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Our Programme of Walks and Events

Our programme of walks and social events is regularly updated. New items are often added, but occasionally existing items have to be changed, so please check before travelling.

Our group has been walking since July 2012 and we've been to all sorts of places in and around Berkshire. Take a look at our Scrapbook to see where we've been so far.

Walks: Our walks are mostly planned and led by volunteers from within our group, but we also have joint walks with our neighbouring Ramblers groups. The walks are open to all members of the Ramblers and to anyone interested in joining our group.

Note: The Ramblers website has a Walk Finder Page where you can find other walks in your area.

Social Events: Our social events are mostly organised by volunteers from within the group and are open to members of the Berkshire Weekend Walkers and to anyone considering joining the group.

Holidays: Our walking holidays are mostly planned and led by volunteers from within our group, but we sometimes use Ramblers approved holiday companies. The holidays led by our group are open to members of other Ramblers groups, but where numbers are limited, priority will be given to members of our own group. (Obviously the holidays run by holiday companies are open to anyone.)

Sat Nav references are given as a post code and as Latitude/Longitude co-ordinates. Ordnance Survey Landranger map references for the start point of walks are also provided for the more traditional map reader.

Please be aware that post codes in the countryside may cover a large area and your Sat Nav device will assume the centre of that area, which may not be where we are! It is much more accurate to put Lat/Long co-ordinates into your Sat Nav if you can. (Most of them can accept Lat/Long input. Have a look in the manual.)

September 2019

Sunday 1st September: 8½ Mile Walk - Wick Hill and Longwater Lane, Finchampstead (moderate)

Meeting Point: Car park behind shops at junction of Finchampstead Rd and Nine Mile Rd
Post Code: RG40 3RB, Lat/Long: N51.3763°, W0.8557°, OS Map: SU797647

Meet up for a 10:30am at the free car park behind the shops at the double mini-roundabout at the junction of B3016 Finchampstead Road and B3430 Nine Mile Road, South of Wokingham.

A variety of woodland and river scenery within the parish of Finchampstead. We traverse the National Trust slopes of The Ridges to the village cricket pitch and the Saxon Hilltop of St. James Church. The Moor Green lakes & Nature Reserve and Blackwater Valley river path offer great diversity along with the Gravel Pits.

We have an optional pub stop or welcome homemade cake and tea stop California Country Park near the end to complete our walk.

Leaders: Ann and Kathy 07800 728 667 or 07794 406 438

Saturday 7th September: 7¾ Mile Walk - Reading to Pangbourne along the Thames (easy)

Meeting Point: Reading Railway Station, outside the Three Guineas pub on Station Approach
Post Code: RG1 1LZ, Lat/Long: N51.4587°, W0.9729°, OS Map: SU714738

This relatively flat, linear walk follows the Thames from Reading to Pangbourne. It involves a single train journey from Pangbourne to Reading (£3.90).

If you live in Reading, please be in the square at the south entrance of the railway, outside The Three Guineas pub, by for 10:40am ready to start the walk. At the end of the walk, you can come back to Reading on the 14:17, 14:47 or 15:17 from Pangbourne. (The pub-stop is at the end of the walk and close to the station, to help with timing.)

If you live outside Reading and are travelling by car, it is better to park at Pangbourne Station (parking costs £3.30 for the day, which is cheaper than at Reading) and catch the 10:18 train into Reading, which arrives at 10:30 in time for the walk. (I would advise getting to Pangbourne by 10:00 to give you time to put on your boots and buy the parking and train tickets.)

We will start at 10:40am and cross under the station to join the Thames Path by the Thames Water building. We will follow the river (crossing over a couple of times before leaving Reading) to Purley, where we will do a bit of road-walking and rejoin the river at Mapledurham Lock. Here we will have a picnic lunch stop before continuing along the Thames Path to Pangbourne, where there will be an optional pub-stop at the end.

Please bring a packed lunch and drink, as usual.

Leader: Rob C. 07786 116 988

Sunday 15th September: 7 Mile Walk - Basingstoke Parks and Old Basing (easy)

Meeting Point: Basingstoke Railway Station
Post Code: RG21 5NE, Lat/Long: N51.2685°, W1.0875°, OS Map: SU637525

Meet outside the front entrance of Basingstoke Railway Station (opposite The Malls) for a 10:20am start. (The slightly earlier time is to suit the train times.)

Public Transport: Trains leaving Reading at 09:40 (platform 2) and 09:52 (platform 8B) get in to Basingstoke at 10:05 and 10:10 respectively. Trains from Farnborough/Fleet/Hook get in to Basingstoke at 09:58 (There are three trains an hour back to Reading, and one train per hour back to Farnborough/Fleet/Hook/etc.) Check National Rail website for train times.

Car Parking: Parking at the railway station car park costs £3.50 for the day. Ticket machines take coins and cards. (Parking tickets may also be purchased from the station office if there is a problem with the machines.)

