Delphiniums near Sheepcote Woods

SWC Walk 189 Beeches Way: West Drayton to Cookham

12-Jul-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk189 walkicon banner

One of 6 Pubs en-route in Cookham

SWC Walk 189 Beeches Way: West Drayton to Cookham

12-Jul-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk189

Ancient Pollarded Tree in Burnham Beeches

SWC Walk 189 Beeches Way: West Drayton to Cookham

12-Jul-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk189

Path in Brockhurst Wood

SWC Walk 189 Beeches Way: West Drayton to Cookham

12-Jul-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk189

Stoke Common

SWC Walk 189 Beeches Way: West Drayton to Cookham

12-Jul-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk189

One of 6 Pubs en-route in Cookham

SWC Walk 189 Beeches Way: West Drayton to Cookham

12-Jul-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk189

Teashop in Cookham

SWC Walk 189 Beeches Way: West Drayton to Cookham

12-Jul-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk189

Beeches Way: West Drayton to Cookham walk

Lowland heaths and mature woodland close to London. Can be done as 2 shorter walks.

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.

Updated: Tue, 29-Jan-19

Date # Post
Sat, 17-Nov-18 22

Saturday walk - Langley to Cookham - Berkshire beech woods

Length: 22km (13.7 miles) **
Toughness: 3 out of 10: I don't remember a lot of hills...

9.27 train from Paddington (9.35 Ealing Broadway) to Langley, arriving 9.52

Buy a day return to Cookham.

For more details of the walk click here. For GPX click here.

This subset of the West Drayton to Cookham walk was done with great success in March 2017 and passes through lovely territory mixing fine beech woods with more open sections. If there is still autumn leaf colour, this ought to be a good place to see it.

I realise that even this shortened version is still quite a long walk for a short day, but we are going to be making an early start and there is a slightly more than half moon today, which would illuminate the final stages a bit if the night is clear. (If the night is really clear some of us may even do a further moonlight walk along the Thames from Cookham).

Further detracting from its charms for some of you, it is another map-led walk, meaning you will be relying on the GPX file or being very nice to someone who has downloaded it or printing off the map on our website or using Explorer map 172. However, you are also on the waymarked Beeches Way for much of the route and last time we found the route fairly easy to follow. For the last three miles you are on the route of the book 1 Gerrard's Cross to Cookham walk.

You start by following the red route on the GPX up from Langley station, which soon joins the main green route.

There are lots of refreshment options. Just a mile or two into the walk, between Langley Park and Fulmer, there is a large cafe overlooking a lake, while in Fulmer there is a nice pub (where we ate last time) with another a little further on in Farnham Common. Farnham Common also has a Costa Coffee and two supermarkets and just beyond it there was a cafe in a forest-edge car park last time we did the walk. Later in the walk the Blackwood Arms in Littleworth Common might make a drinks stop, but you will probably want to push on at this stage to Cookham, which has three pubs and a Costa Coffee just beyond the station level crossing, open till 6.30pm

Trains back from Cookham are at 21 past the hour

** A shorter ending is possible to Burnham station, which several walkers did on the last outing, though this really is map-led: ie you have to work out your own route on the map, cutting south through the woods after Farnham Common and then follow Crow Piece Lane. Looking at the map this does not really look much shorter anyway. T=3.189
is this walk 13.7 miles if no short cut taken?
OK, just checked on the GPX. Yes it is.
Hi Guys looking forward to this walk and a good distance as well. Hope to see some of you at Paddington train station for 09.27 train. Weather dry and sunny too.
Monica
Just realized that this walk has a high degree of road walking and since I often struggle with road walking decided to miss this walk. Enjoy the walk those who is going.
Monica
Just FYI, Monica: there was hardly any road walking.
22 on this walk on a glorious sunny day. Despite it being 12.8 miles to Cookham (13.7 to the station) we arrived there in daylight, as the sun was setting, without undue rushing. The reason, I think, is that this is a largely level walk, often on tracks or broad paths, and with no stiles whatsoever.

Easy walking, in other words, and delightful scenery throughout, perfectly suited for autumn beech woods, some heath, a few fields, a couple of pleasant villages. Some stopped to lunch in Farnham Common, but a good number of us carried on to the “perhaps too late for lunch” Blackwood Arms on Littleworth Common, which we reached at 1.30pm. It was full inside but we got seats on the covered patio (which had heaters, but the thick rugs provided proved handy too). The food was a bit slow in coming but I think this is because we arrived just after a number of other tables had ordered. The staff were friendly and the kitchen (visible through an open door) was a hive of activity. A couple of the Gerrards Cross to Cookham walkers were at the bar.

Autumn colour throughout the walk was wonderful a riot of golds but we are really down to the dribs and drabs phase, with many trees bare and others looking thin. In the golden afternoon sunlight it all looked lovely, however.

