Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Walking in Berkshire

[Warning - this post contains lots of pictures!]

Last weekend, I went for a ramble around Pangbourne, a lovely area on the River Thames just west of Reading. We were following a route from my friend's guide to local walks; a 5 or so mile long circular walk that started and ended at the train station (handy!).

These villas are part of the Seven Deadly Sins, seven villas
built along the river at this point.
We started out walking along the main road, with the River Thames a stone's throw away on our right. The villas on the roadside are huge, and each one is built slightly differently. They all have really steep gardens with terrifyingly vertiginous staircases leading up them.
I wouldn't want to tackle these in the night.
But the view from the gardens/balconies certainly makes up for it!
The River Thames. In your front garden.
We turned away from the river and climbed up a rather steep wooded hill.
I think we go left.

Any minute now, a big bad wolf is going to
leap out on us and demand goodies.
It was quite a warm day, and heat was very oppressive in amongst all the trees. When we finally reached the top of the hill, it was a lovely surprise to find ripe raspberries growing in abundance!
Obligatory macro shot of berries.
mmmm tasty
We may have spent some time there, stripping fruit from the brambles. They were delicious.
Our directions were a little vague.. we had to continue along this path until we found two very mature trees on the left, then go through a swing gate. Eventually we found it, and found ourselves following a path along the side of farming fields.

It was a good job I don't have hayfever.

We had to walk through the grounds of Pangbourne College; on our way down the driveway leading into the back of the campus we found some horses in a field. One was very pregnant indeed, and ran all the way across the field to the gate to say hello to us.
You could actually see the foal moving around inside her
Coming out of the college the other side, we walked down a lane which ran alongside some very posh houses, before opening out next to a chalky field filled with poppies.
At this stage, the instructions in our rambling guide were really starting to let us down.We got very confused about where it was expecting us to take a "sharp right" in this field, but trusted to luck and eventually ended up on the right trail again!
We came out of the fields into the small village of Tidmarsh. Highlights of the walk through the village include these awesome chimneys:
This amazing round house:
And this beautiful home
Once again our directions failed us, and we had some trouble finding the next path to take.

It wasn't exactly obvious.

The paths took us through an area with a few stud farms, so we passed a number of gorgeous horses in fields, as well as (quite randomly) some Highland cattle.
Going through this stud farm, we also found what could quite possibly be the most pointless stile ever built:
I still climbed over it though.
The last section of the walk took us along the banks of the River Pang, following its course as it flowed down to the Thames.
I don't think it's big enough to be a river, do you?
From here it was just a short walk back to the centre of Pangbourne, where a tasty lunch was had in a lovely cafe called Lou La Belle.
I love 2CVs. If I could have a frivolous second car, it would be this.
The entire album of photos from the walk (about 100 shots) can be seen on my Photobucket account here. I only put what I considered to be the "good" ones on Flickr, you see.


  1. That stile made me burst out laughing! It looks like a nice walk - even if you did come close to getting lost once or twice.

  2. What lush foliage.  I love the shot of the path in the woods!  What an awesome area to walk around.  Do ppl have to worry about the Thames overflowing?

  3. In some places, yes, the Thames does flood occasionally. There are lots of weirs and locks and things to control water levels though, so it's only when we get really extreme wet conditions that it does flood. I've got some shots somewhere of it in 2007, when we had major flooding everywhere.

  4. Brilliant stile.  Lovely pictures, I like the horses and the Highland cattle.

  5. Great pictures.  Thank you for sharing.  I would love to go on that walk. 


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