Mortimer to Aldermaston and Theale walk

Gentle. A stream, Roman Calleva, and an optional canal side extension.

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.

Date Post # Weather
Wed, 13-Jul-22 Wednesday walk Mortimer to Aldermaston or Theale - the River Kennet, the Roman Town of Calleva, Silchester, Padworth Common, then Aldermaston , with option of continuing to Theale
Sat, 18-Sep-21 Saturday Walk: Mortimer to Aldermaston 4 pleasantly sunny
Sat, 27-Jul-19 Saturday Walk: Mortimer to Aldermaston or Midgham or Theale 3 light drizzle quickly turning to overcast and sometimes humid conditions
Wed, 31-Jan-18 Wednesday Walk - The Roman Town of Calleva Atrebatum: Mortimer to Aldermaston or Midgham or Theale 11 occasional rain until lunch then sunny
Sat, 02-Jan-16 Mortimer to Aldermaston
Wed, 21-Jan-15 Mortimer to Aldermaston
Sat, 20-Jul-13 Mortimer to Aldermaston 9
Sat, 20-Jul-13 Mortimer to Theale
Wed, 06-Feb-13 Mortimer to Aldermaston
Sat, 04-Aug-12 Mortimer to Aldermaston
Sat, 07-Apr-12 Mortimer to Aldermaston
Sat, 13-Aug-11 Mortimer to Aldermaston
Wed, 02-Feb-11 Mortimer to Aldermaston
Sat, 09-Oct-10 Mortimer to Aldermaston
Sun, 02-May-10 Mortimer to Theale
Sat, 15-Aug-09 Mortimer to Aldermaston and Theale
Wed, 18-Mar-09 Mortimer to Aldermaston and Theale
Sat, 27-Dec-08 Mortimer to Aldermaston and Theale
Wed, 18-Jun-08 Mortimer to Aldermaston and Theale
Sun, 27-Apr-08 Mortimer to Aldermaston and Theale
Sat, 18-Aug-07 Mortimer to Aldermaston and Theale
Sun, 18-Feb-07 Mortimer to Aldermaston and Theale
Sat, 03-Feb-07 Mortimer to Aldermaston and Theale
Wed, 13-Jul-22
Wednesday walk Mortimer to Aldermaston or Theale - the River Kennet, the Roman Town of Calleva, Silchester, Padworth Common, then Aldermaston , with option of continuing to Theale
Book 1 Walk 33 - Mortimer to Aldermaston or Theale (or Midgham)

Length: 15.9 km (9.9 miles) to Aldermaston. To Theale add 4.1 miles (14 miles); To Midgham add 2.1miles (12 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10
Either
London Paddington: 10-35 hrs Great Western service to Exeter St Davids Does NOT stop at Ealing Broadway
Arrive Reading: 10-59 hrs Change trains
Leave Reading: 11-07 hrs Great Western service from Reading to Basingstoke
Arrive Mortimer: 11-20 hrs
Or For London Cities Freedom Pass Holders
London Paddington: 09-43 hrs TfL Rail service (Elizabeth Line) to Reading Ealing Broadway 09-50 hrs
Arrive Reading: 10-39 hrs Change trains
Leave Reading: 11-07 hrs Great Western service from Reading to Basingstoke (as above)
Arrive Mortimer: 11-20 hrs
Note: the slightly later than usual start is to accommodate Freedom Pass holders
Return: Aldermaston to Paddington, changing at Reading: 16-17, 17-19, 18-17 and 19-00 hrs
Theale to Paddington: direct services at 17-11, 18-16 and 19-09 hrs
Theale to Paddington, changing at Reading; 17-24, 18-22, 19-55 and 20-35 hrs
Midgham to Paddington, changing at Reading: 16-27, 17-16, 18-14 and 18-57 hrs
Rail ticket: For those travelling on Great Western services from Paddington, but a day return to Mortimer. This usually works for your return leg, but an over zealous ticket inspector might ask you to buy a single from Aldermaston, Theale or Midgham to Reading. Freedom Pass holders: provided you travel on the TfL Rail (Elizabeth Line) service from Paddington, you just need a day return from Reading to Mortimer (your journey to Reading being "free").
After that long intro. I better keep the text proper on the short side. Leaving Mortimer station we walk beside the River Kennet for a while before heading to Calleva, to walk alongside - or on top of - the walls to this Roman City. Don't forget to call in at the Roman Amphitheatre before you start your wall walking. From here the walk continues to the villager of Silcherster, where we stop for lunch at the pub on the village common - The Calleva Arms - which serves good pub grub.
After lunch we head north through Aldermaston Soke Woods. From here we have a sometimes tricky crossing of Burnt Common then Padworth Common before heading for Padworth and Padworth Church before we cross fields to Aldermaston. You can conclude your walk here - after taking refreshments at the Butt Inn. Or you can continue your walk alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal, in one direction to Theale, for an overall walk of 14 miles. or in the other direction to Woolhampton Bridge, for an overall walk of 12 miles. The railway station for the latter is Midgham. Tea options for the walk extensions are noted in the Walk Directions.
T=1.33
Walk Directions are here: L=1.33
Sat, 18-Sep-21
Saturday Walk: Mortimer to Aldermaston
9.9 miles / 15.9km
The morning route of this walk passes the remains of the Roman town of Calleva, while the afternoon heads through commons and woodlands to Aldermaston, where you can extend the walk along the canal.
Head west for an extra 2 miles to Midgham station and the Rowbarge Inn, or head the other way for 4 miles to reach Theale.
Trains
Paddington 10:04, Mortimer 10:51. Change at Reading
Return trains from Aldermaston: 16:27, 17:26, 18:27 etc change at Reading. The same train stops a few minutes earlier at Midgham, and a few minutes later at Theale (which also has a few other trains).
Mortimer and Aldermaston are on different lines from Reading, but a return to Mortimer should be fine - if not at most you will need a single from your return station to Reading.
Lunch
Calleva Arms, a Fullers pub on Silchester Common.
Afternoon stops
Tea rooms at Aldermaston Wharf
Rowbarge Inn, Woolhampton (by Midgham Station)
At Theale there are several pubs on High Street/Church Street - head up Station Road to get there.
T=1.33
  • Anonymous
    16-Sep-21

