Keep the Aspidistra Flying! (In the footsteps of George Orwell) (0701)

Friday 21 May ~ 9:30 AM

Join us ‘Coming Up For Air’ in the Chilterns to discover George Orwell’s ‘golden country’. His childhood here in the Oxfordshire countryside can be seen to have influenced passages in some of his writing, as we will discover on our walk.  We start out from Shiplake station along the Thames where Orwell loved to fish, then head up the hill to Binfield Heath and Crowsley Park to discover a ‘listening station’ with echoes of Big Brother. After a break at the Bottle & Glass Inn (with Orwell’s approval!) we continue through bluebell woods where 1984 hero Winston would go to escape the Thought Police. Finally returning to Shiplake we pass the house where Orwell once lived.

Route Details

11 miles
7 hours
Strenuous (long / challenging walk for fit / experienced walkers


£12, over 14
£12 for adults

Meeting arrangements

Meet at Shiplake Station Station carpark or limited roadside parking in village

Walk Leader

Philippa Sanders, Pipsticks Walks

Public Transport Links

Train: GWR Henley branch line – change at Twyford for London to Reading. Bus: Arriva 800 Reading to High Wycombe via Shiplake and Henley (alight Lower Shiplake, Station Road)

Family Friendly

Young people age 14 + welcome. Must be capable of walking the distance and must be accompanied by parent/guardian who shall be responsible for them at all times.


Well defined paths and tracks, but can be uneven, rough and muddy in places. Undulating terrain – total ascent/descent 560 ft 12 gates, 1 stile, some steps

Further Information

Please bring food and drink for personal consumption during the walk.
Mid walk break at the Bottle and Glass Inn, Binfield Heath (pay locally) (subject to covid restrictions)
The Baskerville Pub at end of walk (optional)
Village shops in Shiplake and Binfield Heath
Participants are advised to carry hand sanitiser, face covering and presonal first aid.

How to Book

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Programme PDF

Download the May 2021 festival Programme 


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The Chilterns Walking Festival is an initiative of the Chilterns Conservation Board. For any queries, feedback, sponsorship / press enquiries or suggestions for the programme please contact the festival Project Manager on

Our Sponsors


This project has been part funded by the The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development through the Chilterns LEADER programme. The grant received through this programme has helped make these festivals happen. 


A family owned and run Henley brewer and award-winning pub company which has been at the heart of British life for over 200 years. Many of the company's 132 pubs are located in picturesque rural and town centre settings across The Chilterns.


A membership organisation dedicated to conserving, celebrating and caring for all of the Chilterns’ unique landscape.





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