During the week Shelli mentioned about going for a walk at the weekend, to spend some time together before Sunday was taken up with coursework. Never one to turn down a good walk I got to thinking about where we could go.
Living in Woodcote – at the top of a hill – inevitably means that where ever we walk to from home, it’ll mean going downhill and then back uphill at some point. With that in mind I planned a circular walk down to Pangbourne, where we’d have lunch before making our way back home again.
Saturday was supposed to be the better day weather-wise. You’d wouldn’t have guessed it as we headed out the door in that really nasty light drizzle. That horrible stuff that lulls you into a false sense of security, thinking you’ll be fine and won’t get too wet, only to be soaked through a little while later!
Making our way out of the village and through the woods we were sheltered from the worst of the drizzle. That was until we came out of the woods and plodded up the slippery wet path up to the B4526. We got pretty wet then, but the coats and boots did a good job of keeping us dry and warm.
Enjoying the walk and chatting away we didn’t notice when the rain stopped, but it did, and we got into Pangbourne at 11:30am, an hour and 40 minutes from when we left. Not bad considering we weren’t exactly rushing.
We headed to the Swan pub, somewhere we’d been before with Snow, so we knew we’d be getting a good lunch and nice pint! It was still early – they don’t start serving lunch until midday – but we (Shelli remembered) that they got quite busy the last time we were there so we settled in at a table and got a lovely pint of Moondance by the Triple fff Brewery to keep us going until we could order our food.
While sitting and chatting, one of the guys from behind the bar came over with a bowl of water for Snow. We didn’t ask them for it, they just did it, and surprisingly Snow had a little drink out of it, something she rarely does while we’re out walking. She much prefers a good muddy puddle to a bowl of clean water! It really is a great pub to take your dog to!
Just before midday I ordered our food: two whole baked camemberts (they’re supposed to be shared) and two portions of chunky chips. We’d definitely earned the naughty lunch after the walk down, and the walk back up ahead of us.
The food was absolutely delicious. Baked camembert has got to be one of the best naughty, comforting foods there is! Dunking our bread into the gooey cheese was absolutely lush. So so good.
Bellies full we [somewhat reluctantly] got our gear back on and left the Swan behind. We walked through the centre of Pangbourne and back over the bridge to Whitchurch-on-Thames to pick up the Thames Path towards Goring.
Now, I have to confess here that while we were sat in the pub I’d said to Shelli that there was “only one hill” on the way home, which wasn’t completely true. I put my hands up to that.
As we reached the end of Hartslock Bridleway we came to our first “dip”, and by dip I mean a sharp downhill section followed immediately with a sharp uphill section. Shelli wasn’t happy! Sorry honey. She did awesomely well though and steamed up the hill.
From there the Thames Path took us gradually downhill, something that was commented on a few times by Shelli, and about a mile along the path we came to the next hill. I’ll admit, this is a tough hill having done it a couple of times already. Thankfully there’s a wooden seat at the top so you can catch your breath while taking in the stunning view.
I took my pack off and we sat for a bit, enjoying a can of cider before heading off again along the track to – yep you guessed it – the next hill! Gatehampton Road towards Cold Harbour is not fun, climbing about 200 feet in half a mile. A few choice words were said to me.
From there we headed through the woods and Cold Harbour, skirting the Oratory Preparatory School before heading through the woods again back to Woodcote.
We’d been lucky with the weather on the way back home. That was until we were just round the corner from home and the heaven’s began to open. Talk about lucky as this was proper rain, not the drizzly stuff from earlier in the morning.
It was so good to get out and spend the hours with my wonderful wife, enjoying the countryside and each other’s company. With everything that’s gone on this past year, and Shelli’s back problems, just getting out for the day has taken a bit of a back seat. Really looking forward to getting out more and recording our little adventures.
Taking photos and writing about what we do is something I really didn’t feel like I could do for some time after Russ’ passing. I’m ready to get back on that horse again so watch this space for more adventures to come this year!
|Miles||Start (HH:MM)||Finish (HH:MM)||Breaks (HH:MM)||Walking (HH:MM)||Pace (MPH)||Steps Taken|
|Start Elavation (m)||End Elavation (m)||Max Elevation (m)||Min Elevation (m)||Total Climb (m)||Total Descent (m)||Climbs on Route|
|Rating||Start Point (miles)||End Point (miles)||Length (miles)||Start Elevation (m)||End Elevation (m)||Average Grade|
More information about climb ratings can be found at Map My Walk.