View west from below Upper Gatehampton Farm

08-Feb-15 • Sean O'Neill

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The Thames valley below Upper Gatehampton Farm

08-Feb-15 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk170, swcwalks


Rolling hills near Beech Farm

08-Feb-15 • Sean O'Neill

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War Memorial

08-Feb-15 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk170, swcwalks


Whitchurch toll bridge

08-Feb-15 • Sean O'Neill

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St Mary's churh, Whitchurch

08-Feb-15 • Sean O'Neill

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The Greyhound, Whitchurch

08-Feb-15 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk170, swcwalks

Pangbourne via Goring Circular walk

Part-wooded ridges above the Thames Valley to lunch in Goring, shorter return along the Thames through meadows


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: Sun, 26-Jan-20

Date # Post
Sun, 03-Mar-19 4

Sunday Walk - Thames Valley and Goring Gap: Pangbourne Circular via Goring (Fully Written Up, and now with options)

Length: from 16.0 km (10.0 mi), Ascent/Descent: 203 m [shorter ending possible in Goring] to 23.4 km/14.5 mi with 267m ascent, if adding a new morning extension and finishing in Tilehurst.
Net Walking Time: ca. 3 ¾ hours, Toughness: 3 out of 10, for the 16.0 km version.

Take either the 10.15 Didcot Parkway stopping service from Paddington (Ealing B’way 10.23, Reading 11.13) or the 10.33 Cardiff Central service and change at Reading (11.06/11.13), arrive Pangbourne 11.22. Return trains: xx.19 (from Tilehurst: xx.24). Shave off 15 mins by changing at Reading onto a fast train. Buy a Pangbourne return (but buy a Goring return if you are finishing there).
Starting on the West Berkshire side of the Thames, this short walk links three pretty Thames-side villages via wooded ridges with splendid views. From Pangbourne you cross the river on the delightful Whitchurch toll bridge into Oxfordshire and ascend through Whitchurch-on-Thames and then some pastures to the highest point of the walk, with first scenic views down some pretty combes. The route follows the part-wooded ridge above the Thames Valley, with occasional splendid views of the valley and the Goring Gap between the Chilterns and the Berkshire Downs, before descending through a wildflower nature reserve and then leading along the valley bottom to Goring-on-Thames for lunch.
In the afternoon you return along the Thames Path Long Distance Trail, mainly through the river meadows, occasionally framed by wooded hills, then up through Hartslock Wood, and back down through Whitchurch and Pangbourne with its many tea options.
A finish in Goring-on-Thames, a modest extension in the morning, and a longer extension at the end of the walk along the Thames to Tilehurst station are possible.
Lunch: 3 pubs and 2 cafés in Goring (8 km/5 mi), and one more pub across the river in Streatley; check page 2 of the pdf for details.
Tea: plenty of options in Whitchurch-on-Thames and Pangbourne; check page 2 of the pdf for details.
For walk directions, map, photos, height profile and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.170
Intend going.
4, one of which bailed out at Goring to meet a friend, in alternating drizzle and rain with brief dry periods. Not many far views from the hills in light of the weather. A fully booked Miller of Mansfield, so much so that in the bar area only bar food was served, cue us ordering one of each food stuff on offer, tapas style. There then ensued a long wait for coffees, as the machine was troubled, which eventually cost us the 16.19 train (at least the charge for the coffees was waived). Having time to kill until the next train, some went to The George, one other to The Swan...
Sat, 02-Dec-17 10

Saturday walk - Pangbourne via Goring Circular

SWC walk 170 - Pangbourne via Goring Circular
Length: 14km (8.75 miles), with optional moonlight extension
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.43 train from Paddington (9.51 Ealing Broadway) to Pangbourne, arriving 11.02

If you miss this or have trouble getting out of bed, the 10.05 Penzance train gets to Reading at 10.31 and you can connect there to the above train, departing 10.53

For a hand-drawn map of the route - no written directions needed! - click here. For other walk details click here. For GPX file click here.

This lovely Thames Valley walk, illustrated by a map courtesy of Streatley YHA, can be done in either direction, but I would suggest doing it anti-clockwise to get the hillier and longer part of the walk (5 miles or so) out of the way first. This brings you to Goring, where there should be a choice of several places for lunch.