In Cookham several went to the King’s Arms and fraternised with some Gerrards Cross walkers and five of us had tea at the Teapot Tea Room. Eight of us then had a lovely night walk along the Thames to Marlow four miles under the stars, with a slightly more than half full moon providing perfectly adequate illumination. After a brief drink and some gooey “sharing plates” at the Marlow Donkey we caught the 20.15 home.
Hi Walker glad you all had a great time. I read on past comment that this walk has a lot of road walking and thus I decided to skip it next time I know better should this walk present itself again. Bad day for me my alternative to Ashurst was cancelled as Southern trains as usual no trains. Too late to switch to any walk thus content myself in the gym. Anyone attending Tring walk tomorrow otherwise I will be going solo.
Monica.
For the record, Foresters at Farnham serves gourmet food, I would rank it amoungst top three pubs on our walks and well worth a try next time. At least one walker took bus at Farnham to Slough.
Sat, 11-Mar-17 17

Saturday walk - Beeches Way map-led walk ( + last chance for moonlight )

SWC walk 189 - Langley to Cookham
Length: 20.1km (12.8 miles) - this is my estimate: I think the distance on the website for this walk (13.7 miles) is slightly overstated

10.06 train from Paddington (10.15 Ealing Broadway) to Langley (Berks), arriving 10.34

Buy a day return to Cookham, though if you are up for the moonlight walk option, then a day return to Marlow might be better.

** This is something a bit different from the usual SWC walk, as it is a map-led walk, ie there are no written directions. A GPS file is available, otherwise print off OS maps from this page or bring OS Explorer Map 172 which has all but the very first few hundred metres of the route. Basic information about the walk and its lunch options is on this page.

** As with all SWC walks you are responsible for finding your own way: we do not check that stragglers are keeping up. However, it is to be hoped that there will be some "cooperative navigation" today.

After the first mile or so the route follows the Beeches Way, which is supposedly waymarked, but how reliable this is, I do not know. The last quarter of the walk will be familiar to those who know the Gerrards Cross to Cookham walk in book one, but the rest is all new territory. Fairly wooded, it seems from the map.

We will be doing the shorter start to this walk from Langley (home of the CIA!) - see the red line on the map for this walk. Lunch options are the Black Horse in Fulmer after 4.3 miles and The Forresters (01753 643340) in Farnham Common after 7 miles - large and recommended, apparently. It may be worth phoning this latter pub before relying on it: emergency alternative pub options may be available in Stoke Poges, 1.5 miles earlier (ie after 5.5 miles), but these require a 1km diversion off the route.

Mid afternoon (2 miles after Farnham Common) you will pass one of the lunch pubs on the Gerrards Cross to Cookham walk - the Jolly Woodman in Littleworth Common - which might be a refreshment stop. Otherwise it is just over 3 miles more to Cookham, which has a tea room - the Teapot, open till 5pm - or three pubs.

Note that it is 1km from Cookham high street to its station: leave 15-20 minutes to do this walk

Trains back from Cookham are at 21 past the hour

** Possible MOONLIGHT walk: this is the last opportunity before the clocks go back to do a moonlight walk, with full moon due tomorrow night. If the skies are clear, some of us may do a walk along the Thames: either to Bourne End, getting the train back from there, or to Maidenhead, or perhaps taking the train to Marlow and walking back to Cookham. Anyone is welcome (at your own risk! If you get eaten by a werewolf, don't come running to us...) to join us.

T=3.189
Yes. I would be up for a Moonlight Walk. And I want to end the Walk at Marlow on the day. That's providing if I make it on the day.
Another short cut option is 9.6 miles lunch at Fulmer (4.3 miles) then walk till Farnham Common (7 miles tea if desired), then from there, it is 2.6 mile walk to Burnham station. Buy a day return to Burnham.
17 on this walk, a nice saunter through an interesting mosaic of woodland, heath and stately home park, with pubs nicely scattered en route. Despite the lack of written directions, navigation was not an issue, enough people having GPX or phone map apps to make wayfinding easy (at least, as far as I am aware: if anyone got lost, do say).

The weather was white cloud with sun for a time. The sun actually broke through during lunch, which we had at a big table in the garden of the first possible pub, The Black Horse in Fulmer. The food here was tasty and came quickly, and personally I thought it a nicer place than the recommended lunch stop in Farnham Common. Many of us stopped for tea in that pub, which had a sumptuous rear veranda with sofas and hanging basket chairs surely the best "smoko" in the country. However several of us were then peeved to find a nice open air cafe a few hundred metres beyond the village which would have been an even better tea stop. This and two other outside cafes (in Langley Park and by Black Park Lake) were not mentioned on the walk's home pages, an omission that will be rectified.

A good number of walkers decided to head south from this point to Burnham station to have a shorter walk. It would be interesting to hear how they got on. Seven of us ploughed on, eschewing a cute rural pub in Litttleworth Corner, to get to Cookham after 5.5 miles. It was by now cloudy and so after drinks and some deep fried acrylamide in The Crown, we set off for the station.

