Newbury to Thatcham via the water meadows and Greenham Common, 11.4 miles, easy/moderate (RESCHEDULED)

May 4, 2024 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Newbury station (North side)
Newbury RG14 5DG

A linear walk around the Newbury and Thatcham area that will take us through some of the meadows and fields as well as Greenham and Crookham Commons.

This walk has been rescheduled from 6th April due to the strike action at GWR on that date.

Advance booking is not required, but if you plan on attending this walk, please indicate this on Meetup if you can, so others can see that there will be plenty of people going.

Pace: medium. Ascent: 86m.

Walk details

Part of this walk will be walking through Greenham and Crookham Commons, which were originally opened in 1942 by the United States Air Force (USAF) during the Second World War. It was then later heavily used during the Cold War, where it was used as a base for nuclear cruise missiles. After this ended, the base was closed in September 1992. During this time, the airfield was known for the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, which was held outside its gates in the 1980s in protest against the stationing of these nuclear cruise missiles situated on the base. In 1997, both Greenham Common and Crookham Common were designated as a public parkland, although many remnants of the former airbase still remains. In recent years, Greenham Common has been used in many films and TV shows, including the most recent instalments of the Star Wars franchise, as well as a business park for a wide range of companies.

(The rescheduling of the walk to “Star Wars day” brings a fortuitous connection on that front, for any fans in the group – “May the Fourth be with you”!)

To celebrate the long military history of Greenham and Crookham Commons, these will be integrated in today’s walk. We’ll start of by walking along the River Kennet towards Northcroft Park, which we’ll then walk through towards Moor Lane to take us into the water meadows and then back towards the River Kennet. From here, we’ll be walking through a couple of fields next to the Enborne Road, which will take us up a hill into Wash Common, where we’ll then walk through a couple of playing fields and through Sandleford Park. Afterwards, we’ll walk through a housing estate towards Greenham and Crookham Commons, which we’ll be passing through towards another field, and the latter of these will take us to our finishing point at Thatcham station. At the end of the walk, there’ll be an option to stop off at The Swan pub, which is just a stone’s throw away from the station.

Travel details

By public transport

The best train to get from Reading is the 09:33 GWR departure, which arrives in Newbury at 09:54.

If you’re coming from the Wokingham or Sandhurst direction, then the GWR connecting service arrives into Reading at 08:57 in time for the 09:05 GWR stopping service to Newbury, which arrives at 09:34.

By car

There is plenty of parking spaces at the multi-storey next to the side of the station we’re meeting at. On a Saturday, it costs £4.40 to park for the whole day.

Please note, as it’s a linear walk, you’ll need to take a train back to your car at the end if driving. (Alternatively, you can park at Thatcham station and take a train to the start of the walk.)


  • Please bring a packed lunch and a drink.
  • It might be muddy – please wear suitable footwear.
  • Please feel free to contact the leader with queries about the walk, or if you are delayed on the day.