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Day trips possible by bus from Reading

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gray1404

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Can anyone recommend any day trips possible by bus from Reading (with ENCTS pass). I was thinking Oxford and Windsor (latter with change of bus required). Any nice places I might have overlooked?

Thanks
 
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peterblue

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Windsor is possible with a change of buses. It's quite nice there. I've done a circular trip previously from Reading-Bracknell-Windsor-Slough-Maidenhead-Reading (the latter route running Saturdays only).

You can go to Oxford direct using X38/X40 but Oxford isn't as nice (in my opinion)
 

TheGrandWazoo

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Can anyone recommend any day trips possible by bus from Reading (with ENCTS pass). I was thinking Oxford and Windsor (latter with change of bus required). Any nice places I might have overlooked?

Thanks
Take the Arriva 800/850 from Reading to either Henley or Marlow. Both "awfully nice" towns and good for a walk alongside the Thames or a base to walk into the Chilterns.

If you're just wanting a trundle on some buses and look at the countryside, then suggest the slightly infrequent 127 from Reading to Maidenhead which goes via some nice spots like Sonning. Then a trip through the Chilterns, esp the very posh folk and TV celebs in Cookham on the 37 to Wycombe. Both Maidenhead and Wycombe aren't especially nice but getting to them is pleasant. Then get the 800/850 back to Reading via Henley.

Hope that helps
 

Non Multi

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Arriva 37 Wycombe-Maidenhead: Cookham, Cookham Moor, Stanley Spencer Gallery (no need to pre-book).

Courtney 16/16A from Maidenhead: Bray, also short walk to River Thames.

Courtney 15 from Maidenhead: Thames Bridge at Maidenhead, Dorney Rowing Lake, Jubilee River, Dorney (for Dorney Court*), views of Windsor Castle from Eton Wick (also near Thames Path), Eton (cross the Windsor Bridge for Windsor).

White Bus 01: Windsor to Windsor Great Park, walk to the Copper Horse Monument (and the view from it), Savill Gardens and Virginia Water are also there but quite a long walk (White Bus 500 is better for those venues), Ascot.

First Berks X74: High Wycombe via M40 to Farnham Common for Burnham Beeches.

*Reopens in 2021.
 

Roger1973

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Another vote for doing the White Bus 01 - the northbound journeys via Cumberland Lodge do more of the Great Park. Bear in mind it's fairly infrequent though!

At one point, the buses on the route had so much contravision over the windows about the route that you couldn't see out well - something of a fail. I haven't seen one for a few years, so don't know if that idea has blown over.

Reading Buses 'Jet Black 1' to Newbury is double deck and every half hour much of the day - then there's the Kennections network from Newbury to places like Hungerford, although can't think of many options to make it a circular journey without re-tracing the same route for most of it. Likewise if you went south from Newbury to Basingstoke, the options for getting back to Reading by bus from the Hampshire direction are a bit limited, as most of the interurban bus routes have withered.
 

RELL6L

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Been meaning to reply to this one for a while.

It does of course depend on what you like. Interesting and attractive locations within range would include Oxford and Windsor, as mentioned, also smaller towns such as Henley, Marlow and Abingdon - these all have areas where you can walk by the river. You can go to Wallingford either directly (twice an hour) or via Henley (change onto X38, once an hour) and from Wallingford to Oxford either directly (3 times an hour) or indirectly via Didcot and Abingdon or even divert to include Wantage. Nothing wrong with Wallingford either but not much to see.

For a longer trip you could go via Henley and Marlow to High Wycombe then continue to Thame or Aylesbury and from there to Oxford - the 280 is mostly double deckers. Return by one of the more direct routes. Or from High Wycombe to Amersham and Chesham and back to Wycombe via Beaconsfield but then you probably return to Reading the same way as there are few buses from Maidenhead to Reading.

For lovely Chiltern scenery I don't think there are any great suggestions, most of the bus routes through attractive country villages have long gone. Hambleden is nice but the village is about a mile from the 800/850 between Henley and Marlow.

I think these are better options than heading south however, unless the delights of concrete Basingstoke are what you like. To go much beyond here is difficult although Alton, Winchester, Andover, Newbury might be possible.

