Woods near Bix summer

Henley via Stonor walk

02-Nov-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk6 walkicon

View from hill before Middle Asendon picnic spot

04-Sep-04 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk6

Rainbow pub, Middle Assendon

04-Sep-04 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk6

Valley near Stonor

04-Sep-04 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk6


Henley via Stonor

07-Sep-07 • moontiger on Flickr

book2 walk6 swcwalks


Henley via Stonor

07-Sep-07 • moontiger on Flickr

book2 walk6 swcwalks


Henley Circular via Stonor

07-Sep-07 • moontiger on Flickr

book2 walk6 swcwalks

Henley via Stonor Circular walk

Long walk through the Chilterns over gentle rolling grassy hills. Historic riverside Henley for tea.


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
Sun, 25-Mar-18 11

Sunday Walk: Henley Circular via Stonor

Book 2 Walk 6
14 km 8.8 ml (or 12 mile) (or 13.6 mile)
Difficulty 7 out of 10

A hilly chiltern walk with three options on offer.
  • The 8.8 mile version doesn't go as far as Stonor but still takes in some impressive scenery. The lunch stop is the 17th century Rainbow in Middle Assendon (01491574879).
  • Those with a bit more lead in their pencil could press on, following the 12 mile version that goes as far as Stonor but not as far as Pishill. For lunch, you could either stop at the Rainbow as above, or picnic near Stonor. (Sadly, the short-lived Quince Tree is but a memory).
  • Those whose pencil is HB and fully-leaded could try for the full 13.6 miles, stopping at the Crown in Pishill (tel 01491 638364) for lunch. The Crown serves till 3 (which will feel like 2 today).
Trains: Get the 10:15 Didcot Parkway train from Paddington (Ealing Broadway 10:23). Change at Twyford for the Henley train (arr 11:05 dep 11:15 platform 5) arr Henley 11:27.
Trains return on the hour, changing again at Twyford.
Get a return to Henley on Thames.
Tea: Henley has plenty of tea places and pubs. The Chocolate Cafe (01491-411412) on the riverside has become something of a favourite. Open 9-5:30 daily.
Directions are available here. They give clearer directions than what the book does (particularly through the wood near the end). The short walk is option (a) the 12-mile walk is option (b). T=2.6
Remember, clocks will have gone forward today. Its officially British Summertime. Put those hats and scarves away!
Hi guys

This walks looks interesting and since I have not done this before hope there will be some attendance. Sunday bright and sunny and should be a perfect day.

I will be going.
Glad someone is attending this walk. See you at Paddington station.if you want to connect on the train my mobile is 07488410141.
I'll board at Ealing Broadway.
sorry i could not make the walk as I forgot the clock went forward and too late for the train. hope you guys had a great time.
11 for this enjoyable walk, with lovely weather. 3 did the 12 mile, possibly 1 for the full distance leaving 7 for the short route. 9 had fast service in the pub with a limited Sunday menu.
PS Henley now has a 30 minute service on Sunday
Sat, 28-Jan-17 20

Saturday walk - Henley hills and woods

Book 2 Walk 6a - Henley via Stonor short walk
Length: 14.8km (8.8 miles) - with possible extension to 18.5km (11.1 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

9.50 train from Paddington (9.58 Ealing Broadway) to Twyford, arrive 10.43, changing there for the 10.50 to Henley-upon-Thames, arriving 11.02.

Buy a day return to Henley-upon-Thames (NOT Henley-in-Arden)

For walk directions click here - these have significant updates since the book was published.

This lovely short walk in the hills above Henley was posted on a Sunday 13 days ago, but it was a very wet day and there were no reports of anyone doing the walk. Let's hope for better weather conditions this time.

This short version of the walk takes you up onto the Oxfordshire Way across pleasant parkland and fields to Middle Assendon, where the Rainbow Inn is your lunchtime pub. This is a homely pub, seemingly run by a husband and wife couple, so try not to arrive there in a great big mob. Your reward is good hearty food.

