Walks

Frog_right

First - I have developed a circular walk round Wokingham - Wanderers Way - details of which can be found here, both as web pages and a PDF file.

The rest of this section covers walks I have recorded doing - initially local canal footpaths or parts of National Trails. Most of these have been covered in a day - and on my own. It must be noted that these are not full descriptions of the walks - for these you should look elsewhere. They are mainly a reminder to me of where I have been and when. Any photographs I have taken have been of interesting or unusual sights, not a complete record of each key point along the way. By and large the walks are linear and I am restricted by needing to find transport to the start and back from the end. Railways are my preferred means of transport.

More recently, I have joined Walkingworld. Although there about 150 free taster walks available, for a reasonable annual membership fee you can download detailed directions and a map from a collection of 6000 walks, all over the country.
You can upload your own maps, for which you get a share of the proceeds of the fee that non-members pay to download walks and the annual membership fees.
To date I've had my first one accepted - "Wokingham (Amen Corner) - Gardeners Green - Chapel Green - back " and I'm planning more.

For a really comprehensive walkers web site, see the delightful Annierak !!

Chronological order

The number after an entry indicates the number of photos associated with this part of a walk and a link to those photos.

2010

17 September 2010 Wey Navigation - expore Godalming (2)
18 September 2010 Wey Navigation - complete route (7)
22 September 2010 Basingstoke Canal - Part 1 (17)
30 September 2010 Basingstoke Canal - Part 2 (14)
5 October 2010 Kennet & Avon - Part 1 (9)
8 October 2010 Basingstoke Canal - Part 3 (19)
12 October 2010 Kennet & Avon - Part 2 (10)
20 October 2010 Kennet & Avon - Part 3 (6)
28 October 2010 Oxford Canal - Thrupp to Oxford (7)
10 November 2010 Blackwater Valley - Parts 1 to 6 (11)
19 November 2010 Blackwater Valley - explore parts12/11
25 November 2010 Blackwater Valley - Parts 12 to 7 (13)

2011

13 April 2011 North Downs Way - Part 1 (20)
18 April 2011 North Downs Way - Part 2 (24)
18 May 2011 Thames Path - Marlow to Maidenhead (6)
1 June 2011 Thames Path - Goring to Reading (11)
14 June 2011 Thames Path - Reading to Henley (11)
27 June 2011 Thames Path - Maidenhead to Windsor (21)
17 July 2011

Coast to Coast
Part 1 (25)
Part 2 (20)
Part 3 (19)

29 July 2011 North Downs Way - Part 3 (37)
22 August 2011 North Downs Way - Part 4 (11)
14 September 2011 Greensands Way - Parts 1 & 2 (22)
17 September 2011 Three Castles Way - Parts 1 to 4 (29)
29 September 2011 Guildford to Godalming and return - (30)
3 October 2011 Three Castles Way - Parts 5 to 7 (24)
20 October 2011 Thames Path - Windsor to Staines (33)
4 November 2011 Thames Path - Henley to Marlow (22)

2012

23 February 2012 Ramblers Route - North (8)
28 March 2012 Wanderers Way - part
22 May 2012 Wey Navigation : Guildford - Godalming - figure of eight
14 June 2012 Wanderers Way - part
21 July 2012 Wey-South Path - Parts 5 and 6 (25)
30 July 2012 Thames Down Link (13)
23 August 2012 Denham - LOOP - Grand Union (Walkingworld 64) (31)
5 September 2012 Taplow - Jubilee River - Bray Lock - Taplow (Walkingworld 5038) (9)
19 September 2012 Three Counties Walk: West Drayton - Iver - Langley (Walkingworld 5023) (17)
29 September 2012 Medmenham - Rassier Wood - Homefield Wood - Medmenham (Walkingworld 2) (10)

2013

11 January 2013 Wokingham (Amen Corner) - Gardeners Green - Chapel Green - back (Walkingworld)
17 January 2013 Wanderers Way - part
2 May 2013 & 21 May 2013

