Shiplake to Henley walk

The River Thames, Rotherfield Greys village, Greys Court (NT) and historic Henley

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, 27-Apr-22 Wednesday Walk Shiplake Circular (or Shiplake to Henley) - bluebell woods, Rotherfield Greys and Greys Court - and the River Thames 7 grey and cold
Wed, 28-Apr-21 Wednesday walk Shiplake Circular walk - bluebells, Greys Court and a walk beside the River Thames 18 early drizzle turning to steady rain all day
Wed, 09-Sep-20 Wednesday Walk Shiplake to Henley 14 warm humid occasionally sunny
Sun, 01-Dec-19 Sunday Walk: Shiplake to Henley (with shorter afternoon) 7 generally fine
Wed, 01-May-19 Wednesday walk Shiplake to Henley - High Wood, Rotherfield Greys, Greys Court and Lambridge Wood - for today's bluebell fix 10 sunny spells and mild to warm
Sun, 13-Jan-19 Sunday Walk: Shiplake to Henley - with shortcut 8 mild overcast a bit breezy on higher ground
Thu, 26-Apr-18 Shiplake to Henley - the River Thames, Greys Court and Lambridge Wood 5 sunny and warm spring day
Sun, 19-Nov-17 Sunday Walk: Shiplake to Henley
Wed, 26-Apr-17 Wednesday Walk - High Wood, Rotherfield Greys, Greys Court and a Thames finish 8 sunny all day
Sat, 26-Nov-16 Saturday First Walk Shiplake to Henley via High Wood 7 sunny
Wed, 16-Mar-16 Midweek Day Walk - Shiplake to Henley-on-Thames 17 cloudy but with sun breaking through in the afternoon
Sat, 19-Dec-15 Saturday Walk 1 - Shiplake to Henley 13 unseasonably mild and sunny
Sat, 24-Jan-15 Shiplake to Henley 20
Sat, 26-Apr-14 Shiplake Circular, with shorter start via High Wood 4
Sun, 05-May-13 Shiplake to Henley 22
Sat, 21-Apr-12 Shiplake to Henley
Sun, 05-Jun-11 Shiplake to Henley
Sat, 07-May-11 Shiplake to Henley
Sat, 01-May-10 Shiplake to Henley
Sun, 01-Nov-09 Shiplake to Henley
Sat, 25-Apr-09 Shiplake to Henley
Sun, 09-Mar-08 Shiplake to Henley
Sat, 01-Mar-08 Shiplake to Henley
Sun, 11-Nov-07 Shiplake to Henley
Sat, 20-Oct-07 Shiplake to Henley
Sun, 29-Apr-07 Shiplake to Henley
Sat, 03-Mar-07 Shiplake to Henley
Sun, 12-Nov-06 Shiplake to Henley
Sat, 14-Oct-06 Shiplake to Henley
Wed, 27-Apr-22
Wednesday Walk Shiplake Circular (or Shiplake to Henley) - bluebell woods, Rotherfield Greys and Greys Court - and the River Thames
Book 1 Walk 9 - Shiplake Circular Walk - or Shiplake to Henley

Length: Circular Walk - 18.2 km (11.3 miles) Walk to Henley via High Wood - 14.7 km (9.1 miles); Direct route back to Henley cuts out another 4km.
Toughness: 4 out of 10 No steep hills today
Either
London Paddington: 10-27 hrs Great Western service to Didcot Parkway Ealing B'way 10-35 hrs
Arrive Twyford: 11-07 hrs change trains
Leave Twyford: 11-12 hrs Great Western service to Henley
Arrive Shiplake: 11-19 hrs
or - for holders of London Councils Freedom Passes
London Paddington: 10-13 hrs TfL Rail service to Reading Ealing B'way 10-22 hrs
Arrive Twyford: 11-01 hrs change trains
Leave Twyford: 11-12 hrs Great Western service to Henley
Arrive Shiplake: 11-19 hrs
Return
Henley to Paddington via Twyford: 15-57, 16-27, 16-59, 17-35, 18-07 and so on
Shiplake to Paddington via Twyford: 4 mins after Henley departures
Rail ticket: Holders of Freedom Passes travelling on the TfL Rail train have free travel as far as Twyford, leaving them to buy day returns from Twyford to Henley-on-Thames. Everyone else - buy a day return to Henley-on-Thames
This is my favourite bluebell walk and I post it at this time of year, every year. If that is boring - tough !
The Maltsters Arms pub in Rotherfield Greys is not answering the 'phone so I presume it remains temporarily CLOSED (as noted on its web page ) until the brewery finds a new tenant to take on this lovely pub. So lunch options today are either an early pub lunch at the Bottle & Glass Inn - see below - or a picnic en route. The best spot for this is in the beautiful bluebell paddock just before you start your approach to Rotherfield Greys.
As for today's walk, I suggest we do the High Wood option at the start, for its bluebells, instead of the main riverside route. But as this will mean your missing out on the water feature for the day (the River Thames), you can make up for this by continuing the walk from Henley back to Shiplake, mostly beside the Thames. But before this: shortly after exiting High Wood you arrive in the village of Binfield Heath, where you have today's pub lunch option at the popular Bottle & Glass Inn. If not stopping here you continue on through fields and over farmland to the picnic spot mentioned above or into the village of Rotherfield Greys, where you can picnic near the church.
Leaving the village it's decision time: you can take the direct, valley route to Henley, or - and recommended today - you continue on the main walk to Greys Court, where its impressive bluebell paddock should be in full flower. On then to Lambridge Wood, for more bluebells, where many a SWC walker has got lost, including me. Even though I wrote up the recent directions I have wandered off piste more than once and become hopelessly lost in these woods. So do please take care when following the directions - or the line on your hand-held gizmo. Having made it through these woods you come out onto a golf course, which you traverse before heading past the late Mr George Harrison's estate and on into the centre of Henley. Here, as mentioned earlier, you can conclude your walk, or continue on alongside the River Thames back to Shiplake. Tea options are plentiful in Henley - with the Chocolate Cafe being a favourite with SWC walkers. The only refreshment stop in Shiplake happens to be a good one - the Baskerville pub, next door to the railway station.
Enjoy !
T=1.9
Walk Directions are here: L=1.9
  • 27-Apr-22