After lunch a walk up quiet lanes joins you to the ending of the main Henley via Stonor walk. There has been a new path made through Lambridge Wood as you approach Henley and the online version of the walk reflects that: if you try to use older versions you will get confused. In Henley the lovely Chocolate Cafe is the tea stop.

If it is still light and you want an extension to the walk, the lovely stroll on down the riverside to Marsh Lock (about 1km each way) is recommended. Or you can carry on beyond the lock on the Thames Path to Shiplake station (3.7km/2.3 miles from Henley - this is the 18.5km/11.8 mile version of the walk). There are no written directions for either of these options but you are following the well-waymarked Thames Path.

Trains back from Henley are at 24 past (Shiplake is served by the same train 4 minutes later)
20 people, most of whom did the proposed short walk. 2 did a longer loop and 2, who reckoned they’d found a shorter route, struck out on it and got lost. The Rainbow (who appreciated the advance warning) was welcoming and seemed to please. Fare seemed simple but of good quality– e.g. ham egg and chips, bubble and squeak with beans and, for the epicures, haggis meatballs. (Sadly, the latter did not impress the token Scot). Limited choice of one real ale but it was a good one.
dry sunny mild am dry cloudy pm culminating in intense but brief hailstorm.
Most were in the Chocolate Café by the time the hail came. Not your’s truly, though. I never thought I would come to thank George Harrison for his overhanging Leylandii but I did so today. So thanks.

All agreed, Soup and Bread was the best at The Rainbow, Fish and Chips disqualified for our charter marks rating as it was not freshly battered, instead straight from the Freezer. Not the kind of pub I would expect in this affluent part of the country.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sun, 15-Jan-17

Sunday Walk 2: The Chilterns near Henley

Henley Circular via Middle Assendon
A shorter version of the Stonor Circular: Book 2 walk 6
14 km 8.8 ml
Difficulty 6/10

This short version of the book 2 classic doesn't go as far as Stonor but still has impressive Chiltern views.
Lunch: the Rainbow in Middle Assendon (01491-574879). Give them a ring.
Tea: Henley has plenty of tea places and pubs.
The Chocolate Theatre Cafe (01491-411412) comes recommended. Open 9-5:30 daily.
Trains: Get the 09:45 Oxford train from Paddington (Ealing Broadway 09:53). Change at Twyford for the Henley train (arr 10:36 dep 10:43 platform 5) arr Henley 10:55.
Return trains at xx:07 changing at Twyford.
Get a return to Henley on Thames.
If you would usually walk to Paddington from the Central Line, note that Lancaster Gate station is closed for refurbishment.
Walk Directions are available online. They were updated to give clearer directions through the wood near the end. The short walk is option (a)

Sat, 24-Sep-16 15

Saturday Third Walk: Westerly End of the Chilterns - Mixed Woods, Quiet Valleys, Undulating, Superb Pub

[posting this for DAC, who is otherwise occupied this week]