Aston Rowant

(Details)
4 June 2013 Maidensgrove - Ewelme - Russell's Water - Maidensgrove (Walkingworld 5665) (24)
27 June 2013 Wargrave - Crazies Hill - High Knowl Wood - Wargrave (Walkingworld 5883) (33)
3 September 2013 The Mole Gap Trail (19)
10 September 2013 Kennet & Avon - Part 5 (19)
12 September 2013 Finchampstead - Historic Pathways walk and Walkingworld (6975) (29)
20 September 2013 Swallowfield and the Whitewater, Blackwater and Loddon Rivers (Walkingworld 7032) (16)
12 September 2013 A tour of Broadmoor : Historic Pathways and Walkingworld (6913) (21)
8 November 2013 Barkham - Historic Pathways walk (11)
25 November2013 Winkfield - Historic Pathways walk and Walkingworld (7088) (11)

Alphabetical Order

Part 1 - Major Walks

Basingstoke Canal

The Basingstoke Canal starts about 3 miles south of Weybridge. Branching off at Woodham Junction from the Wey Navigation, it heads almost due west towards Basingstoke. Initially quite straight, but with many locks, it then starts to meander as it passes near to Aldershot, Farnborough and Fleet. About 30 miles have been restored, but from the Greywell Tunnel onwards very little can be seen except a few traces.

I walked the path in 3 stages, each about 13 miles: from the River Wey (Byfleet station) to Mytchett (North Camp station) : from Mytchett to the Barley Mow (Winchfield station) : from the Barley Mow to Basingstoke city centre.

Part 1 - Start to Mytchett (17)
Part 2 - Mytchett to Barley Mow (14)
Part 3 - Barley Mow to Basingstoke (19)
Blackwater Valley Path

The Blackwater Valley path is a 23 mile path that has been developed over the last 20 years, along the Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire borders. A problem in planning the walk is that the source of the river is not handy for public transport.

I walked the path in 2 halves. The walk was done northwards from Aldershot to Blackwater (12 miles) and then southwards from the source at Swallowfield to Blackwater (11 miles), but I did an exploratory walk of this northern part first - parking the car near the source and walking back later. When I did it in full I got a lift to the the start.

Parts 1 to 6 - Aldershot to Blackwater (11)
Parts 12 to 7 - Swallowfield to Blackwater (13)
Coast to Coast

My brother and sister in-laws are doing the whole Coast to Coast walk - we accompanied them on the three-day section from Kirkby Stephen -> Keld -> Reeth -> Richmond.

We stayed at pre-booked B&Bs, with luggage taken on for us each day. Having two cars, we started by leaving one at Richmond and all drove to Kirkby Stephen, returning at the end of the last day to pick up the second car again.

On day one there are a choice of routes across the moors: we took the Red Route.

On day two there is a choice of high or low level routes. The former takes you over the moors and past the old mines - the latter along the river valley. My wife and I took the lower: the others the higher.

Part 1 - Kirkby Stephen to Keld - 14.5 miles (25)
Part 2 - Keld to Reeth - 11.5 / 12.5 (low/high level) (20)
Part 3 - Reeth to Richmond - 12.5 miles (19)
Greensands Way

The Greensand Way is a long distance walk of 108 miles (174 km), from Haslemere in Surrey to Hamstreet in Kent. It follows the Greensand Ridge along the Surrey Hills and Chart Hills. The route is mostly rural. The trail was opened on 15 June 1980.

The route in part runs parallel to the North Downs Way, but a little further south.

The guide divides the whole route into 10 sections: I walked from the start of the walk in the west, Haslemere, to Wormley - sections 1 & 2 - about 10.5 miles. This section passes the Devil's Punch Bowl and the new road tunnel where the A3 has been diverted.

Parts 1 & 2 - Haslemere to Wormley (22)
Kennet & Avon Canal

I cheated slightly here and skipped that part of the route that goes through Reading (about 1.5 miles), since I'd been along there so many times. I started instead on the southern outskirts and walked to Theale, for the first stretch. The next sections all took advantages of stations on the main western railway line, but after Pewsey the canal and railway lines diverge and it's not easy to return without sorting out buses or begging a helping lift.

Part 1 - Reading to Theale - 6 miles (9)
Part 2 - Theale to Newbury - 12.5 miles (10)
Part 3 - Midgham to Kintbury - 11.5 miles (6)
Part 4 - Kintbury to Great Bedwyn - 8.5 miles (7)
Part 5 - Hungerford to Pewsey - 14 miles (19)
North Downs Way

I have walked 4 sections of the North Downs Way, starting from the west. My start/stop locations were Farnham, Guildford, Dorking. Mertsham and Oxted - the distances were 11/13/10/8 miles respectively.

Part 1 - Farnham to Guildford (20)
Part 2 - Guildford to Dorking (24)
Part 3 - Dorking to Mertsham (37)
Part 4 - Mertsham to Oxted (11)
The Mole Gap Trail

This is an easy half-day walk from Leatherhead to Dorking.

North to South (19)
Oxford Canal

I was lucky enough to get a lift from my daughter from the centre of Oxford, 7 miles north to Thrupp, just past Kidlington. I then walked the towpath back to Oxford.

Thrupp to Oxford (7)
Ramblers Route

The Ramblers Route is a 26 mile circular trail round Bracknell. It is made up of two loops, forming a figure-of-eight. Each loop can be walked separately - the northern section is 19 miles: the southern one 13 miles.

Northern loop (8)
Thames Down Link

The Thames Down Link, as its name implies, is a 15 mile route joining the Thames (at Kingston) to the North Down Way ( at Westhumble, near Dorking). The northern quarter also overlaps with the London Outer Orbital Path (LOOP). This is a good days walk.

All in one - (13)
Thames Path

Although we have walked parts of the Thames Path many times over the time we have lived in the area, I made a point of formally covering as much as I could cover in 2011. This took me in 6 sections from Goring in the north to Staines in the south.

Goring to Reading (11)
Reading to Henley (11)
Henley to Marlow (22)
Marlow to Maidenhead (6)
Maidenhead to Windsor (21)
Windsor to Staines (33)
Three Castles Way

The Three Castles Path is a 60 mile route, inspired by the 13th century journeys of King John between Windsor and Winchester, via the castle he built in Odiham. The guide divides it into 15 sections - I have covered the first half, sections 1 to 7, in two trips - Windsor to Crowthorne and Crowthorne to Winchfield. The second half of the route has no handy public transport - some other arrangement will be needed.

Parts 1 to 4 - Windsor to Crowthorne (29)
Parts 5 to 7 - Crowthorne to Winchfield (24)
Wey Navigation

The Wey Navigation is a combination of river and canal, from the Thames at Weybridge to Guildford (15 miles) extended by a further 4 miles to Godalming. I first checked out the Guildford to Goldalming section; then later the complete route. Finally a National Trust book of walks allows you to create a simple figure-of-eight walk from Guildford to Godalming and back - one of my favourite walks.

Explore Godalming (2)
Complete route (7)
Guildford to Godalming and return - (30)
Wey-South Path

The Wey-South Path links the North Downs Way and the South Downs Way, following the towpath of the (disused) Wey & Arun Canal as closely as possible. In total it runs for 34 miles, divided into 6 sections. Using nearby stations at Billinghurst and Amberley, I was able to walk sections 5 and 6.

Parts 5 and 6 (25)

Part 2 - short day trips

Denham, the LOOP, and Grand Union (Walkingworld 64)

An interesting walk near Denham, including a stretch of the London Loop along the Grand Union Canal, part of the Hillingdon Trail and the village of Denham itself. Considering it is all within the M25, it is a surprisingly quiet and mostly rural walk. Denham is a lovely village to dawdle through in anyone's book! Canals and canal-boats fascinate many walkers and this canal, the Grand Union, is the Daddy of them all.The walk is 11 miles long.

