Pangbourne Circular walk

Pretty villages, a toll bridge, fine views of the Thames in the morning and a serene stroll through a rural idyll after lunch.

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, 08-Dec-21 Wednesday Walk Pangbourne Circular - Whitchurch and the River Thames, Coombe Park, Great Chalk Wood, Beech Farm, then back to Pangbourne 7 sunny spells with a light chilly wind
Sat, 07-Dec-19 Saturday Walk Pangbourne Circular 9 mostly overcast with some sunny intervals
Sat, 08-Dec-18 Saturday Walk Pangbourne Circular 5
Wed, 07-Mar-18 Wednesday walk Pangbourne Circular - The River Thames, Whitchurch, and a nice country pub for lunch 9 lovely Spring sunshine
Sun, 31-Dec-17 Sunday Walk: Pangbourne Circular
Tue, 07-Mar-17 Tuesday Walk: The River Thames, Whitchurch and Pangbourne 9 Warm and sunny
Sun, 04-Dec-16 A pretty walk in the Thames Valley 10 Bright and sunny all day
Sat, 23-Jan-16 Saturday First Walk Pangbourne Circular 17
Sat, 13-Dec-14 Pangbourne Circular 2
Sat, 08-Mar-14 Pangbourne Circular 9
Sun, 10-Nov-13 Pangbourne Circular 20
Sat, 20-Apr-13 Pangbourne Circular 16
Sun, 25-Nov-12 Pangbourne Circular
Sat, 20-Oct-12 Pangbourne Circular
Sun, 22-Apr-12 Pangbourne Circular
Sat, 22-Jan-11 Pangbourne Circular
Sun, 23-May-10 Pangbourne Circular, via Hill Bottom
Sat, 23-Jan-10 Pangbourne Circular
Sat, 24-Jan-09 Pangbourne Circular
Sun, 12-Oct-08 Pangbourne Circular
Sat, 26-Jan-08 Pangbourne Circular
Sun, 13-May-07 Pangbourne Circular
Sat, 27-Jan-07 Pangbourne Circular
Wed, 08-Dec-21
Wednesday Walk Pangbourne Circular - Whitchurch and the River Thames, Coombe Park, Great Chalk Wood, Beech Farm, then back to Pangbourne
Book 1, Walk 4 - Pangbourne Circular Walk

Length: 13.6 km (8.5 miles) Circa 7 miles if short cuts taken - recommended today. Options to go longer
Toughness: 4 out of 10
Either
London Paddington: 10-50 hrs Great Western service to Worcester Shrub Hill Does NOT stop at Ealing B'Way
Arrive Reading: 11-16 hrs Change trains
Leave Reading: 11-26 hrs Great Western service to Didcot Parkway - as below
Arrive Pangbourne: 11-34 hrs
or
London Paddington: 10-27 hrs Great Western service to Didcot Parkway Ealing B'Way: 10-35 hrs Reading: arrive 11-16, leave 11-26 hrs (stay on same train)
Arrive Pangbourne: 11-34 hrs
or
London Paddington: 10-13 hrs TFL Rail service to Reading Ealing B'Way: 10-22 hrs
Arrive Reading: 11-13 hrs Change trains
Leave Reading: 11-26 hrs Great Western service to Didcot Parkway - as above
Arrive Pangbourne: 11-34 hrs
Return
Pangbourne to London Paddington: 15-22, 16-22, 17-22, 18-18, 19-18, 19-48 hrs and so on
Rail ticket
Those travelling on Great Western services out of Paddington should buy a day return to Pangbourne - from the edge of whatever travel card you have. Seniors with London Councils Freedom Passes may travel on TFL Rail services from Paddington as far as Reading for "free". From Reading you will need to purchase a day return from Reading to Pangbourne.
An opportunity for a mid-week lie in, and a late start, as the suggestion today is to do the circa 7 mile version of the walk in one go, stopping afterwards for a late lunch or early tea in Whitchurch or Pangbourne. For those booked to attend this evening's Christmas social in Kew Gardens, you should be back in London in good time to attend this function.
Leaving Pangbourne we cross a road toll bridge over the River Thames and walk up through Whitchurch, before taking a bridleway through Coombe Park then up above the River Thames, with fine views of the Thames Valley below. On then over the chalk grasslands of Hartslock Nature Reserve and on to Great Chalk Wood. We now (suggestion) take the shortcut to Coldharbour, and down through light woodland to Beech Farm, before returning to Whitchurch then Pangbourne, for a late lunch or early tea in either. Please see the Walk Direction for the lunch and tea options.
If today's leg-stretcher of a walk through pleasant countryside with fine views of the River Thames is not long enough, you could omit the suggested short cut and do the full walk, or - when back in Pangbourne - you could continue along the Thames tow path in an easterly direction to Tilehurst, or in a westerly direction to Goring. Both extensions are approx. 3.5 miles in length.
T=1.4
Walk Directions are here: L=1.4
  • 08-Dec-21

