Cicerone Walking in the Thames Valley
Cicerone - Walking in the Thames Valley
Walking in the Thames Valley describes 25 adventurous day walks in the area covering the North Hampshire Downs, Berkshire and the Southern Chilterns with easy access to London and Reading. The circular walks vary from 10 to 18 miles, including one 2-day walk, as well as shorter route options for those who want a less strenuous day out.
The River Thames flows through some spectacular areas of countryside including open chalk grassland, broadleaved woodland and farmland. The area is also home to two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the Chilterns and the North Wessex Downs. The 25 adventurous walks take you through the Southern Chilterns, Berkshire, Lambourn, the North Hampshire Downs and Southern Oxfordshire, all within easy reach of Reading, Newbury, Abingdon and London.
For those of you with children, the Thames Valley walks are all fairly long and although the terrain is not too hilly, they can be quite strenuous. It’s advised that only children who are used to longer walks should attempt these routes, although 10 trails do offer shorter alternatives. However, if you fancy a longer and more testing walk several long-distance routes pass through the Thames Valley, and all of them are visited by at least one of the walks described in this book. Extra information on 10 of the longer distance walks is also mentioned.
The routes all offer fantastic sites to visit, both historic and modern, from Iron Age hill forts to the Wilton Windmill and the Kennet and Avon Canal. The two-day walk covers 22 miles by following the line of ancient tracks across southern England, many dating back more than 5000 years, and includes an overnight stop at a youth hostel near Segsbury Castle. The route can also be modified into a long day walk of 18 miles by following alternative directions that are also described in the guidebook.
• Each route offers key information about the route: distance, time, grade, map, start/finishing places
• Key information on transport and refreshments.
• Detailed route descriptions, OS mapping and vibrant colour photographs.
Spring and autumn offer the best walking conditions and clearer skies. In winter some paths may become impassable after heavy rain due to flooding, especially along the Thames.
Reading, Newbury, Abingdon, London
Walks range from 10 to 18 miles, with one 26-mile, 2-day option, all on good paths. Many routes also have shorter options.
The Chilterns and North Wessex Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the World Heritage Site at Avebury, the Uffington White Horse, lots of cosy pubs and ancient churches