If you are OK with a longer day perhaps in the spring and the timings work then you could consider Reading - Newbury - Hungerford - (possibly Marlborough) - Swindon - Faringdon and return either via Oxford or via Wantage, Didcot & Wallingford, or the other way round. The routes to Hungerford are fairly infrequent.
 

Flange Squeal

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Another vote for doing the White Bus 01 - the northbound journeys via Cumberland Lodge do more of the Great Park. Bear in mind it's fairly infrequent though!

At one point, the buses on the route had so much contravision over the windows about the route that you couldn't see out well - something of a fail. I haven't seen one for a few years, so don't know if that idea has blown over.
White Bus no longer use contravision on their vehicles. The fleet has been modernised a lot over the last three years. at the same time as they've expanded significantly into neighbouring Surrey.
 

JonathanH

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I think these are better options than heading south however, unless the delights of concrete Basingstoke are what you like.
You can't really go south from Reading without going to Newbury - Mortimer is a dead end from the north with a half hourly bus service from Reading and Tadley is a dead end from the Basingstoke end with a bus service to Basingstoke every 15 minutes.

Reading to Basingstoke direct via the A33 appears not to have supported a bus service for about 40 years.

Reading to Fleet is still possible but you can't get to anywhere beyond except Aldershot - again a gap between Hook and Hartley Wintney.
 

peterblue

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You can't really go south from Reading without going to Newbury - Mortimer is a dead end from the north with a half hourly bus service from Reading and Tadley is a dead end from the Basingstoke end with a bus service to Basingstoke every 15 minutes.

Reading to Basingstoke direct via the A33 appears not to have supported a bus service for about 40 years.

Reading to Fleet is still possible but you can't get to anywhere beyond except Aldershot - again a gap between Hook and Hartley Wintney.

There are a few buses on the #2 from Reading at peaks that continue to AWE at the very top of Tadley for commuters.
 

JonathanH

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There are a few buses on the #2 from Reading at peaks that continue to AWE at the very top of Tadley for commuters.
Yes, that is true but they aren't well timed for 'off-peak' travel. It is a fairly odd situation to have two frequent routes ending no more than five miles apart which would form part of a network if they connected. However, I appreciate that Reading to Tadley has been tried a number of times and not been perpetuated.

It would be an interesting trivia question for a thread to discuss routes that go within five miles of each other that could be interurban connections but don't actually meet.
 

Roger1973

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White Bus no longer use contravision on their vehicles. The fleet has been modernised a lot over the last three years. at the same time as they've expanded significantly into neighbouring Surrey.

Thanks - I might try and do a trip on it some time when things are back to 'normal'

I'm aware that the Jeatt family sold to Fernhill of Bracknell a few years ago, and they have expanded in to Surrey - when I was in Staines a year or two ago, it did seem odd to see 'White Bus' services off the usual patch.

Until that point, White Bus was one of the dwindling number of independent operators still owned by the same family and operating a route they had started before the 1930 Transport Act.
 

Wirewiper

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To add a bit of variety, you could do Reading-Oxford - but get off in Wallingford and change to the X2 for Abingdon, an overlooked market town that is well with an hour or two of your time.

There are several routes from Abingdon into Oxford, although the indirect ones such as the 4 and 35 might be more interesting than dashing up the A34 on an 'X' route.

If you can time it right, take one of the Reading Buses route 7 journeys to Fleet. From Fleet Town Centre (don't stay on to the railway station) catch the Stagecoach route to Aldershot, also confusingly the 7. From Aldershot to Camberley you have route 1 which is operated by Gold-standard double deckers. Then Courtney Buses route 194 to Bracknell and "the lion" 4 or X4 back to Reading.

You could do it the other way round but the paucity of the Fleet-Reading service could leave you with a long wait in Fleet or even see you stranded.
 
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NorthOxonian

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To add a bit of variety, you could do Reading-Oxford - but get off in Wallingford and change to the X2 for Abingdon, an overlooked market town that is well with an hour or two of your time.

There are several routes from Abingdon into Oxford, although the indirect ones such as the 4 and 35 might be more interesting than dashing up the A34 on an 'X' route.

