Full Henley circular via Turville walk is 24km (15 miles) but with bus options to shorten the walk - see below.
You add another 300m to the walk if you wish to visit the village of Fingest as well as Turville – see walk instructions
Explorer OS 1:25,000 map 171 Chiltern Hills West.
Landranger OS 1:50,000 map 175, Reading and Windsor, Henley on Thames and Bracknell
4/10 for the full walk ; a few gentle inclines with 288m of ascent and descent
2 or 3/10 for the shorter walk options.
This Thames Valley and Chilterns walk is inspired by the locations used in the Midsomer Murders TV series.
In many respects this is a similar walk to the Book 2 Walk 6 Henley circular via Stonor and Pishill walk. It’s a bit longer and a fair bit flatter but both go along one side of a valley in open countryside on the opening leg and return to Henley on the other side in the afternoon, often through attractive woodland. This walk, however, also finishes with a lovely, peaceful Thames path back to Henley
However this walk covers completely different territory to the Book 2 favourite visiting new villages and countryside not incorporated in other SWC Henley and Chilterns walks in the area. This is a high summer walk although shorter options can be done in autumn or winter given dry and sunny weather.
You should allow at least 11 hours for travel, refreshments and walking for the main walk.
An alternative map-led Midsomer murders walk with minimal written directions is also offered and you will find information on this at the end of this walk’s detailed instructions.
Henley on Thames
This is a popular start and destination for a number of SWC walks and you can find details about the town in TOCW Volume 1 Walks 1, 9 and 51 and TOCW Volume 2 Walks 6,7 and 8.
This walk visits a number of places familiar to those who have done the relevant walks in Books 1 and 2 but after Hambledon you visit 2 or 3 villages that are not on the route of other Henley or Thames Valley walks in the SWC itinerary. These are:
An attractive hamlet where you pass a former flint church which has been converted into a home.
The village name of Fingest comes from the Anglo Saxon name Thinghurst, meaning 'wooded hill where assemblies are made'. The parish church of St Bartholomew's dates from the early Norman period. It has an unusual tower, with a double vaulted roof. The church is a Grade I listed building .
A picture post card village which has not only featured in the Midsomer Murders but also the series the Vicar of Dibley. There is an old windmill on a hill giving splendid views of the village and surrounding countryside.
The beautiful St Mary and the Virgin church is well worth a visit and is a fine place to rest before the return leg of the walk
Many places throughout Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire have been used as locations for episodes of the popular crime drama the Midsomer Murders but this walk is particularly rich in them.
The following locations on this walk have been used for specific TV episodes. In the order you visit them on the walk these are as follows:
Henley on Thames – Dead in the Water, Orchis Fatalis, Down Among the Dead Men, Last Years Model, the Black Book, the Magicians Nephew, Dark Secrets, A Sacred Trust, The Flying Club
Aston – Dead in the Water
Hambleden Lock - The Animal Within
Hambleden – Stranglers Wood, Blood Will Out, Wild Harvest, Who killed Cock Robin, Down among the Dead Men
Turville – Dark Autumn, Murder on St Malleys Day, the Straw Woman, Schooled in Murder
Fingest – Country Matters, The Silent Land
Remenham - A Talent for Life, Country Matters
At this web site you can see a full alphabetical list of all the locations and click on links to see photos of specific buildings and places used in the above episodes.
Shortening the walk at the start or the end of the walk by using Arriva bus service 800/850
You can find the relevant Arriva bus schedule here. For options 2 and 3, buses run until quite late in the evening.
1. Taking a bus from Henley to Hambleden opposite Mill End
Catch the 800 or 850 bus in Bell Street . To get to the bus stop turn left at the town bridge (para 2 of walk instructions) into Hart Street and in 150m turn right into Bell Street .The bus stop D is a short way ahead of you. There are two buses an hour on a Saturday and Sunday.
Hambleden opp Mill End bus stop is just beyond Skirmett Road where you pick up the walk instructions in para 14 and the onward route to Hambleden.
This shortens the walk by 5km (3.1m ) making the walk 19km (11.9m)
2. Taking a bus from Greenlands College to Henley
To shorten the walk by 3.2km (2.0m) catch a bus from Greenlands College back to Henley. The walk distance is then reduced to 21km (13.0 miles).
You catch an Arriva bus 800 or 850 from Hambleden Greenlands bus stop to Henley. There are two buses an hour on Saturday .On Sunday only the 800 bus runs but there are still two an hour. The bus stop has a detailed timetable. Unfortunately there is no seating or shelter.
3. Taking a bus at the start and the end of the walk; options 2 and 3
If you do this then you have a walk of 15.8km (9.9m) a possible option when the days are shorter.
Another “Midsomer murders” walk option.
There is also a map-led walk that visits Stonor and Stonor Park as well as going through Turville, Fingest and Skirmett. See information and some walk notes at the end of the detailed instructions for this walk. The GPX route is included in the main walk route file.
Take a train from London Paddington to Twyford and from there change to take a connecting train to Henley.
On the return journey you again change at Twyford to pick up a connecting train to London Paddington
See above for bus options for shortening the walk.
|Suggested train||At weekends take the nearest train to 10.00am from London Paddington to Twyford where you pick up a connecting train to Henley. Your journey time to Henley should be just over an hour. The train to Henley usually departs about 10 mins after your arrival at Twyford from London Paddington.|
There is no shortage of lunch-time pub options on this walk depending on whether you do the full walk or shorten it by various bus options.
Possible lunch pubs
Please note these places are very popular on summer weekends so it is always best to ring ahead. Check the pub/restaurant’s web site to see menu options, drinks and prices. Bookings for large groups (8 or more) may well be required so again check the pub’s web site. The distances shown for the pub are for the full 15m walk.
The Stag and Huntsman pub (01491 571227) or the Village shop and tea rooms by the Church. (01491 571201) Distance 7.2km,(4.5m). The pub is a tried and trusted option but comes very early in the walk.
The Frog (01491 638996). Distance 11.2km (7.0m). Good range of starters and main courses and cheaper baguette options. There is garden seating with attractive views. The recommended lunch pub option.
The Chequers Inn ( 01491 638335) Distance 12.0km (7.5m). A little way off the main walk route. Detour adds about 300m to total walk distance.
The Bull and Butcher (01491 638283) Distance 12.6km (7.9m), by-passing Fingest. Perfect for final refreshments and rest before the long leg back to Henley.
After you have left Turville there are no tea places until you reach Henley so if you do the full walk this means you still have 11.5km (7 miles) to do after leaving the village so it is a good idea to bring some snacks.
If you catch the bus at Greenlands College the walking distance after Turville reduces to 7.4km (4.8m)
You are spoilt for choice in Henley. The Chocolate Café on Tameside (01491 411412) is very good but closes around 6.00pm on summer weekends. It is about 200m from Henley station
Help us! After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out: (not a train station)
Back: (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk