Kintbury to Great Bedwyn walk

Quiet fields before lunch, the Test Way (a long, open, ridge walk, potentially muddy), and a pretty forest walk to return to pretty, canalside Bedwyn.

The North Wessex Downs, England Kintbury to Great Bedwyn walk, The North Wessex Downs, The Test way, Berkshire, England, Europe, swcwalks, book2 walk9, Time Out Country Walks Volume 2, Walk 9, tocw:2:9, Canon 5D, 24-70 lens, _MG_7867_800px

The North Wessex Downs, England

Kintbury to Great Bedwyn walk, The North Wessex Downs, The Test way, Berkshire, England, Europe, swcwalks, book2 walk9, Time Out Country Walks Volume 2, Walk 9, tocw:2:9, Canon 5D, 24-70 lens, _MG_7867_800px

23-Feb-09 • Jim Shannon on Flickr

england europe canon5d berkshire travelphotography documentaryphotography walk9 walkicon swcwalks adventurephotography book2walk9 2470lens timeoutcountrywalksvolume2 travelanddocumentaryphotography kintburytogreatbedwynwalk thenorthwessexdowns thetestway tocw29 mg7867800px wwwjimshannonnet travelanddocumentaryphotographyfromaroundtheworld 3303376756

The ridge followed in the afternoon

The ridge followed in the afternoon

21-May-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk9 36511587893

Kennet and Avon Canal near Bedwyn

Kennet and Avon Canal near Bedwyn

21-May-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

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17Sep05 Tree Arbour Kintbury 3

17Sep05 Tree Arbour Kintbury 3

17-Sep-05 • David Cooke on Flickr

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17Sep05 End Of Tree Arbour Kintbury 4

17Sep05 End Of Tree Arbour Kintbury 4

17-Sep-05 • David Cooke on Flickr

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17Sep05 Before 3 33

17Sep05 Before 3 33

17-Sep-05 • David Cooke on Flickr

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17Sep05 Tudor Style Cottage 40

17Sep05 Tudor Style Cottage 40

17-Sep-05 • David Cooke on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk9 36927425740

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, 22-Jan-22

Date # Post
Sat, 23-Oct-21 10

Carefree in Kintbury

Book 2 Walk 9: Kintbury Circular – Exploring the North Wessex Downs t=2.9

Distance: 14.3 miles or 23 km for those more metrically minded (it is possible to shorten the route by 5.5 km/3.4 miles)

Difficulty: 3 out of 10

Train: Take the 9:07 AM Great Western Newbury train from London Paddington, arriving at Kintbury at 10:17 AM (changing at Newbury 9:58 arrival/10:11 departure). Return trains from Kintbury are at 16:51 (change Newbury); 17:50 (change Newbury/Reading); 18:51 (change Newbury); 19:53 (change Newbury/Reading); and 20:45 (change Newbury). Buy a day return to Kintbury.

This walk explores the North Wessex Downs which have a decidedly West Country feel – although being only slightly over an hour from London. The route ambles gently through some idyllic woods and pastures; then makes a steep climb up onto the Downs before dropping back into the valley back to Kintbury. You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here. Make sure to bring the instructions for BOTH the main walk and the circular option, as they are designed to work together!

The recommended lunch pub is the Crown and Garter (01488 668 325) in Inkpen Common (8.3 miles/13.5 km into the walk), an upmarket looking country pub, serving food until 2:30PM. Tea and other post walk refreshies can be had at the very pleasant Dundas Arms along the canal near Kintbury Station.

Enjoy the walk!

is there GPX or KML map for this circular walk?
I knew someone would point this out....well spotted...I do not believe that there is a gpx for the circular route...but, i plan to track the route to generate one.
plan to do the short cut.
Eight off the train were met by two others who had driven to Kintbury, making for 10 on this enjoyable outing in mostly dry but grey cloudy skies. The route took us through gently rolling pastures as a warm up before the steep climb up Inkpen Hill to the ridge where the views were fabulous far and wide on both sides. Two opted for a picnic with a view while the remaining 8 turned left to continue with the circular walk with only the written word as a guide...We eventually descended the ridge where seven found the pub and one other picnicker decided to carry on. Six actually dined at the pub (on a booking for 4) and found it friendly and accommodating...The food was also all pretty tasty...so a good option but it was crowded, so booking is probably advised...The two ridge picnickers who were planning on the shorter walk option were briefly encountered at the neighboring cafe before the 7 set off on the main route across more undulating farmland and passing through very enigmatic Hampstead Park with a number of ornate columns....what were they for???? We finished along a pretty section of the canal with a drink at the canal side pub (perhaps unwisely letting the 17:50 train go)....On the 18:50 fortunately fortified with some provisions, our train was held for over an hour at Reading due to a person being hit by a train near Langley.....but we eventually arrived in London and they delay passed quickly in good company.....
Sat, 22-Sep-18 7

