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Long Walks Group

Objective: To provide the opportunity for any TVN U3A member to walk all or some of the Thames Path between the source at Thames Head and Windsor.

The plan is to walk in manageable chunks of between 8 and 10 miles, although logistics may make it necessary for one or two legs to exceed this slightly. Members of any affiliated U3A are welcome on any of the walks, which will be linear and will take place between July 2010 and October 2011. Circumstances may, however, make it necessary to limit the numbers for some of the walks.

Details of individual walks will be published in the project newsletter and on the TVN website. Each walk will have its own co-ordinator, with whom all intending walkers should make contact, as detailed in the brief for that walk.

Further information can be obtained from Ian Clarkson, Faringdon & District U3A, 01793 782836 or at

Long Walks Group:
The First Walk, Section 3 of Thames Walks

Walk Co-ordinator: Ian Clarkson, Faringdon & District U3A
: Wednesday 21st July 2010
Meeting Place
: Market Place, Lechlade
: Lechlade to Tadpole Bridge, via St John’s Lock, Buscot Weir and Radcot – 10 miles (approx)
: Numerous Locks and Weirs, Ancient and Modern Bridges, Battle Sites and, of course, glorious river bank walking
: Bus service from Swindon Bus Station (9:45am) to Lechlade (10:25am). At  the end of the walk there is a half-hourly service into Swindon along the A420, which is 2 miles from Tadpole Bridge.  For those travelling by car (recommended) there is ample car parking half a mile south of Lechade off the A361. Arrangements will be made to transport drivers back from Tadpole Bridge  to Lechlade on the Faringdon Community Bus, so that they can pick up their cars and return to pick up their passengers from the end of the walk
We anticipate these walks being quite popular which, together with the length of the walk, makes a pub lunch difficult. The lunch stop will be at Radcot Bridge, where a packed lunch can be enjoyed on one bank of the river, while The Swan on the other bank might quench a few thirsts. There is also the attractive Trout Inn at the end of the walk.
If you would like to join this inaugural walk please send an email to simply giving your name, U3A, telephone number and email address, and your proposed method of transport. You will then be advised of detailed plans for the day.

Section 1
Philip Eagle
proposes to walk the first section of the Thames path from the source at Kemble, Gloucestershire to Cricklade, Wiltshire on Wednesday September 15. There is an hourly train service from Swindon and I propose to use the 8.54am train which arrives in Kemble at 9.07am.
Buses from Cirencester to Swindon pick up in Cricklade at 3.25pm, 4.25pm, 5.25pm and (the last bus) at 6.25pm.
The walk is along a well marked and well maintained path, mostly grass and following close to the river thus there are no hills. The first few miles are through fields but it soon begins to thread its way through the man-made lakes created for gravel extraction and known as Cotswold Water Park. It skirts two villages; Ewen and Ashton Keynes, neither of which has a shop so walkers will need to carry all food and water.
Please note that the total route is in excess of 12 miles and there is no opportunity to pick up public transport at intermediate points. Anyone taking part must be prepared to complete the full distance and be aware of the times of public transport at the end of the walk
Please advise me if you intend to take part by E-mail to or telephone on Swindon (01793) 700046.

Section 2
He plans to walk the second leg of the Thames Path from Cricklade to Lechlade on Wednesday September 29 using the 9.20 am bus from Swindon to Cricklade. This is a distance of approx 11 miles and once again there are no shops after Cricklade in which to obtain food or drink. The path is initially parallel to the river and then on a tarmac road. It diverges from the river after a few miles and, indeed, finishes with a mile or more unpleasant walk along the very busy A361 road into Lechlade. Once again, it will be necessary to complete the total distance as there is no access to public transport between Cricklade and Lechlade
The bus service from Lechlade back to Swindon is not frequent and buses leave Lechlade at 14.08, 15.13, 15.52, 17.08, and 18.02.
Note that concessionary bus passes are not eligible for journeys starting in Wiltshire before 9.30am on weekdays.
Please advise me if you intend to take part by E-mail to or telephone on Swindon (01793) 700046.


4 Locks, 3 miles between each makes a pleasant, easy 9 miles which will go
 straight through with a 15 min break halfway.