In the afternoon you are following the river path back to Pangbourne for tea. The Lou Lou Belle Cafe here seems to have closed, but a Google search suggests another cafe has taken its place. If nothing else, the inevitable Costa Coffee is open till 6.30pm. There are also lots of pubs, so you won't die of thirst.

Trains back from Pangbourne are at 17 and 47 past. The online timetable suggests that for the 17 past trains you have change at Reading (which actually saves 10 minutes over the direct trains, by transferring to a non-stop train to Paddington): you can also do this for the 47 trains, if you wish. But personally I would only do this if a through train is not shown.

After tea, if the skies are clear, some of us may take advantage of the full moon to walk to Tilehurst, another 3.5 miles along the Thames Path. T=3.170

It is a pity this walk always gets done in winter due to its short length as it has some pretty stretches. One struggled a bit to appreciate them in today’s drizzle and mist. Still 10 of us did our best, enjoying a convivial day out.

We did the longer, hillier route in the morning and extended it with a variation of our own, into the woods and down a ridge into Goring. There the posh Miller of Whatsit pub was fully booked but the cheaper one did filling food and had a blazing coal fire (one forgets how much better they radiate heat than wood ones). The late George Michael’s house in the village is still festooned with tributes.

The temptation of a cosy train home proved too much for one or two at this point. The rest of us walked the sometimes slippy but always delightful Thames Path to Pangbourne. Arriving at 4pm we found one cafe closing, another bleak and empty, and the new Costa Coffee across the road cosy, cheerful, busy and with a nice selection of cakes (even vegan Christmas cake). And it stays open till 6.30pm. A lesson in economics there somewhere.
Fri, 30-Dec-16 10

Friday Walk - a Goring-on-Thames walk

A regular walker had suggested she might post a walk for today, but with 2 ½ days to go, there is none. So let’s do this, acting to recent events:
In this annus horribilis for Rock- and Pop-Stars another famous name has died over Christmas, at home in his house in Goring: George Michael.
So here’s a gentle country walk to Goring that – as far as I can see – leads right past the house (Mill Cottage on Lock Approach) after lunch, where you can either pay homage, or ogle at the people paying homage, at the shrine that the entrance will have become by now.
SWC Walk 170 – Pangbourne Circular (via Goring-on-Thames)
Length: 15.8 km (9.9 mi) [shorter and longer walks possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 230 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 4 hours
Toughness: 3 out of 10
Take the 10.00 Penzance train from Paddington, change at Reading (arr. 10.28, dep. 10.51) onto an Oxford stopping service (i.e. do not take the 10.45 Newcastle via Oxford train), arriving Pangbourne at 10.59. The train you are changing on to is the 09.39 from Paddington (Ealing B’way 09.47).
Return trains: xx.17 and xx.51 (journey time just over an hour, shave off 15 mins by changing onto a fast train at Reading)
Note: Paddington station is closed until Thursday evening for extended engineering works. In case of overrun of those we will have to start from Ealing B’way, so best check the National Rail website on Friday morning for updates.
This is the only one of the Goring walks that hasn’t had an outing this year (apart from the ‘can’t be finished in winter daylight’-SWC 171) and looks like a lovely route on the map…
Talking of maps: It is a map-led walk adopted from a 3rd party (the YHA Streatley) and has no written directions, but fear ‘ye not. It looks easy to follow if you print out the route map on our website here. (There is also a link on our site to the original sketched map from the YHA, but it’s naturally less precise).
The walk offers fine views of the Thames Valley from the inland heights above Goring. It visits both Pangbourne and Goring, two interesting and pretty riverside villages. The walk can be done in either direction, but the anti-clockwise direction does the hillier section first, saving the shorter flat Thames Path for after lunch, providing a fine contrast with the inland section. Walk Options: It is possible to do just a short walk to Goring, in which case buy a Goring return. For a longer walk either follow a route further north from Beech Farm, through Cold Harbour higher up the hill and then west through Great Chalk Wood back down to the route, or extend along the Thames by 6 km to Tilehurst station (the last 2.5 km seem to be along tarmac though…)
There are several options for lunch in Goring and tea in Pangbourne respectively, some are listed on our webpage, where you’ll also find the mentioned maps, a height profile, photos and gpx/kml files.T=swc.170
Thanks for this apt and thoughtful choice, Thomas.
Intend going.
Me too.
8 met off the scheduled train, with 2 others having taken an earlier one and walking the route clockwise w/o a lunch stop, the groups passing each other near Gatehampton Manor, so 10 walkers in total in foggy conditions for the whole day, i.e.: no views at all, which was a shame as I'm sure they're good...
Like other 3rd party walks this one suffers a little from being quite tarmac and concrete heavy, but this could easily be reduced by re routing it a little, a quick look at the map would suggest, by leading further north and by making some use of the Open Access Land in the middle. Nevertheless: some nice mixed woods, plenty impressive houses to look at and lots of pubs, both in Goring (& Streatley) and in Pangbourne. So not all bad on the day.
We found the Miller of Mansfield fully booked, so went back to the John Barleycorn, which served good value for money stuff, and quickly, with sarnie options available as well.
Onwards to Mill Cottage, easy to find by following the people with bunches of flowers in hand. Just off route, as suspected, down by the river, with all manner of objects put down in homage and rememberance.
On along the Thames Path, with the initial stretch, like some of the morning route, afflicted by railway noise from the busy Reading Oxford line. Good paths (if a little slippy at times), a couple of nature reserves, a climb!, and more interesting woods. Then more tarmac into and through Whitchurch.
7 in our group went for tea and cakes in Pangbourne at the Cafe St. Louis (1 went to Costa instead). 16.17 train.
To the walk posters: thanks v much for the walks you post/create/organise. Happy New Year!
Wed, 02-Dec-15 9

