Asri was going off to a friend’s house in Pangbourne for the night on Saturday so I thought it’d be the perfect excuse for us, the dog and the rest of the girls to head out for a walk seeing as the weather wasn’t supposed to be too bad.
I chose a route Shelli, Asri and I had done before – not too long but not too short – plotted it out and loaded onto my GPS. I was a little miffed it wasn’t on there already considering we’d walked it before but I couldn’t find the route files anywhere, so I clearly hadn’t plotted it before?
The weather had been a bit changeable the last few days so we all took a coat with us, and I had a pack carrying water for everyone and – unknown to the kids – a little chocolate treat for us all to have during the walk. Always a good idea to have a sugar bribe to keep the kids going!
We drove to Pangbourne and dropped Asri at her friend’s and then headed back over the Thames to Whitchurch-on-Thames to park opposite the pub, ready for a drink and snack on our return. Great planning eh?
Walking boots on – we weren’t sure how muddy things might be after the rain over the previous days – and we were off, walking back over the Thames into Pangbourne…again!
As nice as Pangbourne centre is the aim of the walk was to get away from all of the hustle and bustle which surprisingly Pangbourne definitely has on a Saturday with lots of people out and about visiting the shops. Crossing the road by the Co-op and a short walk along The Moors, and we were properly in the great outdoors, walking along the river Pang.
We came across some cows on the other side of the river having a drink. We stopped to say hello, as you do, and Snow – bless her – didn’t fully appreciate the depth of the water as she stumbled forwards and ended up in it, definitely deeper than she was happy with. Poor little thing.
Reaching Tidmarsh Eleni and Elisa fancied a break from the walking and wanted a go on the swing in the park. Sadly, Snow wasn’t allowed into the play area so Shelli went in with them to assist with the swing – see the photo below, it’s hilarious! Snow wasn’t too happy having to wait outside with Alice and me so it wasn’t long before we were back on the trail heading down Mill Lane to the river.
I think it’s fair to say that Snow doesn’t like being in the water, but we tried to coax her into the river before crossing to the fields on the other side. She wasn’t having it though after the earlier mishap. It was a hot day by now though so we helped her in and she had a little paddle before jumping back out.
Over the fields the route started to take us up into Sulham Wood, and up it went. It was a pretty steep climb up through the woods to the car park on Sulham Hill but everyone literally took it in their stride. At the top though I thought it’d be a good time to break out the chocolate, giving everyone a little sugar hit after the “worst” part of the walk. From here it was pretty much downhill all the way back to Pangbourne.
The weather had been really hot so far and – having had to carry their own coats and tops – there were a few grumbles seeing as it had been a wasted effort. Wouldn’t you know, literally a couple of minutes after the grumbles the grey clouds came over and it started to rain, causing a mad rush to get coats on. You couldn’t have planned that better? The rain didn’t last for long though but it stayed a little bit chillier than earlier in the day.
Walking along the edge of Vicarage Wood we all started to play a game. It was quite simple: make your way through the alphabet with each person making up the following, all starting with their letter:
- Their name
- The country they come from
- The thing they sell
For example, for “A” you could say “My name is Alex, I come from Australia, and I sell apples”. The next person moves onto “B” and so on and so on. All good fun and certainly had us all laughing at times.
Unfortunately, we were [or should I say I was?] so distracted we (I?) totally missed the path we were meant to take, which would have taken us back down to Sulham Wood. Instead of turning round (and walking up the hill) we carried on into Mosshall Wood and back to Sulham Wood before heading down to the road and across the fields back to Pangbourne.
Back across the Thames and walk completed – everyone did really well with the heat, and rain, and the hill! – we headed for the pub garden at the Greyhound Inn for a well deserved drink and snack before heading home.
Another “game” we played was guess the length of the walk. I hadn’t told anyone how long the original route was, and as we had a minor detour having missed the path, I didn’t exactly know what the answer was until I’d gotten home and re-plotted the route we’d actually taken, so my guess didn’t count, but I recorded it anyway to see how close I was too.
Here are our guesses:
|Who?||Distance (miles)||Difference (miles)|
It was really close between Eleni and Elisa, but Elisa just got it by 0.04 miles!
A wonderful time in the great outdoors!
|Miles||Start (HH:MM)||Finish (HH:MM)||Breaks (HH:MM)||Walking (HH:MM)||Pace (MPH)|
|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.