If you can time it right, take one of the Reading Buses route 7 journeys to Fleet. From Fleet Town Centre (don't stay on to the railway station) catch the Stagecoach route to Aldershot, also confusingly the 7. From Aldershot to Camberley you have route 1 which is operated by Gold-standard double deckers. Then Courtney Buses route 194 to Bracknell and "the lion" 4 or X4 back to Reading.

You could do it the other way round but the paucity of the Fleet-Reading service could leave you with a long wait in Fleet or even see you stranded.
There are going to be some changes to bus services around Abingdon in January, and unfortunately the X2 won't run to Wallingford. They've retained a frequency of two buses per hour on a rerouted service 33 between Wallingford and Didcot, but only one of these will continue to Abingdon. Still, there are much worse places to wait for a bus than Wallingford!
 

fgwrich

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You can't really go south from Reading without going to Newbury - Mortimer is a dead end from the north with a half hourly bus service from Reading and Tadley is a dead end from the Basingstoke end with a bus service to Basingstoke every 15 minutes.

Reading to Basingstoke direct via the A33 appears not to have supported a bus service for about 40 years.

Reading to Fleet is still possible but you can't get to anywhere beyond except Aldershot - again a gap between Hook and Hartley Wintney.

It’s a shame the TadRed service from Morton’s didn’t work out in the end, as that did connect Reading with Mortimer Tadley and Baughurst. I am also surprised that we’ve not had a fast bus service along the A33 linking Reading to Basingstoke and vice versa either. While it could be argued that we do have a frequent rail service, so does Reading to Newbury. I suppose it could / would also come down to who would operate it - Stagecoach comes close with Sherfield on Loddon, while Reading Buses comes close with Riseley on the Tiger.
 

LUYMun

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If you can time it right, take one of the Reading Buses route 7 journeys to Fleet. From Fleet Town Centre (don't stay on to the railway station) catch the Stagecoach route to Aldershot, also confusingly the 7. From Aldershot to Camberley you have route 1 which is operated by Gold-standard double deckers. Then Courtney Buses route 194 to Bracknell and "the lion" 4 or X4 back to Reading.

You could do it the other way round but the paucity of the Fleet-Reading service could leave you with a long wait in Fleet or even see you stranded.
Had we been talking about this four or five years ago Stagecoach would run all the way to Reading with the same number 7 and on hourly frequency (with half-hourly shorts to Swallowfield)!

I think another possible day trip from Reading could be Wokingham or Bracknell, with plenty of circular routes there.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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It’s a shame the TadRed service from Morton’s didn’t work out in the end, as that did connect Reading with Mortimer Tadley and Baughurst. I am also surprised that we’ve not had a fast bus service along the A33 linking Reading to Basingstoke and vice versa either. While it could be argued that we do have a frequent rail service, so does Reading to Newbury. I suppose it could / would also come down to who would operate it - Stagecoach comes close with Sherfield on Loddon, while Reading Buses comes close with Riseley on the Tiger.
I guess the difference between Reading to Newbury (rather than to Basingstoke) is that you have a number of largish places en route in Thatcham and Theale among others. Not quite so much on the A33
 

GusB

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Interesting though the murder rates of certain places may be, could I ask everyone to remain on topic please? (before I add to the statistics :E)
 

TheGrandWazoo

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Interesting though the murder rates of certain places may be, could I ask everyone to remain on topic please? (before I add to the statistics :E)
I trust you were being ironic as we were discussing the relative cinematic and picturesque charms of places like Oxford and Wallingford....showcased in their splendour in many episodes of Inspector Morse and Midsomer Murders!

Whilst Reading is a slightly soulless place (in my opinion), it really does have access to some lovely spots in either Oxfordshire and the Chilterns, and even to the south. Not so great as you head East to the smoke but then again, just my opinion.
 

JonathanH

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I guess the difference between Reading to Newbury (rather than to Basingstoke) is that you have a number of largish places en route in Thatcham and Theale among others. Not quite so much on the A33
More to the point Reading and Basingstoke were served by different NBC operators and are in different counties. The places on the way are clearly important, given that a route to Fleet has (just about) survived and one to Basingstoke hasn't and they can't get the Mortimer / Tadley routes to connect up.

Alder Valley ran a bus route 6 at one point between Reading and Basingstoke but it was cancelled around 1980. I have a 1965 Thames Valley bus timetable - even then, the 6 and 6B only ran a few times a day.
 
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