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Berkshire Way - Whitchurch Bridge to Reading Bridge
River
You'll see plenty of the Thames on this walk.

This is the ninth part of the Berkshire Way - a special walk put together by BBC Berkshire - that takes in some of the best sights across the county from West to East...

SEE ALSO

Click the links below for detailed maps of this walk

Map 1 - Whitchurch Bridge to Scrace's Farm

Map 2 - Scrace's Farm to Mapledurham Lock

Map 3 - Mapledurham Drive to Kentwood Deeps

Map 4 - Kentwood Deeps to St Mary's Island

Map 5 - St Mary's Island to Reading Bridge

TIP: SET THE MAP SIZE TO 'FIT IN WINDOW' OR 100% ONCE IT OPENS

The maps on this page require the free Acrobat Reader plug-in. You'll probably already have this on your machine, but if not it's dead easy to download, free. Just click on the link below.
Download guide and Adobe link

Our maps are from www.get-a-map.co.uk

BBC Berkshire Way Index

BBC BERKSHIRE WALKING AND SAFETY

BBC Berkshire Outdoors

FACTS

The Whitchurch Bridge Company ("The Company of Proprietors of Whitchurch Bridge") owns and operates the Toll Bridge over the Thames between Whitchurch-on-Thames and Pangbourne.

The idea for a Bridge came from Robert Micklem, who with others promoted an Act of Parliament in 1792. From this Act was set up the Company of Proprietors of Whitchurch Bridge, who built at their own cost a "good and substantial bridge" which was "of great utility and advantage to the public". In return for their investment, the Proprietors were given the right to charge tolls. To this day the Proprietors rely on the income from tolls to operate and maintain the Bridge and to build up funds to replace it when necessary.

Today the charges are ...
Cars - 10p
Vehicles 2 - 3.5 tonnes - 40p
Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes - £1

Whitchurch even has its own vineyard. Boze Down Vineyard lies on the sheltered southern slopes of the Chiltern Hills overlooking the river Thames between the towns of Reading and Oxford.

SOURCE:
Whitchurch official site

WEB LINKS

Whitchurch official site

Reading Borough Council

The Ramblers' Association

National Trust

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

THE WALK
Distance:
7 miles
Grid reference at start: SU633767
Time: 3 hours
Going: Easy
Parking: There are several car parks in Pangbourne and for the end of the walk leave a car at Reading Station or Hill's Meadow car park. It is possible to do this walk using public transport and catching a train from Reading to Pangbourne.
BBC BERKSHIRE WALKING AND SAFETY
Map

As you leave Pangbourne railway station and meet the main road through Pangbourne, turn left, going under the railway bridge, then turn almost immediately right signposted to The Wharf, following the footpath signs.

Keep to the left of the metal railings.

Follow the path round to the left, with Waterside House to your right.

Follow the footpath straight ahead as you cross a driveway.

The Boathouse Surgery is on your left.

When you meet the road opposite a longstay car park, turn left.

Walk towards the toll bridge, with The Boathouse Surgery on your left and approaching the Adventure Dolphin Centre on your right.

Before you get to Adventure Dolphin, look for the footpath sign on the right taking you down through the car park of Adventure Dolphin, towards the river.

You will join the Thames Path, and it's signposted Thames Path Purley.

Boats
Messing about on the river...

Follow the path, with the river on your left, through Pangbourne Meadow.

As you leave Pangbourne Meadow, the path deviates slightly away from the river to the right.

Continue to follow this path into another large meadow.

You'll go over a small concrete bridge and the railway line to Reading is on your right.

Mapledurham Lock
Mapledurham Lock is a hive of activity.

Follow the Thames Path past the weir and Mapledurham Lock, and look to your left and you'll see Mapledurham House on the other side of the river.

After you've passed the lock, go through the wooden gate and take the Thames Path diagonally right across the meadow, away from the river.

Swans
The walk out of Pangbourne is extremely peaceful.

Head towards the metal gate, and when you reach it, go through the wooden kissing gate to the right of it.

Turn left onto the gravel road and look out for a children's play area on your right.

Continue to follow signs for the Thames Path.

The road becomes Mapledurham Drive and turns into a single track, tarmac road.

Duck
Don't anyone mention paté.

You'll reach a main road, which is Purley Village road to the right and becomes St Mary's Avenue on the left.

Turn left onto St Mary's Avenue and at the junction turn right up New Hill, following signs for the Thames Path.

Follow the path over a railway bridge.

When you come to the junction with Hazel Road on the left, turn left down Hazel Road, following the signs for the Thames Path.

House
You'll see some stunning riverside properties on this walk.

This takes you into a small housing estate, past the junction on the left with Huckleberry Close.

Pass Duncan Gardens on the left.

Pass Farmiloe Close on the left.

Pass The Purley Park Trust on the left.

Pass The Holt on your left, and shortly after that turn right down Skerritt Way, following the Thames Path signs.

Swans
Swans at Caversham Bridge.

Keep on the footpath on the left of the road.

Skerrit Way becomes a cul-de-sac, so you'll reach a dead-end.

When you do, look to the right and you'll see the path going towards the main road.

Go up the wide concrete steps, and when they reach the road, turn left following the Thames Path signs.

Geese
These geese take time out for a bit of sun-bathing.

As you approach The Roebuck Hotel and The Watermans Bar & Restaurant on the left, there is a sign for the Thames Path, taking you down alongside The Watermans, across a railway bridge and back onto the river.

Follow this and turn right following the Thames Path when you reach the river.

The path takes you through a commercial boatyard, keep following the path alongside The Thames.

The path passes through a meadow and you'll spot the green roofs of the Rivermead Leisure Centre on your right as you approach Caversham.

As you reach Caversham, you'll pass behind the Three Men In A Boat pub and underneath Caversham Bridge.

Continue along the path to Reading Bridge where this part of the walk ends.

You've completed

Part Nine of the Berkshire Way

Well Done!

Berkshire Way Part Ten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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