website title Steve Davison photographer and writer

Walking in the Thames Valley

Walking in the Thames Valley (now out of print) contains a collection of 25 adventurous circular walks in the Thames Valley, covering the Southern Chilterns, Berkshire, Lambourn and North Hampshire Downs, and Southern Oxfordshire, all within easy reach of Reading, Newbury, Abingdon and surrounding towns.

Some of the walks visit the remains of Iron Age hill forts while others pass more modern features such as Wilton Windmill and the Kennet and Avon Canal. Some follow sections of the Ridgeway National Trail, while others gently meander along the banks of the River Thames. What they all have in common is that they take the adventurous rambler to some of the best parts of the region.

Publisher: Cicerone Press Ltd (now out of print)

ISBN: 9781852845704

Publication Date: November 2008

This guidebook is now out of print; used copies may be available online.
Thames Valley cover
The countryside encountered on these walks forms a patchwork of open chalk grassland, broadleaved woodland and farmland. Below the downs, chalk streams flow from the springline and support a diversity of plant and animal life; some of these streams, known as winterbournes, are seasonal and only appear during the wetter winter months. The richly wooded character of the Chiltern Hills distinguishes them from other, commonly more open, chalk landscapes such as the Lambourn Downs. Many of these woodlands are termed as ancient woodlands, defined as being continuously wooded since at least 1600. These areas tend to support a greater number of species and their character often closely reflects the underlying soil conditions, producing a wide range of woodland types and wildlife habitats.

The walks take you through two contrasting Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB): the Chilterns offers rolling chalk hills, swathed in beech woods, quiet valleys and picturesque villages with characteristic brick and flint cottages; and the North Wessex Downs offering a less wooded scenery encompassing large areas of typical chalk downland with wide-open views.
Introduction covering plants and wildlife, geology and brief history

Walk 1 Lechlade and a Thames Meander
Walk 2 Wiltshire Ridges and Liddington Castle
Walk 3 The Bedwyns
Walk 4 Fosbury Hill and the Chutes
Walk 5 Faringdon’s Folly
Walk 6 Lambourn Downs: Striding out with horses and dragons
Walk 7 Thames Village Meander
Walk 8 Hanging Around on Walbury Hill
Walk 9 The Letcombe Gallop
Walk 10 Wantage and the Village Challenge
Walk 11 Farnborough: A poet’s hideaway
Walk 12 Cold Ash and Hermitage: A writer’s retreat
Walk 13 Blewbury and its Hillfort
Walk 14 Watership Down: A land of rabbits
Walk 15 The Pang Valley: A river runs through it
Walk 16 Dorchester-on-Thames: An ancient place of worship
Walk 17 The Aldworth Giants and Thurle Down
Walk 18 The Goring Challenge
Walk 19 Oxford Hills and the River Thame
Walk 20 Historic Ewelme and Swyncombe
Walk 21 Roman around Silchester
Walk 22 Chiltern Patchwork
Walk 23 Thames and Chilterns Meander
Walk 24 Hambledon Valley and a Royal Regatta
Walk 25 Cookham and Stanley Spencer
Thames Valley map