    7 on this walk. There was an eighth but she disappeared at Twyford, apparently: last seen walking in the direction of the ticket office and then lost to history.

    The weather was grey and cold . What happened to spring? But it was evident all around us. As has become the theme this year, the bluebells were excellent, absolutely at best. Not just in the big wood in the morning but at all sorts of places en route, some of which I don’t remember having bluebells before. Other nice flowers too for the cognoscenti (ie me…): goldilocks buttercups, wood speedwell, (yadda yadda…)

    I was greeted at the start of the walk by the alarming news that no one else intended to have a pub lunch. Cue hurried purchase of cold pastie from the village shop (thanks to the group for waiting while I did this). One of our group then did stop in the Bottle & Glass. We assumed this was to eat, but it turned out later he just fancied a glass (or a bottle).

    Our lunch stop was interesting. We hopped a locked gate, crossed a field and entered a stunning bluebell wood which seemed to be part of someone’s private estate, as evidenced by a children’s playground and a picnic table. I was assured this was all legal and above board. After lunch we crossed another field and waded through brambles to circumvent a barbed wire fence and a locked gate. We were then back on an actual right of way. Amazingly we ran into the Bottle & Glass guy here, but he only walked with us for a bit before going off to another pub to retrieve a hat (don’t ask: I certainly didn’t.)

    At Rotherfield Greys one person took the short cut back to Henley. The Maltsters is still closed for refurbishment but looks close to reopening. At Greys Court there were lambs so newly emerged that they still trailed their umbilical chords. I inveigled the walk poster into diverting here into the grounds of the (NT-owned) property to see the bluebell wood close-up. Reader, it was worth the diversion. It is a bit “managed”, but has the most stunning, thick, intense and extensive area of the purple-blue wonders that you ever saw. After this I nagged my companion into having tea at the cafe (I know he held a torch for the Chocolate Cafe in Henley, but I was gasping for a cuppa).

    Through more bluebells in Lambridge Woods - plus bright green new beech foliage that would have been a treat in sunshine but still looked grand without it - and on to Henley where the choice was rush for a train or go to the airport terminal-sized Spoons for a pint. The Spoons won. Then home.

Wed, 28-Apr-21
Wednesday walk Shiplake Circular walk - bluebells, Greys Court and a walk beside the River Thames
Book 1, Walk 9 - Shiplake Circular (or Shiplake to Henley)

Length: 18.2 km (11.3 miles) or 9.1 miles if finishing in Henley, or with shortcut from Rotherfield Greys - 6.6 miles
Toughness: 4 out of 10
London Paddington: 10-27 hrs GWR service to Didcot Parkway Ealing Broadway 10-35 hrs
Arrive Twyford: 11-07 hrs Change trains
Leave Twyford: 11-12 hrs GWR service to Henley-on-Thames
Arrive Shiplake: 11-19 hrs
Return: Henley-on-Thames to Paddington, changing at Twyford: 15-57, 16-27, 16-59, 17-36 and 18-07 hrs
Shiplake: 4 minutes after trains leave Henley
Rail ticket: a day-return to Henley-on-Thames offers best flexibility for your return journey
Covid-19 Compliance: please note the current guidance on this website and observe social distancing. You should all come prepared to exchange contact details for track and trace purpose. You can either pre-register for this walk (not essential ) by e-mailing me at swc-marcus@walkingclub.org.uk or, if you prefer, please write your name, e-mail address and contact 'phone number on a small piece of paper for handing to me on the train or when we assemble at walk start. Thank you.
This is one of my favourite bluebell walks, and today I suggest we take the High Wood route in the morning to take advantage of the bluebells in this wood. Onwards then to Binfield Heath, for an early lunch option at the Bottle & Glass pub, with its attractive, large pub garden. The route continues through Crowsley Park and then through a large stud farm before a short road section takes you into the pretty village of Rotherfield Greys for lunch at the usually excellent Maltsters Arms, with its outdoor dining areas.
Post prandial, you can continue with the main walk to Greys Court, with its magnificent bluebell paddock, or you can take a shortcut - a pleasant valley route back to Henley. Those on the main walk have to negotiate Lambridge Wood, where it is easy to wander off piste, so please take care when following the directions. After the wood you cross a golf course and then walk downhill beside George Harrison's grandiose property and on into the town of Henley. You can complete your walk here if you wish, first taking refreshments in the town at many takeaway options on offer, although the suggestion today is to continue the walk back to Shiplake, walking mostly beside the River Thames, then latterly inland, to come to Shiplake railway station. Almost next door to the station is the Baskerville pub, which should be open for refreshments.
T=1.9
Walk Directions are here: L=1.9
  • 26-Apr-21

    For info, the Bottle & Glass is running a Burger Barn with plenty of seating rather than the pub garden.

  • 29-Apr-21

    18 on a cloudy then damp and chilly day. There were bluebells in the woods but, apart from the occasional swatch, hardly a purple carpet. The usual suspects - celandine, anemone, violet – were also present.

    We stopped at the Maltsters where some had lunch in fancy little heated igloos while others, less lucky, sat in the cold. Other stragglers were seen in the churchyard and bus shelter. The church was still shut despite a notice declaring it open.

    I left the pub early. On I went past Greys Court eventually coming to the words that have struck terror into many a Book 1 walker “into Lambridge Wood” The clue’s in the name - rearrange the letters and what do you get? BEMOOWDA DRIAGL that’s what The book directions lure the unwary traveller into the heart of this forest looking for paths that are either no longer there or no longer clearly marked. There must be skeletons in that wood still clutching their copies of Book 1. I did find my way through but not without a few moments' disquiet. Surely, the only walk where I am glad to come out on the golf-course!

    The online instructions are of course much simpler - basically just "follow the fence line till you come out” but some of us will insist on using the book. When will we ever learn?

    I finished the walk at Henley, don’t know about the others. I was, of course, still ahead. (I think).

  • 29-Apr-21

    According to my track and trace records, 18 alighted from the train at Shiplake, and we soon set off in an almost Covid-compliant fashion on the High Wood route as it began to drizzle with rain. Throughout the day we encountered drizzle with much needed heavier, steady rain in the afternoon. The High Wood bluebells were good in places but not fully out. Today's rain should bring them along nicely. Some went off piste briefly to admire my favourite bluebell paddock near Round Wood - as lovely as ever - and some picnickers might have stopped here for their lunch. The rest of us continued on to the village of Rotherfield Greys, where the main sandwich corps found shelter from the rain to have their picnics. Two of us had booked separate outdoor tables at the excellent Maltsters Arms and six of us enjoyed some very good food in two of the pub's newly constructed sheltered pods, with electric heaters (much needed) to take off the chill, plus blankets to keep aged legs warm ! Three of the sandwichers joined us for drinks. We were all made most welcome by the chef-owner, who regularly escaped from his kitchen to check we were having a good time - and we were.

    By the time we had finished eating the main group of sandwichers were long gone - an hour ahead of us - and I presume they all took the main route to Greys Court. The weather had deteriorated by the time us diners were ready to move off, and some said "what the hell" and called for a cab back to Henley. Three took the direct, pleasant route in the valley to Henley, leaving yours truly to plod on to Greys Court alone, now in steady rain. The bluebells at Greys Court were about 75 % out and with the rain they should be at their best this coming weekend. The bluebells in Lambridge Wood were really nice with some glorious carpets to admire.

    Some of us had not come prepared for the rain so I am not sure if any of the sandwichers continued on the walk beyond Henley to Shiplake - do please file your own report here - but as I was a tad damp by now I headed straight for Henley railway station - in time for the 16-59 hrs train to Twyford.

    Good SWC company over lunch and in the morning, and a lovely solo walk for me post prandial. It might have been wet but no-one seemed too concerned, given the need for rain after a dry April.

    early drizzle turning to steady rain all day

  • 29-Apr-21

    Sorry, Ian , your walk report was not showing when I started to put pen to paper this morning.

    It's high time you abandoned the old TO Book for web-site print offs - we cannot have our rear gunner getting lost all the time - although we love reading of your travails and mishaps in your reports, which keep us much amused ! !

Wed, 09-Sep-20
Wednesday Walk Shiplake to Henley
Shiplake to Henley T=1.9

Length: 17.7km (11.1 miles), 5 hours walking time. Pleasant option to walk back to Shiplake along the river 3.5 km.

From Shiplake Lock the route follows the Thames, then up to the church beside Shiplake College, and through bluebell woods to the church and pub in Rotherfield Greys. The cherry trees and cricket green in the hamlet of Greys Green lead on into the National Trust estate of Greys Court, and from there into the beech woods of Lambridge, and past Friar Park, with its splendidly over-opulent Gothic gatehouse, to a teahouse in Henley beside the river.

Trains: Get the 0943 Tfl rail train from Paddington (0952 Ealing Broadway), changing at Twyford 1031 for the 1042 Henley train arriving 1049. (West Drayton in zone 6 is 1005). A bit of a dilemma here, as next train 1027 makes for a late start - by all means register objections!.