This walk is a mixture of urban parks and countryside. It follows the Basing Trail, which loops through three of the parks of Basingstoke and through Old Basing, following the River Loddon for some of the route. We will stop for a picnic lunch along the way and stop for a drink at the Millstone pub in Old Basing.

Please bring a packed lunch and drink as usual.

Leader: Rob C. 07786 116 988

Sunday 22nd September: 9 Mile Walk - Kingsclere and Sydmonton (moderate/hilly)
- Joint walk with the Pang Valley Ramblers

Meeting Point: White Hill car park, Kingsclere (between Newbury and Basingstoke)
Post Code: RG20 5PY, Lat/Long: N51.3053°, W1.2609°, OS Map: SU516565

Meet for a 10:30am start at the White Hill (free) car park on the B3051 just south of Kingsclere. Kingsclere in on the A339 between Newbury and Basingstoke. Drive south through the village on Swan Street and then follow the B3051 up White Hill. The car park is on the left at the top of the hill, and there is plenty of extra parking in a long lay-by opposite it. (Note that the postcode RG20 5PY is for the stables, which you pass on the way up to the car park.)

The walk follows the gallops over Watership Down and then heads down to Sydmonton. From there we will pass through Ecchinswell and Kingsclere, where we will pop into the pub before heading back up to White Hill. This walk is quite hilly and is likely to be muddy in places.

Please bring a packed lunch and drink as usual.

Leader: Rob C. 07786 116 988

Saturday 28th September: Short walk followed by West Berkshire Brewery OktoberWest

Meeting Point: Reading / Midgham railway station

Meet either at Reading railway station platform 1 at 11:00am or Midgham railway station in Woolhampton at 11:27am.

Apparently, this is the can't-miss event of the summer! OktoberWest 2019 promises to be a cracker complete with some of the best local bands providing live music. A selection of Bavaria's finest brews alongside West Berkshire Breweries own award-winning real ales and craft beers. Great street food is also available.

Rail ticket cost £5.10, depart platform 1 at 11:10. We will arrive into Midgham at 11:27.

6-mile walk will start at Midgham station (Woolhampton) at 11:30 to the brewery. We will have a short snack and drink stop enroute and expect to arrive at the brewery around 2pm.

Taxis / minibus will be arranged for 9.30pm pick up from the brewery and return to Reading Station. Approximate cost £10.

To book your ticket, which costs £15 per person, go direct to ticket booking

The price includes a free pint of beer and stein glass with every ticket. Please note tickets are selling fast, so please book early to avoid disappointment. Don't forget to bring your wristband!

There are also transport options available to and from Newbury station for £20. Please see the website for further information.

Please let Jane know once you have booked your ticket by Sunday 1st September. Please confirm if you require transport to Reading station at 9.30pm. Jane will then book the cheapest transport available and confirm costs.

New and prospective members are welcome to come and find out what we're about.

Organiser: Jane K 07881 805 156 or janekendrick(at)btinternet.com

(Please replace the (at) with an @ in the email address above.)

Sunday 29th September: 8¾ Mile Walk - West Ilsley and the Ridgeway (moderate)
- Joint walk with the Pang Valley Ramblers

Meeting Point: Bury Down/Ridgeway car park on Bury Lane, West Ilsley
Post Code: RG20 7AZ, Lat/Long: N51.5532°, W1.3101°, OS Map: SU479840

Meet for a 10:30am start at the Bury Down/Ridgeway car park on Bury Lane. From West Ilsley, head north on Bury Lane for a mile to the car park. (The car park doesn't have a post code. The post code above is for a farm half-way between West Ilsley and the car park on Bury Lane).

We should have beautiful open views across the downs and shaded wooded paths, partly along the Ridgeway and in horse racing country. The walk is up and down with a total ascent of 140m. No stiles.

Please bring a packed lunch and drink, as usual.

Led by the Pang Valley Ramblers

October 2019

Sunday 6th October: 6¾ Mile Walk - River Kennet and Sulhamstead Bannister (easy)

Meeting Point: Meet at the south end of Wigmore Lane (cul-de-sac), Theale.
Post Code: RG7 5HH, Lat/Long: N51.4287°, W1.0912°, OS Map: SU632703

Meet for a 10:30am start from the south end of Wigmore Lane (cul-de-sac), Theale. When you come off the roundabout on the A4, drive to the T-junction at Wigmore Lane and turn left. Further down on the left hand side there is ample parking in front of metal fencing. Please note all other verges are residents parking only.

This circular walk, to the south of Theale, provides a marked contrast in scenery, from the waterways and lakes of the Lower Kennet Water Park to the undulating farmland and meadows around Sulhamstead. Please note some paths maybe overgrown with nettles, so long trousers and long sleeves are advised.

Please bring packed lunch and drink/water. Unfortunately, there is no pub stop on this walk.