Book 2 Walk 6 Henley-on-Thames Circular (via Stonor)
Length: 21.7 km (13.5 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 458m; Net Walking Time: 5 hours
Toughness: 6/10
[to shorten: two options, cutting out Pishill, for details see the webpage and the pdf]
Take the 09.50 stopping service from Paddington to Reading (10.00 Ealing B’way), change at Twyford (you have 8 minutes for doing that), arrives Henley-on-Thames 11.02.
There are hourly return trains on xx.24 (change at Twyford, 68 mins journey time, shave off a whopping 3 mins by changing again at Slough).
Henley is normally thought of as a riverside town but, as this walk amply demonstrates, it is also on the southern edge of the Chiltern Hills, a charming area of hidden valleys, mixed wood and farmland, and largely gentle slopes (the main walk has one substantial steep hill after lunch, however). The walk takes you up one side and down the other of the long valley leading up to Stonor, with plenty of charming views over hills en route. Lunch is at a pretty and quiet pub in the village of Pishill, and the return is past hidden farms and through ancient woods into Henley, with its excellent tea rooms.
Lunch is in Pishill at the Crown Inn (10.6 km/6.6 mi, food to 14.30). As more than half the ascent is dealt with before lunch, you should not get there much before 13.30 hours.
For tea, there are a plethora of options in Henley, you will all have your favourites (see the webpage for details).
For summary, map, height profile, photos, walk directions/options and gpx/kml files click here.
15 walkers on this today in initially sunny weather, later turning a bit overcast. We got to the Crown Inn for 13.15, then dawdled to make sure that we all left together, incl. the slower eaters (and drinkers). The sandwichers had moved on by then and made the 16.24, we heard, after a stop at the Chocolate Cafe/Anchor Inn. Us lot comfortably made the 17.24 departure, w/o further stops.
CLOG were on the same train out in the morning (a smaller group than ours, but incl. one SWC occasional), but they were doing a different, shorter Henley walk, and returned on the same train in the afternoon.
3 guys then explored the two refreshment options in P'ton station: The Beerhouse by platform 10 (Greene King, and quite average), and the Mad Bishop & Bear on level 2 (Fuller's, and the better option).
Good day out, with very fine views, some beautiful woods, and a nice pub (although some of the food today was judged to be a bit average), with a bit too much tarmac, maybe.
Sun, 17-Apr-16 5

Second Sunday Walk: Chiltern hills and a stately home

Book 2 Walk 6 Henley via Stonor Circular, with Stonor short cut
Length: 19.4km (12 miles) Toughness: 6/10

09:43 Oxford (or Radley) train from Paddington (Ealing Broadway 09:51), changing at Twyford (arr 10:35; dep 10:43) arriving at Henley at 10:55.

Return trains are at xx:07, changing at Twyford (journey time 1 hour 12 minutes).

A delightful walk over gentle rolling hills in the southern Chilterns, finishing in historic riverside Henley. If you lunch in Stonor (see below) and take the Stonor short cut afterwards, you should have time to visit the impressive stately home Stonor Park, http://www.stonor.com/, which is open from 1:30pm to 4:30pm (park and gardens from 12:00pm). The entrance is just north of the village on the route of the main walk, so return to the village after your visit and follow the Stonor Short Cut directions. Expect to get back to Henley after 6pm if you choose to do this.

The suggested lunchtime pub, the Crown Inn at Pishill, has had poor reports recently, so a better alternative may be the Quince Tree (01491 639039) in Stonor. You may prefer the café rather than the upmarket pub/restaurant.

The latest version of the walk directions clarifies the route through the forest so it’s best to download the website version.
5 on this walk I was, told.
Sat, 24-Oct-15 17

Saturday Second Walk - Chiltern beechwoods, lovely views and chocolate cake for tea

Book 2, walk 6 - Henley via Stonor
Length: 21.9km (13.6 miles) or 19.4km (12.1 miles) - short walk of 14km (8.8 miles) also possible: see bottom of post
Toughness: 6 out of 10

8.57 train from Paddington (9.05 Ealing Broadway), changing at Twyford (arrive 9.42, depart 9.50: connection usually held, but you need to cross the footbridge so don't dawdle), arriving Henley at 10.02.

Buy a day return to Henley-on-Thames (NOT Henley-in-Arden).

Walk directions: the online version includes important updates and is to be preferred to bringing the book.

I had kept this walk back for the last day of Summer Time because it needs an early train from Paddington, as you see. I thought people might brave that on the last long walking day till March. But as we now know that walkers will happily get up for an 8.18 train from the same station not once but twice (!!!), this one is a positive lie-in. If you still need persuading, remember you get an extra hour in bed tomorrow.

This is essentially a Chilterns walk, with plenty of small beechwoods which may just be showing some colour by now (the Chorleywood to Chesham walk last Sunday reported some good tints...)

It is also many many years since I have managed to get to the proper lunch stop for this walk, The Crown in Pishill (no sniggering at the back there). This is a great little place, but popular and they are fussy about walking groups booking in advance. I have done my best to be charming to them and reserved a table for ten people under my name for 1pm. I was quizzed quite a bit about when exactly we would turn up ("so we can plan properly and the kitchen is not overwhelmed"), so if you walk faster and get there at 12.30 and they ask you to wait till 1pm till you order, please be polite and considerate about it.

Those in excess of the 10 booked for lunch can ring up the Crown and be even more charming and they may well be accommodated. Otherwise all a bit earlier in the walk is The Quince Tree "British Pub, Farm Shop and Food Hall". This has both a rather posh pub and a cafe and serves food all afternoon. If you eat here you can take the Stonor Short Cut and shave 2.5km (1.6 miles) off the walk. But when we tried it 2.5 years ago this was what I call a "bag of chips" place - that is, after spending £20 on lunch, you feel like buying a bag of chips to fill you up.

You have roughly half the walk to do after lunch. Towards Henley take especial care in Lambourne Woods. There is only one official footpath through this and it is fairly straightforward but there are lots of side paths and trees with arrows on have a habit of disappearing. If in doubt, bear right.

The tea stop, if you can get there in time, is The Chocolate Cafe (ex Henley Tea Rooms), which when I last looked closes at 6pm. Henley is not short of other refreshment options.

It is nearly full moon and if the skies are clear, a moonlight walk down the Thames Path (all tarmac) to Mill Lock (about a mile, back the same way) is a lovely way to round off the day.

Trains back are at 24 past until late

** The short walk option is option a) in the walk document, but it is only three miles to lunch at The Rainbow in Middle Assendon and taking a train this early you will get there somewhat before they open at midday. But you could linger a bit in Henley, maybe.
17 on this walk grey with one shower then heavy rain from 4pm Lovely autumn colours: the first walk this year that really felt like "high Autumn": good and extensive tints on beech, Norway maple, field maple, hawthorn, blackthorn.... Lovely views and some saw a red kite land just in front of them. Near Pishill the woods were full of the strange bark of rutting fallow deer.

Having booked 10 for The Crown it turned out we had just that number, and the pub proved a delight: cosy, atmospheric and with delicious food. In the afternoon the colours were especially nice but even the walk author (me) got lost a couple of times due to holly growth in the beech woods (directions will be updated). The faster walkers probably got to Henley before the downpour started: we caught it about two miles from the town and so got quite soggy. Only two of our lot went for chocolate cakes: the rest went to the pub. Sadly no moonlight walk on this occasion though it was shinning bright when I got home.
The 6 “faster” walkers were back in Henley by 3pm. 2 stopped at the café for tea and cake. 4 comfortably made the 3.24pm and enjoyed take away tea and cake in the warm and dry. A lovely day out!
Sun, 23-Nov-14 0 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Wed, 25-Jun-14 Henley via Stonor Circular, with Stonor short cut
Sun, 27-Oct-13 0 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Sat, 06-Apr-13 16 Henley via Stonor Circular, with Stonor short cut
Sun, 17-Mar-13 3 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Sun, 17-Mar-13 Henley via Stonor Circular, with Stonor short cut
Sun, 03-Feb-13 5 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Sun, 02-Sep-12 Henley via Stonor Circular
Sun, 19-Feb-12 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Sat, 10-Dec-11 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Sun, 25-Sep-11 Henley via Stonor Circular
Wed, 06-Jul-11 Henley via Stonor Circular, with Stonor short cut
Sun, 09-Jan-11 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Sun, 16-May-10 Henley via Stonor Circular
Sat, 20-Feb-10 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Sat, 17-Oct-09 Henley via Stonor Circular
Sun, 17-May-09 Henley via Stonor Circular
Sun, 23-Nov-08 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Sat, 05-Jul-08 Henley via Stonor Circular
Sat, 02-Feb-08 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Sat, 08-Sep-07 Henley via Stonor Circular
Sun, 28-Jan-07 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Sat, 20-Jan-07 Henley via Stonor Circular (short walk)
Sat, 21-Oct-06 Henley via Stonor Circular