The route takes us over Horseshoe Bridge, where the Kennet joins the
Thames, and pass the grounds of Reading Blue Coat school. We cross
from Berkshire to Oxfordshire via Sonning Bridge, past Shiplake
College, through Shiplake then on to Marsh lock. From there it’s a
15 minute stroll to the Catherine Wheel for a late lunch. For those who
prefer a packed lunch there are plenty of seats at Henley riverside.

Meet: Reading Bridge for a 10:30 start. ETA Henley 14:30

Car Park: Hills Meadow GR SU 71800 74059  is adjacent to the bridge.
Reading station is a 5 minute walk, follow signs for Caversham/River
Buses back from Henley are at 25 & 55.
For further information
contact Lin Godfrey 0118 9477820
Mobile on day 07747  357825

Faringdon U3A organising 
Tadpole Bridge to Bablock Hythe Wednesday  10th November 2010.

Ian Clarkson, Faringdon U3A, will be leading this easy 10 mile walk along a lovely if lonely stretch of the Thames. It is recommended that participants travel to Tadpole Bridge by car as the start and finish of the walk are both some distance from public transport. Arrangements will be made to ferry drivers back to the start to pick up cars from Tadpole Bridge. If groups wish to bring two cars, leaving one at the start and one at the finish please let Ian know so that he can obtain permission from the landlord of the Bablock Hythe. If public transport is a strong preference please contact Ian who will try to suggest a workable arrangement.

The walk will start at 10:30am and we will aim to reach The Ferryman at Bablock Hythe by 3:00pm, where refreshment can be obtained. We will stop for lunch at Newbridge where participants have the choice of two hostelries or the river bank for a picnic.

If you are interested in registering for this walk or would like more information please contact Ian at He will send out more details to all who register.

Marlow U3A
Wednesday 16th March - Bourne End to
On Wednesday 16th March Marlow U3A will lead a level walk along the Thames Path form
Eton to Bourne End – a distance of about 11 miles.

We will meet at the Spade Oak public car park (not the pub car park), Coldharbour Lane, GR SP 884876, post code SL8 5PS, at 10:00am. You will then be driven to Eton for the start of the walk back to Spade Oak, where you can either go straight home or celebrate in the pub. Coffee and tea can be bought at Boulter’s Lock but please bring a packed lunch.

It is essential that those wishing to join the walk let me know of their intentions at,  or on 01628 524306, by Monday 7th March so that transport can be arranged. All U3A members are welcome to join the walk but you will be responsible for your own transport if you do not contact me before March 7th.

Brenda Smith, Marlow U3A

April Long Walk: Bablock Hythe to Oxford by  Faringdon U3A

The arrangements for April’s walk can now be confirmed as follows:

Date: Wednesday 13th April

Meet: Either a)at Bus Stop B1 in George Street,  Oxford at 11:00am to catch the 11:05am bus to Bablock Hythe, arriving at 11:38am (more precise details will be sent to participants later) or b) at The Ferryman, Bablock Hythe at 11:40am. We will start walking at 11:45am

The later start is because this is the only  bus to go to Bablock Hythe each morning

The Route is via Pinkhill Lock, Swinford Bridge and Godstow  - easy walking through gorgeously tranquil and level Oxfordshire countryside. There are two possible end points – Osney (9.5 miles) or Folly Bridge (10.5 miles) The choice will be up to individuals on the day but the next section – Oxford to Abingdon – will start from Folly Bridge.

Refreshments: Although there are several delightful pubs on or close to the route, they are either too early or too late to be suitable for a lunch stop,  so a packed lunch is recommended. This is not to say that we can’t enjoy some refreshment at The Trout at Godstow or The Perch at Binsey as we near the end of the walk!

If you are interested in joining us, or would like more information,  please contact the walk leader, Ian Clarkson on 01793 782836 or at, indicating whether you will be meeting us in Oxford or at Bablock Hythe. Ian will then contact you with more specific details nearer the time.