Two of us then noticed that despite cloudy skies at dusk the full moon was hazily but definitely visible and so we hastily set off for a moonlight walk, enjoying a peaceful and enchanting four mile stroll in the very mild almost summery night air along the river to Marlow. Sorry if anyone else would have liked to join us on this but it was very spur of the moment. Nice to get one more moonlight outing done before the clocks go forward and they become impractical on SWC walks.
6 after lunch headed off to Burnham station. This was a good short cut option, as it reduced walk to a more manageable 11 12 miles versus 13 14 miles or even longer moonlight walk. It should be mentioned if the walk comes up again.

We initially followed the same route as to Cookham, entered a large wooded park (also saw the cafe building in the park). We then went south followed a foot path along a stream to Druid's Oak one of the best woodlands on this walk. Then on to Crow Piece Lane with fields on both sides and continued to the station. In fact, various routes could be followed including going through some woodlands but we decided to do the most direct route to the station. Everyone caught 4:54pm train from Burnham and two changed at Slough for a faster train back to London.


Sun, 12-Jul-15 5

Sunday First Walk - Buckinghamshire woodlands

Extra Walk 189 – Beeches Way – Cookham to West Drayton
Length: 27.3km (17 miles) (with shorter options) Toughness: 3/10

10:04 Newbury train from Paddington changing at Maidenhead (arr 10:31; dep 10:35) arriving at Cookham at 10:42.
Or 09:35 Oxford train from Ealing Broadway, also changing at Maidenhead.

There are two return trains per hour from West Drayton (stopping at Ealing Broadway) at approximately xx.12 and xx:49 (journey about 24 mins). All stations mentioned (including those for the shorter options) are on the same line, so an off-peak day return to Cookham will cover your journeys, whichever option you choose.

With no apologies to those who resent seeing long walks posted, this is the first club outing for this long but interesting walk close to London. The Beeches Way, running from the Thames at Cookham to the Grand Union Canal at West Drayton, explores rare lowland heaths and mature woodlands. It has been created by Buckinghamshire County Council and is well waymarked throughout. The council has published a Beeches Way leaflet that provides basic walk directions and OS map extracts. If doing the full walk, see the comment about a missing canal footbridge on the Walk 189 feedback page.

Owing to its length, this walk can be posted only in summer, but if you don’t feel you can attempt the full walk, it can be shortened to 13.5 miles by diverting to Langley station. To do this, continue southwards for 2km instead of turning east at Treal’s Farm (para 18 of directions). An even shorter option is to take a 74 or X74 bus from the lunchtime pub at Farnham Common to Slough. On Sundays these buses run at 13:40, 14:44 and 16:10.

The recommended lunchtime pub is The Foresters (01753 643340) in Farnham Common, about 6 miles into the walk. If you prefer a late lunch you could press on to The Black Horse (01753 663183) in Fulmer, about 9.5 miles into the walk.

t=swc.189
Good choice Chris. I was about to request someone post this walk... Thanks! Farnham Common also has coffee shops and (I think) a Tesco Metro. Photos and feedback would be appreciated.
Happy to see this long walk posted for Sunday as I can't do a Saturday walk this week. Huzzah!


Huzzah indeed. I can't make Saturday either & don't fancy another Djokovic/Federer final on Sunday
5 overcast but dry until mid afternoon then drizzle followed by rain
Very pleasant walk up to Langley Park, with varied woods, a few short climbs, pretty villages, well waymarked, if a little heavy on the tarmac count. Very nice lunch pub in Fulmer. Black Park then probably a little to tame to count as country walking. Langley Park though very pretty, although not 'wild' either.
But then the stretch from Langley Park to West Drayton had little of interest (one tree lined avenue in Coppins, Colne Valley Park and the Grand Union Canal near the end) to justify it. The rest was spent either roadside or through industrial estates or crossing the M25, and of course there is also the disappeared footbridge over the Slough Canal, which necessitates yet more road walking.
This would work well as the short walk Cookham Langley, preferably ending in Cookham though, as it's a much nicer place.
The group stayed together to near Uxbridge, where one walker left us for a direct route back home (in Uxbridge), and then one more cut short in Iver to the station there. After a long ish wait then: the delayed 18.12 train for the rest.
There are no trains from Iver on Sundays so I wouldn't recommend that as a short cut
The first two thirds of this walk were quite lovely much nicer than I anticipated. Walking through the heathland was particularly nice. There were also lots of nice sections through woodlands, so it would probably be very lovely in the autumn.

There is quite a lot of roadwalking on this walk, and the last section from Langley to West Drayton is not very inspiring, even less so on a wet afternoon like the one we had today. Agree that a Langley to Cookham walk would be pleasant.

Lunch at The Black Horse in Fulmer was very good. The route (the Beeches Way) is also well waymarked.