse & variation)

Henley Circular (reverse & variation) T=1.1

Length 10-12 miles

An easy walk (for a day in the rain?). To participate, you will need to give contact details & respect social distancing. Also mask wearing on the train.

The proposal is to do the Henley Circular in reverse (the directions are at the end of the instruction download here). From Hambledon, the book 2 walk 7 ending via Aston & Remenham here, or just do the normal route along the river.

Trains: The 0957 Didcot train from Paddington, Ealing Broadway 1005. Change at Twyford 1037 for the 1046 Henley train arriving 1058.

Lunch: Stag & Huntsman or the Flowerpot Aston, which may need booking.

Tea: Multiple options in Henley

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I'll collect them at the start.
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8 off the train, with contact details & toilet queuing making for a fragmented walk through Henley. 3 went to the Huntsman,the rest of us a picnic by the church. Rain threatened, but dry and overcast. The picnicers headed off to the Flowerpot for a beer in the garden. We all eventually regrouped in Henley, with 7 staying for a drink at the Anchor & one going for the train.
Sat, 23-Feb-19 20

Saturday walk - Henley Circular via Great Wood - the original SWC walk

Length: 16.1km (10 miles) T=1.1 (with possible 3.7km/2.3 mile extension)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

9.42 train from Paddington (9.50 Ealing Broadway) to Twyford, changing there (arrive 10.30, depart 10.38) for Henley-on-Thames, arriving 10.50

Walk directions are here. The walk home page is here. The GPX file is here.

I thought we would go back to where it all began this week - book one, walk one, the original SWC walk. It is a very simple outing, with an easy walk along the prettiest stretch of the River Thames in the morning and then over the fields to picture-perfect Hambleden, beloved of film makers.

Lunch will hopefully be at the Stag and Huntstman: it is always a popular pub but we usually squeeze in. The alternative is the Hambleden Village Stores nearby which has some deli items, serves hot drinks and has a couple of outside tables.

The hard work, such as it is, is after lunch - an extended climb up through Great Wood. (It is for this reason that I have bumped the toughness rating up from the stated 2 out of 10). After that it is downhill all the way on quiet lanes and the Oxfordshire Way to the lovely delights of the Chocolate Cafe in Henley, or the characterful Angel on the Bridge pub.

If you want to extend the walk after tea, it is 2.3 miles down the Thames Path to Shiplake, a very lovely walk for the mile and a half or so, taking in the striking Thames Lock and a watermeadow. After that, it is a bit more suburban, though you get to see how the other half lives. The Baskerville Arms by Shiplake station is a possible drink stop. A day return to Henley covers return from Shiplake.

Trains back are at 23 and 53 past from Henley (27 and 57 past from Shiplake) until 18.53, and then at 19.35, 20.23, 21.23, 22.21....

Table booked for SWC at the S&H pub for 12.45 (eight peeps).The Llunch Monitor.
20 on this walk in lovely sunshine after early mist and cloud cleared (it only affected the first 45 minutes or so). A nice simple outing on a beautifully spring like day. Chaffinches sang, daffodils and celandines were out and someone (not me, alas) reported seeing a brimstone butterfly.

Our thanks to Anonymous for booking for eight at the pub, but surprisingly it was not that busy. Many of us decamped to the garden, where we sat in warm sunshine for the first time this year. Food came very quickly: in one or two cases it was on the table before its recipient had the chance to sit down.

After lunch, the climb up into Great Wood and then a descent in the golden haze to Henley. Most seemed to go to the Chocolate Cafe, and eight of us carried on afterwards along the river to Shiplake. The first third of this walk to Marsh Lock was as busy as Piccadilly Circus, but it emptied out thereafter. At Shiplake we saw a train go up and while we waited for it to come back three blackbirds serenaded us.

Just think: there will be days and days and days like this.
Sat, 03-Feb-18 15

Saturday Walk Henley Circular Via The Great Wood (Reverse)

Henley Circular Via The Great Wood (Reverse)

Length: 10 miles (16.1 km) 2 out of 10

This walk was a regular New Years Day outing for a number of years. Doing it in reverse means getting more of the walk done in the morning, and a straightforward route back in the afternoon. If you feel the Thames path may be too muddy on the return leg, try the Book 2 Walk 7 ending from Hambledon, which adds around a mile to the walk.

Navigation is not that difficult, but by all means make a collective decision about which way to do it.

Trains: 9.42 Reading train from Paddington (9.50 Ealing Broadway) to Twyford, arrive 10.30, changing there for the 10.38 to Henley-upon-Thames, arriving 10.50. Alternatively the 09.52 Oxford train, changing at Slough for the above Reading Train. Buy a day return to Henley-upon-Thames.

Return trains are Henley xx,23 and xx.53.

Lunch: Stag and Huntsman pub, Hambleden, 6 miles (10km) into the walk (reverse) food to 1430.