Midweek Day Walk - Pangbourne Circular

Pangbourne Circular

Father Thames, a toll bridge, and Whitchurch hill

Book 3* Walk 170

* (Online only)
Length : 14 km or 9 miles

Toughness : 3 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:15 am train from London Paddington to Pangbourne changing at Reading
Catch the 10:05 am from Ealing Broadway

Meeting point : Pangbourne Station at 11:00 am

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Pangbourne

Brief Description

You may find full details here and a downloadable PDF map here

Suggested Lunch stops

The Miller of Mansfield t: 01491 872829
The Catherine Wheel t: 01491 872379

Suggested Tea stops

It appears that the Lou La Belle Café may have closed, however it may be worth exploring the Café St Louis at 3-5 Reading Road t: 0118 984 2246


OS Explorer : 171

Return train times

Trains return from Pangbourne to London Stations at the following times ...
16:17 | 16:51 | 17:20 | 17:47 | and then 17 and 47 minutes past the hour if you decide to have an evening meal in Pangbourne.
Is anyone going on this Wednesdays walk?
yes I am planning on going
I'm intending to go too.
Fingers crossed that the rain holds off!
Also, you may leave the walk at Goring in which case you'll need to by a Day Return to that station.
Suggest this walk be done clockwise for variety and to avoid wind in our faces on the higher ground after lunch.
9 on this walk. Weather fine and dry.
Excellent winter outing and we all did the walk anticlockwise. most ate at the Miller of Mansfield where portions of some portions were a little lacking. Pierreponts cafe has an excellent lunch menu and this cafe should perhaps get a mention as a lunch option for this walk.
After lunch the group split up but 5 of us did the lovely Thames Path route back to Pangbourne where 4 of us had delicious teas and cakes at Cafe St Louis which has been refurbished to become an up market bar and open until 9pm or so.
Sun, 08-Feb-15 7 Goring Circular, via Whitchurch
Sun, 08-Feb-15 Pangbourne Circular, via Goring
Sun, 17-Aug-14 3 Pangbourne Circular, via Goring
Sat, 25-Jan-14 16 Pangbourne Circular, via Goring
Sat, 26-Jan-13 7 Pangbourne Circular, via Goring
Sat, 19-Nov-11 Pangbourne Circular, via Goring
Sat, 27-Nov-10 Pangbourne Circular, via Goring
Sun, 19-Jul-09 Pangbourne via Goring Circular