    Reference turnout, back to mid-week normality today. Instead of recent week's excellent and welcomed attendance of 20 plus, we numbered just 7 for today's leg-stretcher. The weather forecast was almost correct for once: sunny spells with a light chilly wind , but the occasional showers never materialised, and we enjoyed very good conditions for our walk.

    The leg above the Thames in the morning was lovely, with fine views of the Thames Valley. After the climb into Hartslock Nature Reserve we "lost" one of our group - who sped ahead as the rest of us enjoyed snacks whilst admiring the view from the Reserve's hilltop. I believe he had a ticket for this evening's social in Kew Gardens - as did one other in our group, who took the shortcut to Coldharbour.: we met her later, briefly in the Greyhound Inn just before she set out for the railway station for the 15-22 hrs service.

    3 in our group kindly agreed to accompany me on the main walk, which I was book checking. That left our resident "Rear Gunner" who today gamely looked after the back of our column: I believe he was meeting his family late afternoon so he probably also took the short cut and should have been in time to catch the 15-22 hrs train from Pangbourne.

    A few paths were muddy but in the main conditions under foot were good all day and we all enjoyed the walk, which we did in one go without a lunch stop.

    Arriving back in Whitchurch just before 3 pm, the four of us spent a delightful hour in the warmth of the cosy Greyhound Inn, where we had snacks and drinks to accompany good conservation. The 16-22 hrs train was on time, and we opted not to switch to a fast train at Reading, but stayed on the semi-fast stopping service back to London.

    This walk made for a good winter's leg-stretcher - another most pleasant SWC mid-week day out.

Sat, 07-Dec-19
Saturday Walk Pangbourne Circular
Pangbourne Circular

This walk starts with a stretch of the Thames Path and then moves away from the river for an easy walk through Oxfordshire woods and fields. You will need the download instructions to get to the lunch pub, as the pub in the book is closed. You can also shorten the walk and take a more direct route to the Greyhound for a late lunch. To create a longer walk, go on from Pangbourne to end in Tilehurst.

Length 8.5 miles (13.6km) 3 out of 10

Travel: Take the 0957 Didcot Parkway train from Paddington (1005 Ealing Broadway) for a direct train to Pangbourne (1104), or the 1015 Cheltenham Spa train, changing at Reading (arr 1039) for the 1056 Didcot Parkway train arriving Pangbourne at 1104.
Return trains are xx17 and xx47 with the option of changing at Reading for a faster journey to Paddington.

Lunch: is the Sun Inn (tel 0118 9842260) at Hill Bottom. (Food 12:00-3:00). A later option is the Greyhound in Whitchurch. Last orders 4pm.

Tea: As well as the options in the instructions, the Ferryboat Inn near the station is recommended.

T=1.4
  • Anonymous
    07-Dec-19

    6 , mostly overcast with some sunny intervals . Lovely winter walk without having to plough through muddy fields or paths. Lunch menu at the Sun Inn was so basic that two refused to eat there, and three had salad only. After a drink, two went ahead to the Greyhound for a late lunch. This pub has also changed, although the menu on the website looked very nice, the new owner took over the pub 2.5 years ago but did not want to pay to have the menu taken down from the web. We ended up with a new menu a bit like an upmarket burger place - 4-5 varieties of burgers on offer plus a few other pub classics. We opted for lighter bites which turned out to be a big hit. Three who ate at the Sun Inn caught an earlier train. For future reference, the remaining three also popped around to take a look at the menu at FerryBoat. This place probably has also changed hands. It used to be a gastro pub from memory, it is now an Italian fare - loads of pizza varieties. After a short stroll along the high street, they left Pangbourne on 4:47pm train. A nice day out in good company.

