This is a very pretty walk, out along the Thames, and back via the hills above. Its mainly flat morning follows the Thames path to the quaint and well preserved hamlet of Hambleden with its brick and flint red roofed buildings. The return is via the wooded geological terrace above river. Historic riverside Henley, with many tea rooms and pubs, is a nice place to finish
The walk starts in Henley (famous for its rowing regatta in late June or early July) and goes along the Thames towpath, with rowing instructors on bikes shouting instructions to their crews, past Temple Island with its neo-folly, to the 250-metre footbridge over the weir at Hambleden Mill, where canoeists practise in the stormy waters. Route finding is easy! From there the route is northwards to the suggested lunchtime pub in the well-preserved hamlet of Hambleden, which has a huge church out of all proportion to the population.
After lunch, the walk for the next 2.5km takes you through the Great Wood, the endlessness of which gives an inkling of how most of Britain must once have been. From the village of Fawley with its church and mausoleum, the walk returns along the Oxfordshire Way, past the manor of Henley Park, to Henley for tea.
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This event requires at least free UCL Hiking Club membership which can be obtained here: https://studentsunionucl.org/clubs-societies/hiking-club
WALK LEADERS: Duncan, Nadia
WALK DISTANCE: 16.1km
WALK TERRAIN: Includes unsurfaced paths or tracks that may become muddy
WALK TOTAL ASCENT: 180m
If you have any concerns about the walk terrain due to disabilities or medical conditions please speak to the walk leader, so that we can make arrangements or plan future hikes that meet your needs.
OVERALL WALK DIFFICULTY: 4 (Beginner friendly, https://www.uclhiking.co.uk/walk-grades)
MEETING POINT: London Paddington at 9.45am
1) Off-peak Day Return from London Paddington to Henley-on-Thames (Outbound 9:57am) (£12.30 with Railcard)
You must purchase your own tickets!
Our recommended app to do this with is 'Avanti West Coast', which also gives you access to e-tickets. You can also purchase them online on the National Rail site or ScotRail. These all allow you to book your train without having to pay a booking fee. The 'Trainline' app is also very good, but they ask for a £0.30 booking fee with every ticket.
- Need help? Meet us 9.45am at London Paddington, in front of WH Smith next to ticket machines
- Walk leaders will be wearing bright-red hats
- Board the 9.57am train to Henley-on-Thames
- *Get off at Henley-on-Thames, and look for the two leaders in bright-red hats
- You're more than welcome to board the train yourself and meet us at the destination if you can find the right train.
- Make sure to arrive on time, as we will not wait for those who are late!
* We will separate into different train carriages to help maintain social distancing. Please pay attention to the announcement and get off at the right station.
FOOD: Bring a packed lunch (sandwiches, fruits, pasta, baguettes, etc.) and water. You MUST bring your own food and drink. You cannot share food with others due to Covid-19 regulations.
OTHER STUFF TO BRING:
>Face mask for transportation (ESSENTIAL)
>Hand sanitizer (ESSENTIAL)
>Raincoat/Waterproof jacket in case of bad weather
>Train tickets and Railcard (if you have it, they’ll check!)
>Hiking boots or other footwear with good traction you don’t mind getting muddy
>A reusable water bottle!
A walk leader or committee member will be online on our discord server (https://discord.gg/GA2tRYJ) between 19:00 and 21:00 the night before the hike (15/10) to answer any questions you may have. You can also use this platform to communicate with follow hikers.
If there is anything we should know to make your hike more comfortable (accessibility, physical or mental support), or if there is anything our first aiders should know about (allergies, medication, etc.) please just let us know and we'll be happy to help!
Please let us know.