Lunch: The Bottle & Glass after 2.5 miles or The Maltsters Arms after 6.5 miles. Probably best to book. The Bottle & Glass has an extensive garden with large awning, making for a good early beer/food stop

Tea: Wide choice in Henley

  • Anonymous
    08-Sep-20

    I might get the 10.27 train as it's later, cheaper and the tube might be less crowded.

  • 10-Sep-20

    14 today. Weather was warm humid occasionally sunny I let the younger ones run off ahead, skipping gaily through the meadows, while I plodded resolutely behind them. By the time I got to the Maltsters they had already galumphed down whatever they ordered and some were even having pudding. They didn’t seem disappointed. Unlike myself, who waited so long at the bar for a teensy little drink that I gave up. Just a pint of Hobgoblin, that’s all. Not much to ask. But I guess the cream in the other guests’ coffee is more important.

    Another disappointment was that the church is only open on Mondays and Fridays. I usually nip in to see how Mr and Mrs Knollys and their 10 children are getting along, but not, alas, today.

    Today was a good day for fungi with many types popping up through the woodchips on the path just after the Bottle and Glass, and more in Lambridge Woods. We continued on past Greys court (which was open, as was the footpath, despite reports to the contrary).

    I lost sight of the others as we approached Henley so cannot report on tea.

  • 12-Sep-20

    Sorry to read Ian had difficulty getting served at the Maltsters. Not being able to join you on the SWC walk on Wednesday, I did the walk the following day, as a book check and walk update exercise. I had an excellent lunch at the Maltsters and service could not have been better or friendlier. Good beer, too !

Sun, 01-Dec-19
Sunday Walk: Shiplake to Henley (with shorter afternoon)
13.7km (8.5 miles).
Difficulty 4 out of 10.
Riverside, woodland, views over the unspoilt Thames valley, and a little bit of history thrown in (be sure to visit the Knollys Tomb in Rotherfield Greys church). From Rotherfield Greys, given the time of year, the direct footpath to Henley is advised. Unless, of course, your name is Billy Whizz, in which case, feel free to hurtle round the full walk through Greys Court and Lambridge Woods (4km longer).
Train: Take the 09:45 Reading train from Paddington (9:53 Ealing Broadway) changing at Twyford for the 10:38 to Henley (platform 5) arriving Shiplake 10:45.
Return from Henley at xx:53 and xx:23, changing at Twyford for Paddington.
Get a return to Henley on Thames.
Lunch The suggested lunchtime pub is the Maltsters Arms (tel 01491 628 400) in Rotherfield Greys, serving food to 3pm Sunday.
Alternatively, the Bottle & Glass, 4km earlier, in Binfield Heath (tel 01491 412625).
Tea
The Chocolate Café (tel 01491 411 412) on Henley's Thameside (the terrace facing the river) is open weekends to 6pm. The station is 5 minutes walk away.
Henley has more than its fair share of pubs for those in need of something stronger.
Walk directions here.
After sustained heavy rain, flooding can make the first stretch along the river impassable. If that's likely, take the alternative start through High Wood, rejoining the main walk at Binfield Heath by the Bottle & Glass (this would knock 3km. off the length, making the remainder of the full walk more feasible - about 2 more hours from the Maltsters). Mr Sun goes bye-byes at 15:55.
T=1.9
  • Sandy
    02-Dec-19

    4 of us got off the train at Shiplake, and before we could set off we were joined by three more travelling by car, making 7 in generally fine weather for this beautiful walk. with pleasant riverside and woodland sections and just a few bits of heavy mud. We decided for lunch at the Bottle and Glass owing to the time and likelihood of pressure on seating. This proved to be a good decision as the fully-booked pub squeezed the lunchers in for a quick bite; the modest dishes they chose looked delicious. Everyone did the recommended shorter finish. Three front-runners got to Henley just in time to fit in tea and coffee - sorry I've forgotten the name of the place we went - before the 1553 train.

Wed, 01-May-19
Wednesday walk Shiplake to Henley - High Wood, Rotherfield Greys, Greys Court and Lambridge Wood - for today's bluebell fix
Book 1, Walk 9 - Shiplake to Henley

Length: 17.7 km (11.1miles). Length via High Wood - 9.1 miles. Add 2.2 miles if finishing in Shiplake. Deduct 2.5 miles if taking short cut from Rotherfield Greys to Henley
Toughness: 4 out of 10


London Paddington: 10-12 hrs Reading service. Ealing B'way: 10-20 hrs
Arrive Twyford: 11-00 hrs Change trains
Leave Twyford: 11-08 hrs Henley service
Arrive Shiplake: 11-15 hrs

Return
Henley to Paddington via Twyford: 15-53, 16-23, 17-05, 17-38, 18-08 and 18-38 hrs
Shiplake to Paddington via Twyford: 4 minutes after Henley