  • 09-Dec-19

    Another 3 walkers started an hour earlier, I heard today. 1 of those (our perennial early starter) walked the full walk, the 2 others took a shortcut. All picnickers, they never bumped into any of the later starters. 9

Sat, 08-Dec-18
Saturday Walk Pangbourne Circular
Pangbourne Circular

This walk starts with a stretch of the Thames Path and then moves away from the river for an easy walk through Oxfordshire woods and fields. You will need the download instructions to get to the lunch pub, as the pub in the book is closed.

Length 8.5 miles (13.6km) 3 out of 10

Travel: Take the 0957 Didcot Parkway train from Paddington (1005 Ealing Broadway) for a direct train to Pangbourne (1104), or the 1015 Cheltenham Spa train, changing at Reading (arr 1039) for the 1056 Didcot Parkway train arriving Pangbourne at 1104.
Return trains are xx17 and xx47 with the option of changing at Reading for a faster journey to Paddington.

Lunch: is the Sun Inn (tel 0118 9842260) at Hill Bottom. (Food 12:00-3:00)

Tea: As well as the options in the instructions, the Ferryboat Inn near the station has been recommended.

L=1.4
  • 09-Dec-18

    Just 5 of us on this largely mud free walk on a dry,_mainly_overcast_day_with_occasional_patches_of_blue . Come decision time we decided to take the short cut thus missing out the alternative routes to both the new lunchtime pub (the Sun Inn) and the now closed original one. Instead we carried on to the Greyhound in Whitchurch where the service was fast and friendly.

    Having spent pleasant hour over an unhurried and relaxed lunch we strolled across the toll bridge into to Pangbourne. One of our number then set off along the Thames for a addition mini circular walk. The rest of us, having just missed the 14.47, ambled around the village (town?) for 20 minutes before returning to the station in time of the 15.17.

    The two of us who changed trains at Reading were rewarded by the sight of a steam hauled excursion pulling into the station, which we later passed at speed when our later train caught up with it. (For those who are interested in such things the steam loco was the Merchant Navy Class Clan Line).

    An enjoyable day out made more so by the added novelty of a pub lunch shortly before the end of the walk, something I could happily get used to.

Wed, 07-Mar-18
Wednesday walk Pangbourne Circular - The River Thames, Whitchurch, and a nice country pub for lunch
Book 1, Walk 4 - Pangbourne Circular

Length: 13.6 km (8.5 miles) with options to extend either to Tilehurst or Goring
Toughness: 3 out of 10

Either
London Paddington: 10-15 hrs Cardiff service. Does not stop at Ealing Broadway (see below)
Arrive Reading: 10-40 hrs Change trains
Leave Reading: 10-51 hrs Didcot Parkway stopping service from Paddington
Arrive Pangbourne: 11-00 hrs

Or
London Paddington: 09-57 hrs Didcot Parkway stopping service. Ealing Broadway 10-05 hrs
Arrive Pangbourne: 11-00 hrs

Return
From Pangbourne, Direct to Paddington (D), Change at Reading (R), Direct to Paddington but faster to change at Reading (FR)
16-17(D), 16-44(R), 16-48(FR), 17-16(D), 17-44(R), 17-49(FR), 18-16(FR)
Return from Tilehurst to Paddington: 4 or 5 minutes after Pangbourne times
Return from Goring and Streatley to Paddington: 4 minutes before Pangbourne times

Rail ticket: a day return to Pangbourne will suffice for Pangbourne and Tilehurst walk endings
buy a day return to Goring and Streatley if ending your walk in Goring.


This is a lovely, undemanding walk with variety between Berkshire and Oxfordshire - with the River Thames as our water feature for the day !