    11 minutes to change at Reading.

  • Sandy
    17-Sep-21

    I remember running across Reading station to make that tight changeover on a previous visit.

    I'm thinking of travelling from my home station via Basingstoke to arrive at Mortimer 1035; hope to see anyone who makes it at 1051.

  • Sandy
    19-Sep-21

    Just 4 of us gathered at Mortimer at the appointed time, on a pleasantly sunny day. There was speculation that the lack of online seat availability on trains from Paddington to Reading had put people off, but there are tickets to be had at the station.

    Anyway we enjoyed a great, varied walk with a peaceful rural start, intriguing Roman remains, rather watery blackberries, fungi spotting, a nice lunch pub by a village green and a contrasting afternoon heathland walk - more should try it! We did briefly talk about the possibility of walking further along the canal but opted for a welcome and high quality tea and cake at the Aldermaston tea rooms.

    The 1627 train to Reading was slightly delayed, and my companions egged me on to try and make a 0 minute connection at Reading West for the hourly train back to Basingstoke, but I got the Ealing train from Reading instead. Thanks for posting!

  • Enjoyed the walk - highlights sunshine, roman stuff and fish ladder. (added some of my pics to the flickr group)

Sat, 27-Jul-19
Saturday Walk: Mortimer to Aldermaston or Midgham or Theale
9.9 miles / 15.9 km to Aldermaston
(12 miles to Midgham, 14 miles to Theale)

The morning route of this walk passes the remains of the Roman town of Calleva, while the afternoon heads through commons and woodlands to Aldermaston, where you can extend the walk along the canal.

Trains: Take the 10:00 from London Paddington, change at Reading (arr. 10:24, dep 10:34), arrival time at Mortimer is 10:44.
Return times from Aldermaston are: 15:28, 16:28, 17:25, 18:31, 19:31 etc with change at Reading (probably faster even if the train is direct). Trains from Midgham depart 4 minutes earlier, from Theale 5 minutes later plus there is an extra direct train per hour.
A return to Mortimer should be fine, if not you just need a single to Reading on the way back.

Lunch: The Calleva Arms, Silchester Common, 01189 700305.

Tea: The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Information Centre serves tea at Aldermaston Wharf, The Rowbarge is by Midgham station, and if you finish at Theale, head 400m beyond the station to the High Street for refreshments.

Click here for full walk details

T=1.33
  • 24-Jul-19

    BestFootForward, Tue 23 Jul 19, 16:41

    The canal tow path is closed on the Midgham extension until 6 September 2019. There is a barrier to prevent entry. A notice advises that the Canal and River Trust have to renew a culvert on the canal between Woolhampton and Frouds Lane. 3 footpaths are closed. The paths concerned are Woolhampton 10 & 12 (the canal tow path) and Aldermaston 12 (which leads from the canal to the A340). The road up from the tow path is very busy with fast moving traffic. We decided to walk back to Aldermaston, a very pleasant walk about a mile along the tow path. AT

  • Sandy
    28-Jul-19

    After a shambolic start with the Bakerloo line partly closed and the Paddington train arriving in Reading too late for the connection, just 3 stalwarts eventually left Mortimer at 11.20 in light drizzle quickly turning to overcast and sometimes humid conditions . Everyone else missed a great walk, full of interest, striking variations in the landscape, characterful pub for lunchtime refreshments, and a delightful tea stop at the canal trust centre. None of us fancied the extra 6km to Theale, not that we were the slightest bit tired you understand, just thinking of the likely complicated journeys home.

Wed, 31-Jan-18
Wednesday Walk - The Roman Town of Calleva Atrebatum: Mortimer to Aldermaston or Midgham or Theale
Length: 15.9 km (9.9 mi) (or 18.4 km to Midgham Station or 21.7 km to Theale)
Ascent/Descent: 94/92m
Net Walking Time: 3 ¼ hours
Toughness: 1 out of 10
Take the 10.03 Penzance train from Paddington, change at Reading (10.28/10.40, Basingstoke service), arrives Mortimer 10.51.
Return trains from Aldermaston are at 15.27 (chg Reading), 16.10 (chg Reading), 16.15 (chg Newbury), 17.18 (chg Reading), 18.06 (direct). From Theale they are on 16.03, 16.15, 17.01, 17.23… Buy a Mortimer return, this is usually accepted on the return journey.
From St. Mary's Church in Stratfield Mortimer, the route follows a clear stream - Foundry Brook - eventually to the amphitheatre and the 2.5 km of Roman walls surrounding the 107-acre site of the Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, and the whitewashed 12th century church at its entrance. The remains of the fort are quite modest - just earthworks, but still very impressive, as is the amphitheatre.
The lunch stop is at a pub on Silchester Common and the afternoon route is mainly through woods of Scots pine, and commons of gorse and birch trees. Aldermaston, the teatime destination, is reached over the weirs of the River Kennet. Longer Walk: from Aldermaston continue along the Kennet & Avon Canal either to Woolhampton (Midgham Station) for some very nice pubs, or to Theale, for more frequent trains and several pubs.

Lunch: Calleva Arms, in Silchester Common (6.8 km/4.2 mi, food to 14.30).
Tea: Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Information Centre in Aldermaston, The Rowbarge and The Angel in Woolhampton, plenty options in Theale, 400m beyond the station on the High Street.
For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. t=1.33
  • Selina
    29-Jan-18

    Hi, Does anyone else want to get super saver tickets from Paddington with me? My number is 07981494967.

    Selina

  • 30-Jan-18

    An "almost super" blue moon and clear evening skies forecasted, almost too much to pass up really......will aim to take the 17:03 arriving in Aldermaston at 18:06 to walk to Theale with anyone who has not already raced back to London.....

  • 01-Feb-18

    occasional rain until lunch then sunny 10

    10 off the train in the rain, which lasted all of 10 minutes or so, then reappeared in assorted short bursts, but wasn't much of a nuisance really, then - while at the lunch pub - we watched the cloud cover turn from dark grey to light grey to barely there, and then the sun came out, all this in a very short time.

    Generally fine walk with some indifferent to dreary bits, especially pre-lunch on the way to Calleva Roman Town, just before which we bumped into a shooting party (modest success they've had, I'd say, not THAT many pheasants to show for) and turned right to admire the amphitheatre, then all those info panels around the town wall and the church etc.

    On to lunch which was standard old school pub fare. The beer was nice though.

    On in the dry, through woods, fields and commons (we tried the 'alternative' route through Burnt Common, much nicer than the road route) and then the many ponds and waterways by Aldermaston. Got there around 15.45, but the café at the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Information Centre was shut (as was the centre) for a re-furb/new build.

    So without any further ado, 7 (I think) walked on to Theale, where in the last hundreds of metres of walking we saw the fabled blue moon rising. 17.23 train.

    ...and to honour the world class dedication of one particular swc walker who took the train out after a day in the office to walk just the Aldermaston to Theale bit into the Blue Moon, I declare the attendance herewith: 11 ...

  • 01-Feb-18

    ....and from the late starter who set-off from Aldermaston just after 18:00, the moon did not disappoint....it was big, beautiful and bright and perfectly positioned for the route to Theale, reflecting on the river and occasionally providing atmospheric backlighting to the speckling of bare trees along the way....a special night with a special moon....

Sat, 02-Jan-16
Mortimer to Aldermaston
t=1.33 Length: 14.8km (9.2 miles)
Toughness: 3/10
Transport: Take the 9:30 from London Paddington, change at Reading to arrive in Mortimer at 10:17
Return from Aldermaston is at 28 minutes past the hour with a change in Reading

From the description:
From St Mary's Church in Stratfield Mortimer, the route follows a clear stream - Foundry Brook - eventually to the amphitheatre and the 2.5km of Roman walls surrounding the 107-acre site of the Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, and the whitewashed twelfth-century church at its entrance. The lunch stop is at a pub on Silchester Common and the afternoon route is mainly through woods of Scots pine, and commons of gorse and birch trees. Aldermaston, the teatime destination, is reached over the weirs of the River Kennet.
  • 29-Dec-15

    Hi, I'm not sure if there's train from Paddinton to Mortimer on Saturday. I've tried to buy a ticket but no success.

  • Anonymous
    29-Dec-15

    Yes, there is a train. http://traintimes.org.uk/london/mortimer/10:15a/2016-01-02