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Henley-on-Thames


This is a delightful bluebell walk, and I always try to fit it in during bluebell season. I suggest we take the High Wood option today, to enjoy the 'bells in these woods. Those who wish to take an early lunch, you can stop at the Bottle and Glass Inn at Binfield Heath. Otherwise, your lunch stop is 4 km further into the walk, at the popular Maltsters Arms in the village of Rotherfield Greys. After lunch you can take the short cut come direct route to Henley (see the Directions): for those on the main walk, you head for Greys Court with its magnificent bluebell paddock. Onwards then to Lambridge Wood, where direction following can be tricky - then it's over a golf course and down to Henley. Those ending their walk in town, you have a choice of tea stops, with the SWC favourite being the Chocolate Theatre Cafe, within 10 mins of the railway station.
If you follow the High Wood route today, as suggested, you will miss the opening leg beside the River Thames. To remedy this, and for your water feature-fix today, you can join me on the closing leg of 4 km from Henley to Shiplake, initially along the River. Your tea stop in Shiplake is the Baskerville pub, a few metres from the railway station.
T=1.9
Walk Directions are here L=1.9
  • 02-May-19

    8 alighted from the train at Shiplake, with 2 others joining us at lunchtime after their outward journey had been delayed by underground problems - so that is 10 .

    At the start of the walk 2 of our chaps decided to test drive a new hand held gizmo on the original Book route via Shiplake Lock, leaving 6 of us to take the High Wood route, in search of bluebells. Alas, apart from one decent large patch in High Wood,the 'bells were disappointing all day - thirsty and bedraggled, a blue fuzz rather than the expected carpets of blue. The wood in the grounds of Greys Court was particularly understated. But never mind, the weather was sunny spells and mild to warm , comfortable for walking, clouding over in the afternoon with some spits of rain towards walk-end.

    4 of us, including our 2 delayed starters, dined at the very busy Maltsters Arms in Rotherfield Greys. We had booked a nice table outdoors in the shaded patio area and we did not have to wait too long for our tasty meals to arrive. Some of our sandwichers had earlier stopped for an alfresco lunch amongst a good display of bluebells near Round Wood, later joining us at the Maltsters for a drink. Many of the diners in the pub were walkers and in addition to the pub's friendly notice "Muddy Boots Welcome", a defibrillator booth is now to the side of the pub's front door - for aged walkers who do not quite make it.

    Our gizmo followers noticed the church next door to the pub was serving freebie tea and cake from 2 pm and so indulged themselves before setting off on the afternoon leg of their walk. 3 of the ladies in our group who left the pub first extended their walk to Shiplake - and with perfect timing joined most of the Henley finishers on the 19-05 hrs service from Henley at Shiplake station.

    Our 2 delayed starters stopped at Greys Court for a cuppa and a brief visit to this attractive National Trust property - I hope they navigated Lambridge Wood without getting too lost. Presumably they were on the train from Henley an hour after the rest of us. Otherwise, the Henley finishers just had enough time for a pub visit or tea stop in town before heading for the railway station.

    The bluebell displays might have been below par today, but it didn't matter - this lovely walk being so enjoyable at this time of year.

  • 02-May-19

    For 19-05 hrs train please read 17-05 hrs. With anno domini I might be slowing up but I was not that late finishing the walk............

  • Marion
    03-May-19

    We found out eventually that there was a major fire in Richmond which had delayed our journey to Ealing Broadway in the morning.

    Chris and I enjoyed a pint pot of tea gratis at Greys Court in the afternoon as a reward for walking to this National Trust property. We just missed the 17-05 train having dallied to admire the gatehouse and grounds of George Harrisons' property which Chris hadn't viewed previously. (He is a London tour guide specialising in Jazz tours and Rock and Pop with Footprints of London.) We then met up with my ex colleague Rosemary who works in Henley and caught the 17-38 train. This was a very pretty and dry walk which we enjoyed enormously. Thank you Marcus.

Sun, 13-Jan-19
Sunday Walk: Shiplake to Henley - with shortcut
Shorter route 13.7km, 8.5 miles, Full walk 17.7km 11.1 miles
Toughness 4 out of 10.
Along the river and through woods, with views over the unspoilt Thames valley.
Rotherfield Greys' church contains an impressive Tudor memorial, the Knollys Tomb. From Rotherfield Greys, unless you’re Billy Whizz or can see in the dark, the shorter, more direct route to Henley is advised.
Train: 09:45 Reading train from Paddington (9:53 Ealing Broadway) changing at Twyford for the 10:38 to Henley (platform 5) arriving Shiplake 10:45
Return from Henley at xx23 and xx53, changing at Twyford
Get a return to Henley on Thames.
Lunch:
The suggested stop is the Maltsters Arms (tel 01491 628 400) in Rotherfield Greys, serving food to 3pm Sunday
An alternative is the earlier Bottle & Glass in Binfield Heath (tel 01491 412625). where food is served 12 - 4.30pm on Sundays.
Tea:
The Chocolate Café (tel 01491 411 412) on the waterfront is recommended (open to 5pm). The station is 5 minutes away.
There are also a large number of pubs in Henley. Yay!
Directions: here
If sustained heavy rain has made the first stretch along the river impassable, take the alternative route from Shiplake to High Wood rejoining the main walk at Binfield Heath by the Bottle & Glass. (Being 3km shorter, this might also give you enough time for the rest of the full walk).
T=1.9
  • 13-Jan-19