We will stop for lunch at the the homely Sun Inn, at Hill Bottom, which serves excellent food. I will make a booking for us. Then we head back to Pangbourne via Whitchurch, where we can conclude our walk and stop for tea, or if we wish, after a breather and or tea, we can continue our walk along the Thames Path for a few miles in either direction: right along the Thames Path and towing path (westwards) for 5.5 km to Goring, or left along the Thames Path and towing path (eastwards) for 4.2 km to Tilehurst.
T=1.4
Walk Directions here: L=1.4
  • 08-Mar-18

    9

    weather lovely Spring sunshine

  • 08-Mar-18

    I posted a skeleton report below as my first effort was lost in the ether.

    I will try again.

    Nine of us off the train at Pangbourne, with one immediately heading off to do her own thing. Another was on the train an hour behind us, so I will report nine on the posted walk. The Spring sunshine was quite a contrast to the icy cold and snow of the week before.

    The lovely morning leg of today's walk was enhanced by daffodils making an appearance in a Pangbourne churchyard: later in the morning we came upon a magnificent display of snowdrops in the grounds of Bottom House Farm.

    Onwards then via the playing fields of the Oratory School and woods to the Sun Inn, our booked lunch stop: and what a disappointment for the five diners. It was a "beans is 'orf" day, with specials on the today's board 'orf, my Moules Frites came sans frites (chips were 'orf - and no other potatoes !). Given we were the only diners our wait of forty five minutes for our meals to arrive tried our patience, but we managed to maintain our sense of humour and smile at the pub's incompetence. When our nosh eventually arrived it was good, but overpriced for what we got. Never mind, the beer and coffee were excellent, we had a nice table in this cosy pub, and the barman served us with a smile and he was apologetic for the shambles. A sign outside the pub advertising for full time chefs partly explained our experience: I hope applicants also possess purchasing and stock control skills.

    The afternoon leg of the walk back to Pangbourne via Whitchurch took us just an hour, but it was a very pleasant hour's walking. Some then headed for tea in Pangbourne, two of us went direct to the railway station where we met up with our three sandwichers who had made a swift exit from the Sun - and the late starter. Changing trains at Reading for a fast service, and we were soon back in Paddington.

    Another enjoyable Wednesday outing in fine weather with good chat and excellent company.

Sun, 31-Dec-17
Sunday Walk: Pangbourne Circular
Pangbourne Circular book 1 walk 4
13.6 km (8.5 miles)
Toughness: 4/10
Along the Thames Path, past Coombe Park, to a wood with views down to the Thames. Then up through a nature reserve and Great Chalk Wood, A diversion takes you to a pub in Hill Bottom for lunch. Afterwards, your route is a "serene stroll through a rural idyll”, then back down through Whitchurch and Pangbourne for tea.
Trains The 9:45 Oxford train from Paddington (9:53 Ealing Broadway) arriving 10:53,
Its also possible to take the 10:03 Weston-super-Mare train and change on to the Oxford train at Reading (platform 8 10:44)
Return at xx:06 except for the 17:05 You can save 16 mins by changing at Reading. This pattern persists till 21:06. After that, there's a changing train at 21:52 and a final at 23:32.
Lunch The recommended lunch option is the homely pub in Hill Bottom, the Sun Inn (tel 0118 9842260). It serves home cooked food at reasonable prices – main meals or light fare –all afternoon on Sunday, in comfortable surroundings. It will be open as normal today.
Note that the White Horse, mentioned in older versions, is closed.
A later option is the Greyhound in Whitchurch. Last orders 4pm.
Tea Choose from the George Hotel (tel 0118 9842237), The Elephant Hotel (tel 0118 9842244), which serves cream teas from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm daily, or the Cross Keys pub (tel 0118 9843268). As you are already caught in the downward spiral towards 2018, with its unrolly blowy things, and atypical bonhomie, expect erratic pub hours.
Directions here
T=1.4

  • Anonymous
    29-Dec-17

    Hi Guys,

    Anyone attending this walk as I am interested and hope to see some of you.

    Thanks

    Monica

  • Anonymous
    30-Dec-17

    I am hoping to!

  • Anonymous
    30-Dec-17

    It appears that most are not keen on this walk. I think I will switch my plans and do a walk that I am familiar with. Was hoping for this walk since I have not done this one yet.

    Happy new year guys.

    Monica

Tue, 07-Mar-17
Tuesday Walk: The River Thames, Whitchurch and Pangbourne
Book 1, Walk 4 - Pangbourne Circular

Length: 13.6 km (8.5 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

Option to extend walk at end by 3.5 miles along Thames tow path

London Paddington: 10-15 hrs (Cardiff Central train)
Arrive Reading: 10-39 hrs
Leave Reading 10-53 hrs (Oxford train)
Arrive Pangbourne: 11-01 hrs

Ealing Broadwayers: 10-05 hrs (connecting with Oxford train which left Paddington at 09-57 hrs)

Return: Pangbourne 17 & 51 mins past the hour - journey length 1 hrs 11 mins. Change at Reading to cut journey length by 22 mins.
Tilehurst: 21 and 55 mins past the hour
Goring: 12 and 46 mins past the hour

Rail ticket: if planning to do the circular walk or the extension to Tilehurst, buy an off-peak day return to Pangbourne. If planning to walk on to Goring, buy an off-peak day return to Goring.

Today's easy walk straddles Berkshire and Oxfordshire and in addition to your water feature for the day - the River Thames - you have a nice mixture of woods, parks, farms and fields, plus some good views.
Your lunch stop is the homely Sun Inn at Hill Bottom - best 'phone ahead with numbers 0188-984-2260.
On your return to Pangbourne via Whitchurch you find at least one cafe and several pubs for tea.
For those in need of a longer walk, you can treat yourself to a relaxing stroll beside the Thames on its tow path, either heading east to Tilehurst via Mapledurham, or west to Goring, both circa 3.5 miles.
T=1.4
Walk directions here: L=1.4

Next week, Thursday 16 March: Book 1, Walk 8 - Bures to Sudbury
  • Anonymous
    01-Mar-17

    What a break with tradition !! well done Marcus. may do this walk or Thursday one. both sound better than hertfordshire one but am probably biased. Thank you.

  • Marion
    07-Mar-17

    Fab weather forecast. I'm on my way. Hoping for some great company especially as the forecast tomorrow look dire.

  • 07-Mar-17

    9 , Warm and sunny , with a late start due to signalling problems at Maidenhead and the Sun Inn being closed on Tuesdays we all decided to take the short cut and return to Whitchurch / Pangbourne for lunch. Fortunately the Swan serves food all day and five of us enjoyed an excellent if slightly pricey late lunch in pleasant surroundings. The Swan is beautifully situated on the Thames and arguably worth the extra. The early part of this walk is along one of the most unspoilt parts of the Thames Path leading to superb views over the Thames Valley, overall an enjoyable day out.

  • 08-Mar-17

    My apologies to our group of walkers for not realising the Sun Inn does not open for lunch on a Tuesday: I should have read the Sun's own web-site more closely. Despite my snafu we managed to have an enjoyable day in lovely Spring sunshine.

Sun, 04-Dec-16
A pretty walk in the Thames Valley
4 December 2016
Book 1 Walk 4 Pangbourne Circular
Distance 13.6km (8.4m); toughness 3/10.
Trains: 09.45 London Paddington (Ealing Broadway 09.53) Pangbourne 10.53
Return trains to London Paddington from Pangbourne at xx:37. (You may be able to save a few minutes by changing trains at Reading to get a fast train to London.)
This walk has pretty villages, a toll bridge, fine views of the Thames in the morning and a serene stroll through a rural idyll after lunch.
Your suggested lunch pub is the Sun Inn in Hill Bottom which serves food all day.
There are three possible pubs in Pangbourne for finall refreshments.
See here for further information about the walk and full walk instructions.
  • 03-Dec-16

    There appears to be a bus service for part of the outward journey, from Tilehurst to Pangbourne arriving 11.05. The return journey seems unaffected.

  • Fi
    03-Dec-16

    Thanks for the heads up re bus.

  • Anonymous
    03-Dec-16

    The bus ride seems to be only 10 minutes. I hope this doesn't put people off of coming on the walk. I plan on going as I have wanted to do this walk for awhile. Hope to see other people there!