Kintbury Circular

CW2 Walk 9a Kintbury Circular
Length: 23km; Difficulty: 5/10

Catch the 10:07 9:07 train from London Paddington to Kintbury, arriving 10:06 11:06.
Return trains: 17:51 18:51 19:52 (change at Newbury) 20:10 (change at Bedwyn.) - there are later trains 21:12 22:00 22:40 served by a rail replacement bus service from Kintbury to Reading.

This walk follows the CW2 walk 9 Kintbury to Great Bedwyn route to Lower Inkpen for lunch, and then onto Inkpen Hill. Thereafter you make use of the Kintbury Circular walk option. T=2.9
The Swan Inn at Inkpen the suggested lunchtime pub for this walk closed in April. There is an alternative in Upper (or is it Lower) Inkpen, but you have to divert to get to it.
It's the Crown and Garter at Inkpen Common.
Thanks for the update about the Swan Inn closure. Lunch will have to be at The Crown and Garter which is mentioned in the directions as a later lunch stop after 13.5km. Will now get the earlier train out of Paddington.
Intend going.
7 of us on a rainy day clearing briefly on the ridge only to return more heavily. Lunch at the Crown and Garter PH good.

Sat, 16-Jun-18 7

Kintbury to Great Bedwyn

t=2.9

Length: 21km / 13m
Toughness: 5 / 10
Transport: Take the 10:07 from London Paddington to Kintbury arriving at 11:06. Return trains from Great Bedwyn at 16:45, 17:41, 18:41, 19:42 with changes at Newbury and Reading and the last train at 20:32.

From the description:

Though only an hour west of London by train, this walk has a decidedly West Country feel, far removed from the more manicured charms of the Home Counties. In the morning, it passes through an idyllic series of woods and pastures, with largely gentle gradients. After lunch at a quiet country pub in Inkpen (the sort of place where the conversation at the bar is as likely to be about farming than the price of second homes), it then climbs up onto a long ridge, giving views as dramatic, but even more unspoiled, than any on the South Downs. The rest of the walk follows the Test Way, a broad track along the top of this ridge, before descending to the valley and the pretty village of Great Bedwyn.

7 on this walk, including 2 first timers who had each independently turned up at Kintbury Station expecting to join 20 others who had signed up for a "SWC" meet up group walk. Despite the initial confusion they were happy to join us, and one at least may have been converted to the cause. Leaving aside my being navigationally challenged at one point, we reached the lunchtime pub the Swan at Lower Inkpen, without incident. The problem came with the pub itself, which was like the Mary Celeste devoid of life. A hand written signed on the door simply said "Closed", and gave a telephone number for those wishing to buy organic beef. It looked somewhat forlorn and deserted, but the shrubbery had recently been pruned, and all of the tables in the restaurant section were laid with cutlery and crown folded napkins, which seemed somewhat odd. Lacking an alternative lunch venue (the next one on route was six miles away at Bedwyn where the walk ended) we sat on the picnic tables outside and shared out what food we had.

(Having looked at the pub's website when I got back, it transpires that it closed on 22 April. There is no explanation as to why, and no indication whether the closure is temporary or permanent, though a comment elsewhere on the internet suggest the latter. This somewhat puts the mockers on this walk as it is, though looking at the map, it might be possible to divert from the exiting route at Titcomb to go South to the Crown and Garter at Inkpen Common and then west to re join the original route near Northcroft Farm.)

Thus refreshed we pressed on at differing speeds, and as a result the group split up. The two of us out front arrived in Bedwyn with time to spare before the train for a swift pint, which is when we discovered the second casualty the Cross Keys has also closed. Thankfully the Three Tuns is still open and provided welcome refreshment.

An enjoyable walk with fine views from the ridge in the afternoon, though the path here (a byway) is heavily rutted, with the ruts often hidden in the long grass, which is potentially treacherous. overcast but dry , aside from a few spots of rain in the wind during the afternoon.
Sun, 11-Jun-17 4

North Wessex Downs

Book 2 Walk 9 – Kintbury to Great Bedwyn T=2.09
Length: 21km (13 miles) Toughness: 5/10

09:04 Bedwyn train from Paddington arriving at Kintbury at 10:26. Buy an off-peak day return to Bedwyn.

Return trains direct from Bedwyn to Paddington are at 14:54 and 16:45 (journey time 82 - 90 mins). Later trains at 18:54 and 20:54 involve a change at Reading and take up to 2 hours.

The fairly early start is because there is only a 2-hourly Sunday train service on the Bedwyn line. Starting out through woods and pastures, the walk ascends, after an early pub lunch, to a fine ridge route along the North Wessex Downs. Picnickers may prefer to delay their lunch till they reach the top of the downs.

You will need to download the Walk Directions.
Plan to go
4 on this lovely walk on a warm day with occasional strong breezes especially on the ridge. Swan Inn was very quiet but the two who ate there reported it good. I walked on after lunch by myself, waited for the others but didn't see them and caught the 16.44 train. Cross Keys pub in Bedwyn looks like a private house now but I think the Three Tuns is still open. This is a great walk, wonderful views of wide open countryside, saw red kites close above our heads and later a hare sitting on the path. Should be walked more often!
4 warm with occasional strong breezes
Wed, 08-Feb-17 17

Wednesday Walk – Kintbury Circular

Book 2 Walk 9: Kintbury Circular (Short Version) – Exploring the North Wessex Downs with Possible Moonlit Canal-side Extension to Newbury

Distance: 10.7 miles or 17.5 km for those more metrically minded (15.7 miles (25km) with Newbury extension)

Difficulty: 5 out of 10

Train: Take the 10:18 AM Great Western Bedwyn train from London Paddington, arriving at Kintbury at 11:17 AM. Return trains from Kintbury are at 15:15 (no change); 16:17 (change Hungerford); 17:48 (no change); 18:05 (change Reading); 19:13 (change Newbury); 20:04 (no change); 20:43 (change Reading) and from Newbury (no change unless stated) 18:53; 19:51; 20:11; 20:50 (change Reading); 21:42. Buy a day return to Kintbury. Note: There may be a tube strike – so monitor travel options to Paddington carefully. Things should be back to normal by the time we return from the walk.
This walk explores the North Wessex Downs which have a decidedly West Country feel – although being only an hour from London. The route ambles gently through some idyllic woods and pastures; then makes a steep climb (just after lunch) up onto the Downs before dropping back into the valley to Kintbury. ALSO, as it happens, Wednesday is just a few days before the full moon (on Saturday), so, if the weather conditions merit, it may be possible to extend the walk with a late afternoon/early evening moonlit stretch along the Avon & Kennet Canal to Newbury (5 miles; 8km). I promise not to get anyone lost this time! You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here. Make sure to bring the instructions for BOTH the main walk and the circular option, as they are designed to work together!

The recommended lunch pub is the Swan Inn (01488 668 326) in Lower Inkpen (4 miles/6.5 km into the walk), a delightful country pub with its own organic farm. Tea and other post walk refreshies can be had at the very pleasant Dundas Arms along the canal near Kintbury Station.

Enjoy the walk!
Intend going
17 on this walk. The weather was cold and grey but the song of chaffinches (first I have heard this year), greenfinch and song thrushes promised that spring is on its way, and Kintbury churchyard was a glorious carpet of snowdrops. The morning was pleasant and the steep climb up onto the downs after it was bracing. The circular route then takes you along a ridge as fine as any on the South Downs but without the ghastly rutted track of the main walk. Pregnant ewes eyed us along the way. It would be nice to do this in summer with the skies blue and the larks singing....

The Swan in Inkpen got mixed reviews. About half enjoyed hearty hot lunches. The other half had barely warm dishes that would have done with more time in the microwave. The pub has just reopened after a January break and someone had forgotten to put on the heating.

The Dundas Arms at the end looked like it would be an idyllic riverside pub in summer. It served a huge pot of tea and then in keeping with midweek walk traditions we rushed for the first available train. Four of us had to duck under a descending level crossing barrier to catch it, doubtless earning us a place on some Stupid Stunts on the Railway reality TV show.
Some of us pressed on having gobbled our sandwiches before the pub lunchers had been served. We thought it best to get on the train rather than stop at the tea place, which turned out to be a good decision as far as I'm concerned, as I didn;t get home till 8.
Sat, 11-Jun-16 10

Saturday First Walk Kintbury to Great Bedwyn

Kintbury to Great Bedwyn, Book 2 walk 9.

12.4 miles (20km)
5 out of 10

I've gone for a later start to this walk, as the lunch pub is just 4 miles (6.5km) into the walk making the lunch stop around 1.10 rather than 12.10.