(31)
Taplow - Jubilee River - Bray Lock - Taplow (Walkingworld 5038) This short waterside route visits two contrasting waterways. The Jubilee River, a flood relief scheme, is managed as a haven for wildlife and is quiet and peaceful. The route starts in the old centre of Taplow, and then uses well-made field-paths and tracks to reach first the Jubilee River and then the Thames at Bray Lock. The riverside path leads past Bray on the opposite bank, where there are some magnificent waterside properties to admire in this wealthy village, to reach Isambard Brunel's Maidenhead Bridge, famously depicted by William Turner in his great painting in 1844. We then leave the Thames to cross the Jubilee River again before a short climb leads back to Taplow. The walk is 4.5 miles long.
(9)
Three Counties Walk: West Drayton - Iver - Langley (Walkingworld 5023) Take a leisurely stroll along this tranquil, linear, river and canal route between two stations on the Reading to Paddington line. Starting in Middlesex, follow in turn the Grand Union Canal, the River Colne and the Slough Arm of the canal through Buckinghamshire and finish in Berkshire at Langley Station. The walk is 5.6 miles long.
(17)
Medmenham - Rassier Wood - Homefield Wood - Medmenham (Walkingworld 2) Take a leisurely stroll along this tranquil, linear, river and canal route between two stations on the Reading to Paddington line. Starting in Middlesex, follow in turn the Grand Union Canal, the River Colne and the Slough Arm of the canal through Buckinghamshire and finish in Berkshire at Langley Station. The walk is 5.6 miles long.
(10)
Aston Rowant

The walk was developed by Aston Rowant Parish Council and is called the Aston Rowant Discovery Trail. The Trail is stile free and fully way marked. The circular route is 5.3m but with the extension to a pub and hotel it's 6.2m.

Starting at the little village of Aston Rowant, close to the M40 and the escarpment of the Chilterns, the walk starts with a simple, level walk across farmland until the steep slopes of the Chilterns are reached.  At the top of the hill the walk takes you through the woods of a nature reserve to the views at the top of Beacon Hill.  After the descent the walk passes through the village of Lewknor, with a handy pub, before continuing back to the start.

(Details)
Maidensgrove - Ewelme - Russell's Water - Maidensgrove (Walkingworld 5665)

Of all the lovely walks in the Chilterns, this has to be my favourite. There are lots of open spaces with wide vistas over the Chilterns and down into Oxfordshire, mixed with shady woodland tracks. Russell's Water, one of the pretty villages, is ideal for a short rest where you can sit on a bench and watch the ducks on the village pond. Ewelme is a jewel of a place, well worth spending some time exploring the church, the almshouses and the oldest continuously functioning school building in the country, founded in 1437. There are a couple of other interesting old churches in Swyncombe and Pishill, so do allow time for sightseeing when planning your walk.

(24)
Wargrave - Crazies Hill - High Knowl Wood - Wargrave (Walkingworld 5883)

A scenic walk with fantastic views of the Berkshire countryside to the east of Wargrave, especially good during autumn, though it can be muddy, so avoid wearing your best footwear!

(33)
Finchampstead - Historic Pathways walk and Walkingworld (6975)

As part of the U3A Thames Valley Network's "Historic Pathways" project, a walk around Finchampstead was designed. I subsequently adapted it as a Walkingworld walk.

(29)
Swallowfield and the Whitewater, Blackwater and Loddon Rivers (Walkingworld 7032)

A pleasant walk from Swallowfield village, along quiet roads and paths.

(16)
A tour of Broadmoor

I tried out this walk a couple of times (10 & 17 June 2013), before using it as my contributon to the U3A Thames Valley Network's "Historic Pathways" project (18 October 2013). I then adapted it as a Walkingworld walk (6913), as well. Starting in a nature reserve it takes a circular route, with good views of Broadmoor and passing close to the hospital just before the end.

(21)
Barkham - Historic Pathways walk

This walk of about three miles takes in some of the significant buildings of the village and a variety of paths and lanes around the parish. The paths are clearly marked; strong footwear is advised for a few sections which may be wet or muddy. There are four stiles and several veteran trees along the way.

(11)
Winkfield - Historic Pathways walk and Walkingworld (7088)

As part of the U3A Thames Valley Network's "Historic Pathways" project, a walk around Winkfield was designed. I subsequently adapted it as a Walkingworld walk.

(11)

Part 3 - Walks on my TO-Do list

Oxfordshire Way

The southern half of this route, from a few miles east of Oxford to Henley, lends itself perfectly to being achieved by begging a lift from my daughter from Oxford to Tiddington, to start the trip, and then getting a train home at the end.

Wokingham Way

The Wokingham Way was put together by Loddon Valley Ramblers, with the aim of designing a long distance walk which followed the Wokingham Borough unitary boundary as far as possible, but with the overriding goal of developing walks which would be attractive. It is 55 miles in total, divided into 10 sections.