    ~Karen

  • Anonymous
    03-Dec-16

    Me and two others will be on this walk.

  • Anonymous
    03-Dec-16

    Can you drive to this place?

  • 04-Dec-16

    10 at Pangbourne station, most from the delayed train + connecting bus (which despite delays worked perfectly). Bright and sunny all day . 5 picnicers (at point 12) enjoying the views along the river, 6 stopped at the cosy Sun Inn later in the walk (2 eating, roasts only on Sundays, reported OK but not wonderful), and having lost the others at various stages 5 stopped for (an adequate) pot of tea and a very nice pint at The Swan, a short walk from the station on the river at Pangbourne - and stayed for a sticky toffee pudding (and another pint) - catching the 17.37 back home.

    There were rumours of dissident group that, despairing of the trains, had done a different walk from Reading. And sadly unreliable Karen never showed, so we did not have the pleasure of her company.

  • Anonymous
    04-Dec-16

    Oi unreliable? I ended up with the other group. As much as I wanted to do that walk, and I really did, I wasn't sure if the transport would get us there with enough sunlight to make the walk. You will have to wait another week for the pleasure of my company. Which will be on the watts chapel walk on Sunday. Peter's alternate walk today was lovely.

    ~Karen

  • 05-Dec-16

    As the prime mover behind the fab 4 dissident group (I was Ringo!) here is a note on what we did. (By the way- how can a service which is delayed work perfectly?).

    Concerned that the FGW arrangements may not work because of delayed trains at Paddington we took a fast train to Reading where we could (re)consider our options. We noted that the posted train would be arriving late at Reading so 4 of us decided to do a Thames path walk from Reading to Pangbourne (about 6m I think) where again we could consider our options. At Pangbourne we all had a picnic lunch on a bench by the river and then because it was only 1.30pm and far too early to return to London I suggested we walked from Pangbourne to Goring which imho is the loveliest stretch of the entire Thames path (and yes I have walked all 186m of it so I know what I'm talking about). En route we did the short sharp climb for a bit of hill work and to enjoy the fabulous views of the Thames Valley at the bench viewing spot.

    We continued on to Goring where 2 took the short, direct route to Goring station to catch the 15.32 and two of us continued on the riverside path to Goring for tea and a massive slice of delicious cake at the Village Tea rooms before catching the increasingly crowded 16.32 back to London. So we ended up doing a 10-11 mile Thames Path walk. A SWC adventure in the finest of our traditions with all 14 of us enjoying our day out in perfect sunny weather.

Sat, 23-Jan-16
Saturday First Walk Pangbourne Circular
TOCW1 Walk 4 Pangbourne Circular

This walk starts with a stretch of the Thames Path and then moves away from the river for an easy walk through Oxfordshire woods and fields. You will need the download instructions to get to the lunch pub, as the pub in the book is closed.

Length 8.5 miles (13.6km) 3 out of 10

Travel: Take the 0942 Oxford train from Paddington (0950 Ealing Broadway) for a direct train to Pangbourne (1101), or the 1003 Hereford train, changing at Reading for the 1053 Oxford train arriving Pangbourne at 1101.
Return trains are xx17 and xx47 with the option of changing at Reading for a faster journey to Paddington.

Lunch: is the Sun Inn at Hill Bottom. (Food 1200-2.30)

Tea: As well as the options in the instructions, the Ferryboat Inn has been recommended.

L=1.4


  • Anonymous
    21-Jan-16

    re pub lunch: where shall I download the direction? Any link would be helpful. Thanks.

  • Anonymous
    21-Jan-16

    In response to the comment below

    To get the link clkick on the walk number which is in the header on this walk where the w3alk number is listed as 1.4 just after the walk posters name PeteG and just before Add Comment

  • 24-Jan-16

    17 A good group with fine weather, and friendly reception in the Sun Inn.

    We decided that the instructions have a mistake in para 21, turn left uphill onwards needs removing.

    We also took a different route after the pub, turning right and walking down the road to the B471, crossing it and joining the main walk at para 48. Also the GPX needs updating which I will do.