SWC Walk 34: Newbury Racecourse to Woolhampton with possible extension to Aldermaston and Theale
Distance: 10.6 miles or 17 km for those more metrically minded (12.6 miles (20km) or 16.6 miles (27 km) with the Aldermaston and Theale extensions, respectively)
Difficulty: 2 out of 10
Train: Take the 10:30 AM Great Western train to Bristol from London Paddington, changing at Reading (arrive 10:55; depart 11:12), arriving at Newbury Racecourse at 11:38. Return trains (all requiring a change at Reading unless otherwise noted) from Midgham (Woolhampton) are at 15:24; 15:29; 16:24; 16:29; 17:23; 17:29; 18:24; 18:31; 19:29; 20:08; 21:02; 21:34; 22:24; from Aldermaston at 15:28; 16:28; 17:27; 18:06 (no change); 18:28; 19:25; 20:12; 21:05; 21:38; 22:28; and from Theale at 17:05 (no change); 17:32; 18:11 (no change); 18:33; 19:06 (no change); 19:20; 20:24 (no change); 21:10; 21:43; 22:33 . Buy a day return to Newbury Racecourse.
This interesting walk takes you across Greenham Common a former WW II and NATO airstrip that has since been left to return to nature. It is a gentle outing with a few minor climbs and views across Berkshire. ALSO, as Wednesday is just one day before the full moon
, if the weather conditions smile on us, it may be possible to extend the walk with a late afternoon/early evening moonlit stretch
along the Avon & Kennet Canal to Aldermaston (2 miles/3km-ish) and eventually Theale (6 miles/10km-ish). You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here
The recommended lunch pub is the Travellers Friend
(01189 713 156) in Crookham Common (5.2 miles/8.5 km into the walk). Tea can be had at the very pleasant Rowbarge Inn
near Midgham Station. If doing the extension, the Butt Inn
at Aldermaston Wharf and various pubs near Theale Station (mostly clustered on the High Street) can also quench your thirst...
Enjoy the walk!