"This walk has a decidedly West Country feel. In the morning, it passes through an idyllic series of woods and pastures, with largely gentle gradients. After lunch at a quiet country pub in Inkpen it climbs up onto a long ridge, giving views as dramatic, but even more unspoiled, than any on the South Downs. The rest of the walk follows the Test Way, a broad track along the top of this ridge, before descending to the valley and the pretty village of Great Bedwyn."

Trains: 1018 Bedwyn train from Paddington, first stop Reading, arriving Kintbury 1130. From other stations, you will need to get to Reading for a 1051 departure. There is a direct return from Bedwyn at 1739 & 1841, with the 1941 involving a change at Reading. Buy a return to Bedwyn.

Lunch: Swan Inn (tel 01488 668326) at Lower Inkpen, which specialises in organic beef (no dogs inside).

Tea: You should be able to catch the 1739 with a quick lunch, but if not there is the The Cross Keys Inn (tel 01672 870332) in Great Bedwyn, open all day at weekends and tea and coffee are always available.

T=2.09
A typical "to the Downs, up the Downs, along the Downs, down the Downs" walk, with a fair few woods, field boundaries and lanes thrown in for good measure. Fine views from the ridge of the West Berkshire Downs, hardly a soul in sight, just the odd drizzle attempt to contend with. Pleasant stop at the Swan Inn, although the pub was disconcertingly empty. Only negative really is the fact that the path on the ridge is a byway, resulting in deep tyre tracks making walking hard work.10 walkers, all returning on the 17.39 train.
Sat, 18-Jul-15 23

Saturday First Walk Requested walk


Book 2 Walk 9 The Kintbury Circular variation
23km (14.3 miles) You may shorten the circular walk by 5.5km to 17.5km See directions
3 out of 10
OS Landranger Map No 174, OS Explorer Map Nos 157 &158 (most of the walk is on 158)
Info and directions here
https://www.walkingclub.org.uk/book_2/walk_09/TOCW2_Walk_09_Kintbury_Circular_Option.pdf

Take the 10.18 from London Paddington to Kintbury arriving at 11.30.
Trains back from Kintbury run about once an hour.
Journey time about 80 minutes.
Buy a day return to Kintbury.

Undulating terrain up until Hampstead Lock, finishing with an easy 3.8 km walk along the Kennet and Avon canal.


Though only just over an hour west of London by train, this walk has a decidedly West Country feel, far removed from the more manicured charms of the Home Counties.
Kintbury was named by the Sunday Times as one of the top ten most sought-after villages in England though this was back in 2007


Lunch
The suggested lunchtime pub is the Swan Inn ( http://www.theswaninn-organics.co.uk/ tel 01488 668326) at Lower Inkpen 6.5 km from the start of the walk. You should get here about 1pm ish


If there are more than 6 wanting lunch then please phone ahead to forewarn them
Picnic Many places along the route would make a good picnic spot.


Tea
Dundas Arms Kintbury ( http://www.dundasarms.co.uk/ ) is the suggested tea stop


from Ealing Broadway 9:50, change at Reading 10:38 (arr) and 10:48 (dep).
sounds like really nice walk, plan going and take the short version.
This is an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. Have not been to this area before. A late start suits me. Count me in.
A great walk with many different vistas perhaps let down by the lunchtime pub. After the downs section, I doubled back to take a peak at the Crown and Garter This looked a lot more capable at producing meals. It also had a bakery (also with indoor/outdoor seating which served hot savoury morsels, tea pigs tea and yummy cakes. Both situated in a very pleasant environment with views of the Test Way. Definitely worth considering as an alternative lunch venue.
The accidental anarchist
23 25 lost count, sunny all day, all did short version, ie 11 miles, except 1 who did long 14+ miles. We met up with him at the train station at 5:50pm. Some stayed in the pub near the train station for refreshment for a later train others took takeaway tea and drinks to consume on the train. Enjoyable and exhausting (felt more than 11 miles somehow.)

Sat, 03-Aug-13 15 Kintbury to Great Bedwyn
Wed, 26-Jun-13 Kintbury Circular
Sat, 02-Jun-12 Kintbury Circular
Mon, 07-May-12 Kintbury to Great Bedwyn
Sat, 14-May-11 Kintbury to Great Bedwyn
Sun, 25-Jul-10 Kintbury Circular
Sat, 08-May-10 Kintbury to Great Bedwyn
Sat, 16-May-09 Kintbury Circular
Sat, 28-Jun-08 Kintbury to Great Bedwyn
Sun, 22-Jul-07 Kintbury to Great Bedwyn
Sat, 14-Jul-07 Kintbury to Great Bedwyn
Wed, 18-Apr-07 Kintbury to Great Bedwyn