Tea: The Chocolate Factory or various pubs.
15 at the station. light but persistent rain Going, muddy at times, OK at others. The directions were fairly easy to follow in reverse. The occasional twist and turn needed care but we made it. Great Wood was pretty, the fallen leaves still giving it an autumnal feel. The lunch pub was fine with speedy service – it is, after all, a favourite. Then the flat, bit along the Thames, which I would describe as ‘stultifying’, but others seem to like. The Chocolate Café was visited – a first for me, believe it or not. Then home.
Wed, 29-Nov-17 11

Wednesday Walk: Henley Circular via the Great Wood (clockwise) - The Great Wood, Hambledon, and the Thames Path

Book 1, Walk 1 (R) - Henley Circular via the Great Wood

Length: 16.1 km (10 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10 (4 if muddy)

London Paddington: 10-11 hrs Reading service. Ealing Broadway 10-18 hrs
Arrive Twyford: 11-01 hrs
Leave Twyford: 11-08 hrs Henley service
Arrive Henley-on-Thames: 11-19 hrs

Return: Henley to Paddington via Twyford: 15-53, 16-24, 17-09, 17-46 and 18-17 hrs

As I do not intend to post this walk for New Year's Day this coming year I thought we would give it a Wednesday spin before current year-end. As in recent postings, doing the walk backwards (clockwise) is preferable in winter, as you can walk beside the Thames in failing light quite easily / safely.
I suspect all of you will have done this walk, albeit proper way round, so I will leave you to read the Directions to refresh your memory of its highlights ( The Oxfordshire Way, the Great Wood and the Thameside walk).
Lunch will be at the usually excellent Stag and Huntsman pub, Hambleden, a little over 2 hours into the walk.
After lunch we walk on the Thames Path back to Henley for tea at the Chocolate Theatre Cafe (formerly the Henley Tea Rooms) .
The railway station is nearby.
Walk Directions here: L=1.1
11 on this walk. Speaking personally, I was looking forward to riding on one of the new electric trains, but diesel still rules it seems, filling the Paddington trainshed with particulates. Our train was 12 minutes late but the Henley connection was held. We made a long stop at Henley station to use the loos, all train loos having been out of action.

It was cloudy to start but things soon improved and it was mainly sunny to lunch. I think we all agreed that this is a great walk to do in reverse. Navigation is not hard and one has a gentle climb, a pleasant walk along a lane and then a lovely descent through Great Wood with the low sun shining through the trees and illuminating the last dribs of autumn colour. You can lunch knowing the main effort is behind you.

Five of us lunched in the pub. A bit gastro especially in portions, though also in prices: I was glad I had a thick parsnip soup to bulk out my micro main course. The kitchen seemed to be run on biblical principles the first shall be last, good things come to those who wait. The sandwichers were long gone by the time we had finished, as is Midweek Walk tradition. One pub luncher went on ahead too. So four of us walked in part drizzle, part atmospheric dusk to Henley, where three of us had tea at the Chocolate Cafe.

Two then rushed back on the 17.09 to catch the height of the rush hour (another Midweek Walk tradition). One (me) walked down to Marsh Lock and back, enjoying (sadly brief) flashes of moonlight and got the 18.17..
Stunning views and good company on this walk.
Thank you to Marcus.
Sun, 01-Jan-17 8

New Year's Day Walk - West

Book 1, Walk 1 (R) - Henley Circular

Length: 16.1 km (10 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10

London Paddington: 09-45 hrs (Oxford Train) Ealing Broadway: 09-53 hrs
Arrive Twyford: 10-36 hrs
Leave Twyford: 10-43 hrs (Henley train)
Arrive Henley-on-Thames: 10-55 hrs

Return: 07 minutes past the hour

Last year our attempt at this walk - our traditional New Year's Day walk west of London - was nearly thwarted by two suicides on the railway line which closed Paddington for six hours. Car drivers came to our rescue - but let's hope no such tragedies on the line disrupt our departure by train this year.

As in recent years we do this walk "backwards", or clockwise, heading out of Henley onto the Oxfordshire Way and up into the hills of Henley Park above the town, where we stop to toast in the New Year with some bubbly. If I bring the shampoo, perhaps others could bring some savoury nibbles.

Then onwards through the village of Fawley and down through the Great Wood (which can be muddy) before we descend to Hambledon for lunch at the (usually excellent) Stag & Huntsman pub. We have a table reserved for our SWC New Year regulars - others will have to take pot luck. The pub is usually very busy on New Year's Day, and to make life easier for the pub's staff please bring cash if eating at our reserved table - no cards (last year the bill was recalculated a dozen times as individuals presented their debit / credit cards ). Only cash payments today, please.

Post prandial, we head for the River Thames and Hambledon Lock and its impressive weir, which we cross before taking the tow path beside the River all the way back into Henley. We will be losing daylight along this stretch, but provided we do not have to detour into the hills to avoid flooded sections of the path, we should be OK. But in case we have to make some detours please bring along a torch.

Tea in Henley is usually taken at the former Henley Tea Rooms (now called the Chocolate Theatre Cafe) but there are plenty of watering holes in the town, usually open, for those in need of a stronger drink. From the Tea Rooms it's a short walk to the railway station for your journey home.