Leader: Jane K 07881 805 156

Saturday 12th October: Oxford Trip for Adam's 50th Birthday
- Ashmolean Museum followed by a Pub Crawl

Details to follow...

Organiser: Adam W

Thursday Evening 17th October: First Aid course

Meeting Point: St John Ambulance Centre, Deadmans Lane, Theale
Post Code: RG7 5FB, Lat/Long: N51.4354°, W1.0864°

Meet in time for a 6:30pm start for our next 3 hour First Aid course at the St John Ambulance Centre, Deadmans Lane, Theale.

These first aid courses are being subsidised by the Ramblers who pay St John Ambulance directly for the course. When you have successfully completed the course you will be awarded a certificate that is valid for 3 years. After attending the course, you will be asked to contribute £15 towards the cost of the course.

If you would like to attend the course please let David Turner know by emailing him and let him know you are in the Berkshire Weekend Walkers group.

Organiser: David Turner or turnerd2(at)btinternet.com

(Please replace the (at) with an @ in the email address above.)

Sunday 20th October: 9½ Mile Walk - Bix and Maidensgrove Common (moderate)
- A Step Back in Time

Meeting Point: Lay-by on B480 in Middle Assendon, near the Rainbow Inn
Post Code: RG9 6AT, Lat/Long: N51.5655°, W0.9353°, OS Map: SU738857

What can I say about this lovely walk that takes in the very best of the Chilterns? We have hills, a ruined medieval church, expansive views, a nature reserve and a pub stop.

We will park our vehicles in the layby in Middle Assendon and meet near the Rainbow Inn pub at a later than usual 11:30 start. A chance to have a lie in perhaps!

The route takes us in a westerly direction to begin with to the village of Bix passing a local church that had replaced the now ruined medieval church in 1875. Our lunch stop will be at the older building which is very unusual for being such an old historic building being abandoned relatively recently.

We continue our walk through the Warburg Nature Reserve, snaking along the footpaths until we make a sharp ascent to Maidensgrove. The pub stop here rewards us with far reaching views of the valley. We take a more direct route to the walks conclusion, pausing to view the medieval church down below.

Much of the walk is over soft terrain and through woodlands which should offer good shelter if desired with limited amount of road walking but one steep ascent. This idyllic walk is not to be missed so stick it in your diary.

Please bring packed lunch and something to drink. Possible lift from walk leader from Reading if given enough notice.

Leader: Dan H. 07761 192 509

November 2019

Sunday 24th November: 8½ Mile Walk - The Countryside around Goring (moderate)
- Joint walk with the Pang Valley Ramblers

Meeting Point: Wheel Orchard car park, off Station Road, Goring
Post Code: RG8 9HB, Lat/Long: N51.5218°, W1.1371°, OS Map: SU599806

Meet up for a 10:30am start at the Wheel Orchard pay-and-display car park behind the Catherine Wheel pub in Goring. This car park is free on Sundays.

The walk starts along a very attractive section of the Thames Path. After emerging above Whitchurch, it climbs the hill, goes through three farms before entering Great Chalk Wood. The walk then enters more open countryside before returning to Goring. There are some steep hills.

Please bring a packed lunch and drink, as usual.

Led by the Pang Valley Ramblers.

December 2019

Saturday Evening 28th December: Post Christmas meet up at the Back of Beyond, Reading

Meeting Point: Back of Beyond pub, 104–108 Kings Road, Reading
Post Code: RG1 3BY, Lat/Long: N51.4548°, W0.9634°

Details to follow...

Organisers: Jude and Adam

Updates to Details

Please note that walks, social events and holidays may be added to this programme at any time. Also we occasionally have to make changes to an item that is already on the programme. If you have printed out this programme, please be aware that it may have changed since you printed it.

If you are unable to check the website before attending a walk, it would be wise to call the walk leader/event organiser to confirm that the details haven't changed.

If you wish to reproduce any of the events from this programme in a local paper, magazine or elsewhere on the Internet, please contact us. Your reproduction could become incorrect and misleading if we update the programme and were not able to alert you of the changes. Also we would like to extend the courtesy of informing our leaders that their walk has been more widely publicised, so that they may expect more attendees than usual.

Booking of Social Events

Please remember that our social events are organised by volunteers, so your co-operation is greatly appreciated. For some events the organisers need to know in advance who is going so they can make the necessary bookings etc. If you wish to attend a social event that specifies a deadline then please contact the organiser before the deadline otherwise you will be putting them to extra trouble and it may not be possible to change the booking anyway.

If there are still some spare places on an event after the specified deadline has passed, a bulletin will be sent out, otherwise you must assume you are too late. (Please don't try to sneak in by contacting the venue and changing the booking without the organisers knowledge or consent!)

Also, if you are booked on an event and then find you are unable to make it after all, please let the organiser know so that they don't wait around for you, and as they may be able to offer the place to someone else.

Thank you very much for your co-operation.