Main walk: 17km (10.6 miles). 5 hours 30 minutes. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 9 hours.
OS Landranger Map 174 Explorer Map 158
2 out of 10
This is a fairly easy walk with some gentle climbs en route. The morning section of the walk crosses Greenham Common, a former World War II and NATO airfield. In 1953 it was made available to the United States Air Force by the Ministry of Defence as a Strategic Air Command base and in the early 1980s cruise missiles were deployed here. Subsequently the last cruise missiles were removed in 1991, and the facility was closed and put up for sale in 1993. The Greenham Common Trust purchased the land in 1997 and the majority of the land has been returned to something approaching its former natural state. (The cruise missile storage silos have been fenced off. - the cost of demolishing them being prohibitive.)
Trains go from London Paddington to Newbury Racecourse, journey time just over an hour. Midgham (Woolhampton) is two stops up the line, so buy a day return to Newbury Racecourse.
Allow sufficient time on leaving the Rowbarge pub (Woolhampton) as the swing bridge over the canal is often moved to let barges through. Additionally there is no footbridge across the railway at Midgham station, the level crossing barrier coming down at least 3 minutes before train arrival.
Newbury Racecourse and Midgham stations have no train service on Sundays. However you can always choose the walk option of starting at Newbury and finishing at Thatcham.
|Saturday Walkers Club||
Take the train nearest to 9.50am from Paddington Station to Newbury Racecourse.
The Ship Inn Ashford Hill, RG19 8BD (0118 9814504) Food served - check times. Located 12 km from the start of the walk.
The Travellers Friend Crookham Common, RG19 8EA (0118 9713156) Food served noon - 2pm daily. Located 8.5 km from the start of the walk.
The Rowbarge Station Road, Woolhampton, RG7 5SH (0118 9712213) Food served noon - 10.30pm daily.
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Out: (not a train station)
Back: (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk