Winter is surely the best season for hiking? Whether you agree with this assertion or not, the days are starting to get a little longer and brighter, so it's off to explore a delightful and easily accessible stretch of the Thames Valley before Spring arrives.
This hike follows the river upstream, so is generally on the level except for one moderate climb, which is well worth it for the views. We will take a well-earned lunchtime pub stop (at The Ferry around 13:00) about 1/2 way through the walk in the attractive riverside town of Cookham.
Aside from the fast flowing river and picturesque countryside, there is the historic Maidenhead Rail Bridge to admire and fine views of Cliveden on the opposite bank of the river - nowadays the house is a hotel and the gardens are managed by the National Trust, but the location is perhaps better known for it's role in the scandalous Profumo affair in the 60's.
At the end of the hike in Marlow (yet another attractive riverside town), everyone is welcome to join me for more refreshments, socialising and perhaps a game or two of Scrabble at a suitable establishment, but there is also the option to head straight home at this point.
For those coming by train, we will catch the 09:57 train from Paddington (probably Platform 14) to Maidenhead (arrives 10:34). Meet in the vicinity of the information desk opposite Platform 2 on the main concourse in plenty of time (09:40 at the latest) to organise tickets and find the train.
We will get the train back to London from Marlow (at x06 each hour) at the end of the hike. The journey takes 70 minutes and the earliest you can expect to get back to Paddington is around 18:15.
If coming by car, meet the group at Maidenhead station at 10:34 - you can get back to your vehicle by train with the group from Marlow, as it passes through Maidenhead.
£12 payable in cash on the train, which includes both the outward and return train tickets. Note that the train tickets require us to travel together in groups of 4, but we will team people up for the return journey if we split into separate groups!