Goring Gap U3A 
Date  Monday 9th May 2011 

Contact Ann Walsh   Goring Gap U3A 

Where   Goring Village Hall to Caversham 

For  Members of any Affiliated TVN U3A 

Meeting Place  Goring Village Hall .  Parking in Central Car Park or station, 10am start.  See map attached of Goring Village. A 10 mile walk along the Thames Path to Reading, returning by train to Goring. (every 30 mins)

See map attached of Goring Village

Refreshments  Picnic lunch at Mapledurham Lock, drinks & ice cream available 

Registration  e-mail to with name, U3A  and telephone number

Thameside (Wallingford) U3A 

A walk from Dorchester-on-Thames to Wallingford 

Walk Co-ordinator:  Kevin Harrison, Thameside (Wallingford) U3A 

Date: Thursday 19th May 2011 

Meeting Place:  Riverside Car-Park (by Wallingford Bridge) at Crowmarsh. 

Route:  Short bus-ride from Crowmarsh to Dorchester.  Return walk via Dorchester, Wittenham Clumps, Shillingford Bridge, Benson Marina and Wallingford – 7 miles. Level and fairly easy walking, except one optional climb to Wittenham Clumps. 

Features:  Dorchester village and Abbey, iron-age earthworks, Day’s Lock, optional short but steep climb to Wittenham Clumps (excellent views of the Thames and  in every direction), woodland walk to Shillingford Bridge, riverside walk via Benson Marina and Benson Lock to Wallingford and Crowmarsh. 

Refreshments:  Stop at Wittenham Clumps for morning coffee (bring your own!) and informal lunch-stop at Benson Waterfront Café (wide range of light meals and drinks available) immediately next to Benson Riverside park, where an alternative option is to bring a picnic. Walk finishes in Wallingford with its riverside Boathouse (café-bar), other cafés, shops and interesting Museum. 

Registration: If you would like to join this walk, please (preferably) email Kevin at stating your interest, giving your name, U3A, telephone number and email address (otherwise telephone 01491 834632). You will then be advised of detailed plans for the day.  Please note that for practical reasons numbers will be limited to 25, so book early to avoid disappointment. 

Henley 7th June
Henley to Bourne End – Tuesday 7th June.
Note change of date from the 8th June

Meet at 10:30am in front of the River and Rowing Museum, Henley, walk to Bourne End.
Return to Henley by train – 10 minutes to Marlow – and then bus (remember bus passes)
Easy walking means that we should be back in Henley sometime between 4:00pm and 5:00pm. It would be good to have a good turnout for this picturesque section, so why not come and join us. 

Participants should contact Jill Kendal on 0118 972 2201 or at to let her know of the intention to walk and also to receive full joining instructions.

Abingdon U3A

Long Walk – Oxford to Abingdon

Leader: Eric Nuttall, Abingdon U3A

Date: Wednesday 6th July         Start time: 10:30am     Distance: 9 miles

Meet at Oxford Police Station, St Aldgates – the most convenient Park and Ride is Redbridge

The route takes us from Folly Bridge along the towpath, passing the college boathouses on our way to Iffley and Sandford locks. We will have a picnic lunch at Radley before ending the wak=lk at Abingdon Weir, Lock and Bridge at approximately 3:00pm. Return to Oxford by bus.

If you are interested in joining this walk or would like more information please contact Eric Nuttall on 01235 522496 or at

August Long Walk: Dorchester to Goring

The arrangements for August’s long walk  - the penultimate leg - are as follows:

Date: Thursday 18th August

Meet: At the Dorchester Bridge car park in Henley Road, Dorchester

Public transport between Goring and Dorchester is somewhat limited so it is suggested that people come by car. Drivers will be chauffeured back to Dorchester at the end of the walk, whence they can return to Goring for their passengers.

The Route is a delightful easy walk via Shillingworth, Preston Crowmarsh, Wallingford and the edge of Cholsey. The distance is approximately 12.5 miles.

Refreshments: Because of the length of the walk it is suggested that participants bring a packed lunch – there are several hostelries in Goring in which to celebrate at the end!

If you are interested in joining us, or would like more information,  please contact either the walk leader, Christine Usher of Wokingham U3A on  0118 987 2736 or  at or the Long Walks Co-ordinator, Ian Clarkson, on 01793 782836 or at  In registering your interest please try to indicate how many people and cars there are likely to be in your party so that arrangements to ferry the correct number of drivers can be made.

More exact details will be sent, to all who register an interest/intention to walk, approximately five days before the event