For our Clapham Junctionite friends who do not like travelling north of the Thames, a Sunday Walk Poster will be posting a New Year's Day Walk - South, especially for you.
Directions for Henley walk here L=1.1
Hope to be able to take part in this traditional walk posted and hosted in such a lovely way by Marcus jfk
A disappointing turn out of 8 (half our usual muster) probably due to the poor weather forecast, which for once turned out to be accurate drizzle turning to steady rain all day temperature mild but conditions miserable. However, the inclement conditions did not affect our good NYD humour and the drizzle was only starting as we toasted in the New Year above Henley. Onwards then as the weather deteriorated but with the bonus of mud levels being lower in the Great Wood than on previous New Year Days. The Stag & Huntsman pub was far less busy than usual (again, twas the weather) and we were served a pleasant lunch during which our damp walking gear dried off. We said goodbye to the 3 in our group after lunch who sensible opted for a taxi back to Henley, leaving 5 of us to re don the gear and head back out into the steady rain as we maintained a good pace along the Thames path back to Henley. We judged the daylight well as darkness was setting in when we were made welcome at the Chocolate Cafe for tea and a shared huge wadge of triple chocolate cake. A short walk to the railway station, and the 5 of us were on the 17 07 hrs train with good connections to London, to end an enjoyable, albeit damp day in the very best of SWC company.
Having now set this walk for our NYD walk west or north for a number of year's now, the consensus amongst our small group was we need something different for January 2018 so plenty of time to plan that !
VEry enjoyable new years Day Champagne walk in the rain. As usual admirably hosted and led by Marcus so big thanks to him jfk
No better way to start the New Year.
Fri, 01-Jan-16 10

New Year's Day Walk - Champers by the Thames

Book 1, walk 1 - Henley Circular
Length: 16.1km (10 miles)
Toughness: 2 out 10

9.12 train from Paddington (9.20 Ealing Broadway), changing at Twyford (arrive 10.05, depart 10.17) for Henley-on-Thames, arrive 10.29

*** Be aware that tube trains are much more infrequent than usual early on 1 January. Plan your journey to Paddington using the TFL Journey Planner.

For walk directions click here

Marcus has used his considerable powers of persuasion to get us a booking for 14 people for 1pm at the lovely Stag and Huntsman pub in Hambleden - a pub otherwise hyper-busy on that day. The outward train (before anyone complains) has been chosen to ensure prompt arrival for our booking and also time to stop for our traditional drink of champagne halfway through the morning - if you want to bring liquids or festive snacks to contribute to this, please do, though a certain baseload of the sparkly stuff usually seems to mysteriously materialise.

Otherwise you get a classic walk along the Thames in the morning and back over the hills in the afternoon. The Chocolate Theatre Cafe (or whatever it calls itself these days) is usually open for tea.

Trains back are at 46 past the hour.
As I don't drink..I'll be getting Sausage Rolls and a few chocolate bars for the group. Hope that's ok!
......bringing nuts and short bread. With the early start we can eat on the train! P
10 on this walk cloud with drizzle late afternoon. Those who got up early for this walk suffered the not inconsiderable setback of all trains out of Paddington being cancelled due to a double suicide at Hayes and Harlington (The second time in little more than a month that a walk out of Paddington has been disrupted by serious train problems: we are seriously displeased Ed). A few decanted to the Sevenoaks walk, but others persisted and decided to go onto the walk by car, as the following report from Marcus describes:

"We mustered 10 thanks to David and his fellow car drivers who set out from Ealing and as our drive down was so quick we were able to set out on the Henley walk in reverse and enjoy the champers on the hill above the town. We arrived at the Stag & Huntsman bang on time to take up our reservation on one large table, which worked perfectly. With the short afternoon leg to follow we did not have to rush our lunch just as well as the pub was very busy and there was a bit of a wait for our food to arrive, but the staff coped and they looked after us very well. Light drizzle and rain accompanied us along the (unflooded) Thames path back into Henley, where the stop at the Tea Room for all 10 was de rigeur.

Although Paddington had reopened by 3 pm (six hour closure !) 3 of us accompanied David in his car back to London."

Sat, 28-Feb-15 6 Henley Circular
Sat, 12-Apr-14 30 Henley Circular
Wed, 01-Jan-14 9 Henley to Marlow (longer version of 2–08b)
Sat, 13-Jul-13 10 Henley Circular
Tue, 01-Jan-13 Henley Circular (clockwise)
Sat, 30-Jun-12 Henley Circular
Sat, 01-Jan-11 Henley Circular
Sun, 04-Jul-10 Henley Circular
Sat, 02-Jan-10 Henley Circular
Sat, 03-Jan-09 Henley Circular via Great Wood
Sun, 14-Sep-08 Henley Circular via Great Wood
Sat, 05-Jan-08 Henley Circular via Great Wood
Sun, 22-Apr-07 Henley Circular via Great Wood
Sat, 06-Jan-07 Henley Circular via Great Wood
Sun, 29-Oct-06 Henley Circular via Great Wood