    8 on a day that was mild overcast a bit breezy on higher ground 3 Billy Whizzes soon sped off out of sight, leaving 5 Terry Tortoises following at a moderate (but still respectable) pace. We didn’t stop at the Bottle and Glass but it has changed notably from the sleepy dilapidated pub I remember - a whole playing field of cars parked up outside and looking a lot more posher than what it used to. The Maltsters had a “Muddy Boots Welcome” sign on the door and they were quite friendly and accommodating, despite being busy. By the time we arrived there, Billy and Milly Whizz were leaving to follow the full walk, the rest of us, as far as I know, intending to pursue the shorter ending. Mr Tiger, the slowest of the tortoise group, left early, expecting to be overtaken by the others on the final stretch. But they weren’t seen again.

Thu, 26-Apr-18
Shiplake to Henley - the River Thames, Greys Court and Lambridge Wood
Book 1, Walk 9 - Shiplake to Henley

Length: 14.7 km (9.1 miles) Option to extend by 3.5 km by returning to Shiplake
Toughness: 4 out of 10

London Paddington: 10-12 hrs Reading service. Ealing B: 10-20 hrs
Arrive Twyford: 11-00 hrs. Change trains
Leave Twyford: 11-08 hrs Henley service
Arrive Shiplake: 11-15 hrs

Return: Henley to Paddington via Twyford: 15-53, 16-23, 17-05, 18-08 and 18-38 hrs

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Henley-on-Thames


I suggest you take the High Wood route on leaving Shiplake, in the hope the bluebells are in full flower in this wood. You can stop for an early lunch at the reopened Bottle and Glass Inn in Binfield Heath if you wish, although the recommended lunch stop today comes 45 mins later at the Maltsters Arms in Rotherfield Greys, a favourite with SWC walkers. Best 'phone ahead with numbers: 01491-628400 [ your e.t.a 13-10 hrs.]
After lunch you head down through a bluebell wood and make for the National Trust's Greys Court, whose own bluebell wood should be in full flower. Next you have to negotiate Lambridge Wood, where many a SWC walker has become lost - so do follow the directions carefully ! Then you head over a golf course and down into Henley, for tea at the Chocolate Theatre Cafe or at one of the pubs in town.
As the suggested route today misses out on the Thames path section in the morning, you might like to get your water feature fix by returning to Shiplake via the river - a pleasant end to what I hope turns out to be an enjoyable day's walking. Your tea stop in Shiplake is the Baskerville pub, next door to the railway station.
T=1.9
Walk Directions here L=1.9
  • 26-Apr-18

    5 met at Twyford railway station for the onward journey to Shiplake; another joined us at the Maltsters Arms for a drink before walking with us to Greys Court, to then explore the grounds of this NT estate with its magnificent bluebell paddock; and Ramblin' Ros had tea with us in the pub before she took the direct route to Henley - so for the full walk I best declare 5 .

    We enjoyed a lovely sunny and warm spring day , with no rain. Bluebells were "full on" in High Wood, the Paddock, Greys Court, Lambridge Wood and elsewhere on this lovely walk which we all enjoyed. There was also a field covered with cowslips below Rotherfield Greys. Four of us dined at the excellent Maltsters Arms, although service was on the slow side today. But no complaints, as the pub was preparing for a "wake" soon after we arrived. At walk-end most of us did not hang around in Henley as we had engagements back in town in the evening.

    Methinks this walk is amongst the best of our bluebell walks, today enjoyed in the best company.

Sun, 19-Nov-17
Sunday Walk: Shiplake to Henley
Shiplake to Henley Book 1 walk 9
Shorter walk: approx 9 miles 14.7 km. Full walk: 11.1 miles 17.7 km.
A varied walk with riverside stretches and woodland paths. In addition, there are magnificent views over the unspoilt Thames valley.
From Shiplake Lock, the route follows the Thames, then up to the church beside Shiplake College, and through woods beside Crowsley Park to the church and pub in Rotherfield Greys. Be sure to visit the spectacular Elizabethan tomb of Robert Knollys in the church. The full walk, a further 7.4 km, takes you on to the National Trust estate of Greys Court, and through the beech woods of Lambridge, but, at this time of year, the shorter ending from Rotherfield Greys may be wiser. It all depends how fast your little legs are! Sunset is at around 16:08 today.
Trains
Take the 9:15 Oxford train from Paddington ( Ealing Broadway 9:24) and change at Twyford for the 10:31 Henley train to Shiplake. Arrives there 10:38.
Return from Henley at xx:46 changing again at Twyford.
Get a return to Henley..
(You could also get the 9:30 Plymouth train to Reading, then the the 10:18 Paddington stopping train (platform 14) back to Twyford for the same Shiplake train. You need a slightly dearer ticket, allowing changes at Reading.)
Lunch: First up, the recently reopened Bottle & Glass at Binfield Heath (tel 01491 412625). The traditional stop is the Maltsters Arms 4km. further on in Rotherfield Greys (tel 01491 628 400)
Tea: The suggested tea place at walk end is the Chocolate Café (tel 01491 411 412) on Thameside (Street), facing the river (open weekends to 6 pm). The station is 10 minutes walk away.
The Red Lion Hotel serves cream teas. There are also a large number of pubs in Henley for those in need of a stronger drink..
Directions Use these online directions, the book version is outdated.
If there has been sustained heavy rain, the first stretch along the river may be flooded. In that case, the High Wood start is advised.
T=1.9
Wed, 26-Apr-17
Wednesday Walk - High Wood, Rotherfield Greys, Greys Court and a Thames finish
Book 1, Walk 9: Shiplake to Henley (or Shiplake Circular)

