Another walk from the Time Out Book of Country Walks. Walk 4 this time – a circular walk based on Pangbourne in Berkshire (SU633767) via Cray’s Pond (SU637805).
This time I thought I’d hook up with a group from the self-organising Saturday Walking Club. According to the schedule in the book it was the vigorous section “doing” the Pangbourne walk this week. As part of the reason for getting back into walking is to get fit I thought this was a suitable challenge – not least because the ethos of the group is that everyone goes at their own pace – so if I did fall behind I wouldn’t be holding up the rest. (And yes, I know this is not how you run a walking group when you are out in more hazardous territory – there you go at the pace of the slowest to keep the group together and adjust the itinerary to suit)
As it turned out the pace was fine – albeit quite brisk (8 miles in 2.5 hours split either side of a lunch stop). Slight chagrin at being comprehensively “dropped” up one hill by a couple of people who were both older than me but it’s a useful reminder of the state of your CV system!
The weather was beautiful on Saturday – crisp, clear and sunny. An early part of the walk (SU622785 to SU615795) was along a wooded cliff above the Thames, and the low January sunlight did a superb job of picking out the landscape. (Mental note to save up for a digital camera!)