Length: 14.7 km (9.1 miles). Circular walk: 18.2 km (11.3 miles)
Toughness (both): 4 out of 10

London Paddington: 10-27 hrs Oxford service. Ealing Broadway: 10-36 hrs
Arrive Twyford: 11-12 hrs
Leave Twyford: 11-21 hrs Henley service
Arrive Shiplake: 11-28 hrs

Return: Henley-on-Thames to Paddington (again, changing at Twyford): 15-24, 16-20, 17-09, 17-46, 18-17
Return: Shiplake: 4 mins after departures from Henley

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Henley-on-Thames

This is my favourite bluebell walk, so I'm hoping the little whatsits are out and in bloom. In the hope the 'bells say hello to us today, we will take the High Wood option for this walk, which takes us through this large and impressive bluebell wood in the morning. It's onwards then via Crowsley Park and through a stud farm to lunch in Rotherfield Greys at the usually excellent, and popular, Maltsters Arms - 'phoning ahead essential to reserve a table: your e.t.a 1 pm (01491-628400).
After lunch you descend through a smaller bluebell wood and then head for Greys Court (worth a visit if you have time), and well worth a walk through its magnificent bluebell wood. You now have to negotiate Lambridge Wood, where many a SWC walker has gone astray and gone a-wandering, lost amongst its dense trees. If you take care in following the walk directions, you should emerge (eventually) onto a golf course. Cross this, then its a kilometer or so's walk into the centre of Henley. If ending your walk here, your suggested tea stop is the popular (with SWC walkers) Chocolate Theatre Cafe (previously the Henley Tea Rooms), 5 mins from the railway station.
However, as you missed out on the River Thames start to today's walk - by taking the High Wood option - you might like to get your water feature fix for today by returning to Shiplake along the Thames, a lovely, relaxing riverside stroll. Your tea stop in Shiplake is the Baskerville pub, almost next door to the railway station.
T=1.9
Walk directions here: L=1.9

Next week, Wednesday 03 May - Book 2, Walk 5b: Tring to Berkhamsted via Dockey (bluebell) Wood


  • 27-Apr-17

    8 today for this bluebell extravaganza, although as we found the day before, the woodland flowers really do need a good drink. That said, the weather forecast was correct for once, and we had one heavy shower during lunch and one light shower as we crossed the golf course above Henley. Otherwise, it was pleasantly sunny all day . The bluebells in High Wood and in Greys Court Spinney were in full bloom although gasping for water. Two in our group enjoyed their sandwiches in my "private" bluebell paddock, leaving the rest of us to head for the Maltsters Arms, where five of us had an excellent lunch: the Maltsters seldom disappoints. More bluebells in the woods as we approached Greys Court, to admire their display in the Spinney, then onwards to Lambridge Wood - more carpets of bluebells - and over the golf course, now in much needed rain - before we descended into Henley. Tea and slabs of cake were taken in the usual Tea Rooms, before we said farewell to the youngster in our midst who made his way along the Thames back to Shiplake. Having had our bluebell fix for the week, if not the year, we were now all in good humour as we boarded the 17-09 hrs train back to London. Two or three on our walk are heading for the Brecons this coming weekend, and we wish them and the main SWC cohort a most enjoyable time there.

Sat, 26-Nov-16
Saturday First Walk Shiplake to Henley via High Wood
TOCW1 walk 9: Shiplake to Henley via High Wood T=1.9

You need the instructions for the High Wood option for the start of the walk here.
"This walk has plenty of variety, with riverside legs and paths through bluebell woods and beech woods. In addition, as soon as you are more than a few feet up, you have magnificent views over the unspoilt Thames valley."

Length: 9.1 miles (14.7km), 4 out of 10, walk time 3:50 hrs.

Trains: 0950 Oxford train from London Paddington (Ealing Broadway 0958). Change at Twyford (1042) for the train to Henley at 1050, arriving Shiplake at 1057.
Return trains are xx24.

Lunch is at the Maltsters Arms (tel 01491 628 400) in Rotherfield Greys, serving food daily from 12.00 to 3.00pm. This pub is halfway in the walk. If coffee & desserts tempt you, then there is a shortcut from the pub.

If you would like to do a longer walk, you could get the 0855 train and do the standard walk with or without the Lashbrook Thames tow path option (an extra 3 or 4km), which in theory, would result in meeting the others at the pub.




  • 22-Nov-16

    Thank you very much for reminding walkers of the Lashbrook Loop option. ' This section of the Thames Path, around a meander in the river, re-opened in 2012 after a 17 year legal battle with local land owners. The Ramblers Association was responsible for the re-opening of this riverside route and they encourage walkers to use it.' Within that option there are 2 further options - the one I always use - The 12 Gardens Route' rather than the 'Inland route - as it is important to keep footfall on these rights of way.

  • Anonymous
    25-Nov-16

    The 12 Gardens Route sounds interesting jfk

  • Anonymous
    26-Nov-16

    7

    sunny

    The Maltsters Arms great food and service

Wed, 16-Mar-16
Midweek Day Walk - Shiplake to Henley-on-Thames

Shiplake to Henley-on-Thames, a pre vernal equinox stroll.

The River Thames, Rotherfield Greys village, Greys Court (NT) and historic Henley

Book 1 Walk 9

Length : 18 km or 11 miles

Toughness : 4 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 9:42 am train from London Paddington (9:50 Ealing Broadway) to Shiplake with a change at Twyford.

Meeting point : Shiplake Station at 10:43 am

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Henley-on-Thames

Brief Description

After the trial by wind and hail a fortnight ago and by floods and mud last week, I hope this walk will be relatively free of surprises!
The pub is 10 km into the walk, so hence the earlier start. (This will also allow a bit more time for walkers who may wish to visit the NT Greys Court)

You may find full details of the walk here

Suggested Lunch stop

Maltsters Arms, Rotherfield Greys t: 01491 628400

Suggested Tea stop

Chocolate Theatre Café t: 01491 411412

Maps

OS Explorer : 171

Return train times

Trains return from Henley-on-Thames at 15:24 | 16:20 | 17:46 | 18:17
  • Anonymous
    10-Mar-16

    why the early train Arthur?!

    can't get the normal discounts..

  • Anonymous
    14-Mar-16

    Does this train stop Ealing?

  • Anonymous
    15-Mar-16

    Just fyi, if you are buying a ticket from Paddington it costs ÂŁ15.80 return on the train specified, whereas even with a Network Card it would be ÂŁ13 on a train an hour later, so no massive difference.

  • Anonymous
    15-Mar-16

    Return is ÂŁ6.95 from/to BZ6.

  • Anonymous
    15-Mar-16

    Is anyone intending to do this expensive walk? jfk

  • Anonymous
    15-Mar-16

    Yes, two of us

  • 16-Mar-16

    17 on this walk, including two late starters who caught us at lunchtime - an excellent turnout for a midweek walk and even more so for a Thames walk. The weather was cloudy but with sun breaking through in the afternoon , perhaps a bit disappointing compared to some recent days but pleasant nonetheless.

    Lunch in the Maltster's Arms met with the approval of even our more gourmet members, and staff were very friendly. Some stopped for tea/coffee at Grey's Court (which has moved its tea room to a slightly less scenic location), and most of us stopped again at The Chocolate Cafe in Henley.

    We saw lots of bluebells, but none in flower, and lots of daffodils and celandines (the latter shut against the cold east winds). Birdsong was curiously muted.

    My best moment of the day was on the train home when I realised that THERE WAS NO MUD ON MY BOOTS, the first time I have been able to say this on an SWC walk since September.

Sat, 19-Dec-15
Saturday Walk 1 - Shiplake to Henley
Book1 Walk 9 - Shiplake to Henley, High Wood option

9.1miles/14.7km

This is a shorter version of the main walk, taking a more direct route to lunch. You will need the High Wood option, found at the bottom of the online directions.

After lunch it is possible to visit Greys Court (National Trust), a 16th century mansion, now dressed for Christmas, and complete with gardens and Tudor donkey wheel. Entry is ÂŁ12, but there is a free cup of tea if you arrive on foot.

Trains: Take the 9:42 London Paddington to Oxford train (9:50 Ealing Broadway), changing at Twyford (arr 10:39) for the Henley train (dep 10:50), arriving at Shiplake at 10:57 Buy a day return to Henley. Return trains at xx21, also changing at Twyford

Lunch: The Maltsters Arms, Rotherfield Greys, serving food midday to 2:15pm

Tea: Chocolate Theatre Cafe, Thameside, Henley, open til 6pm.

Click here for full walk details and online directions
T=1.9
  • Ian T
    20-Dec-15

    13 turned out on an unseasonably mild and sunny day. First stretch muddy in places (well, it is winter). High Wood dotted with “sportsmen” shooting at things. Polite and considerate but still unpleasant to see.

    The Bottle and Glass is still under refurbishment. Will it reopen as a pub? Who knows. The Maltsters (or Maltesers as I prefer to call it) was welcoming and friendly. And their sticky toffee pudding out of this world (just a shame it wasn't mine!) The majority pressed on to Greys after lunch leaving two to skip gaily down the Henley shortcut - very pretty after perhaps a little too much of Mr Brakspears famous elixir. But not before we visited the Knollys tomb in the church and received an impromptu talk on it from the churchwarden. (It’s a must-see that most don’t).

  • Anonymous
    21-Dec-15

    Yes Knollys tomb well worth visiting jfk