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|Sonning and the River Thames|
|Author: Claire, Published: 28 Oct 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 3 mile circular walk from the charming village of Sonning in Berkshire. Sonning was described by Jerome K Jerome in his book, Three Men in a Boat, as the most fairy-like little nook on the whole river. This simple walking route takes you on a permissive track between quiet fields before joining the riverside path following the Thames for the return leg. |
The route is almost entirely flat, with little gradient to speak of. Whilst half of the route follows surfaced paths, the stretch of path alongside the river is narrow and can be muddy at times. There are no stiles on route but you will need to negotiate a couple of kissing gates and there are a couple of road crossings that need care. All the paths are fenced away from the fields so you will not be sharing any of the paths with livestock. Allow 1.5 hours.
Sonning village lies on the banks of the River Thames, three miles east of Reading in Berkshire. The main road running through the village is the B478. The walk starts and finishes at the road junction between High Street and Pearson Road. If you are coming by bus, there are bus stops on Pearson Road. If you are coming by car, there is roadside parking on Pearson Road, but please park with respect for the residents. Approximate post code RG4 6UL.
|Start to Sonning Farm|
Start point: 51.4727 lat, -0.9115 long
The walk starts from the junction of High Street and Pearson Road, directly opposite the large property called The Grove. Standing at this T-junction facing The Grove, turn left along the pavement of Pearson Road. Follow this pavement as it leads you between a range of beautiful properties, dating from many different eras. There are several clues to the industrial heritage of the village including The Old Forge on your right and Weavers Cottage on your left.
|Sonning Farm to Milestone Avenue|
Start point: 51.4734 lat, -0.9039 long
At this point, cross over the road (taking great care) to turn left onto the concrete farm track. Pass through the wide gateway (or use the kissing gate alongside). You will see from the signage, that is this is a permissive path (rather than a public right of way) but it is a well-used walking route.
|Milestone Avenue to Riverside|
Start point: 51.4828 lat, -0.8945 long
Turn left along this quiet country lane, taking care of any occasional traffic. The lane leads you ahead for about 400 metres and then bends sharp right, heading towards St Patrick’s Bridge. (This bridge spans a small branch of the river). Do NOT cross the bridge, instead turn left immediately beforehand onto the signed public footpath, a grass and tarmac access drive. The river branch, called St Patrick’s Stream, is running on your right.
|Riverside to Sonning Bridge|
Start point: 51.4859 lat, -0.8997 long
For this stretch, the River Thames forms the boundary between Oxfordshire and Berkshire. You are walking on the Berkshire bank, with Oxfordshire clearly visible opposite. There are paths on both side of the river here. The path you are currently following is a simple public footpath, whilst the Thames Path national trail runs on the opposite bank.
|Sonning Bridge to End|
Start point: 51.4756 lat, -0.9135 long
Either way, you should now be on the tarmac continuation of the riverside path, with the river still running on your right. This stretch is part of the Thames Path national trail. After just 150 metres, you will come to a fingerpost on your right, marking a junction. Turn left here (away from the river) to join the signed public footpath between fences. The path leads you to the left of the flint Sarik Room, and into the corner of the churchyard of St Andrew’s Church. The churchyard has a beautiful collection of trees.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
A nice gentle walk, with a good pub en route
|By gripp999 on 10 Nov 2016|
Nice walk in the Autum sunshine. Managed to park in the High Street which was next to the Bull PH. The footpath along the river was a little muddy but a good flat gentle walk. Finished off with a drink in the Bull. Thanks
|By Daijack on 14 Nov 2016|
A pleasant walk for Boxing Day but it didn't really deliver in terms of great views of the Thames
|By ibutler on 27 Dec 2016|
Pleasant walk and easy to follow. Nice meal at the end. Didn't see George Clooney though.
|By gripp999 on 03 Jan 2017|
Parked in the recreation ground car park. Nice amble and good directions. Was hoping to have a hot drink in the lock cafe but it only opens in April. Thanks for showing me this circular walk.
|By jackiewatt on 11 Mar 2017|
A very pleasant quiet walk. Plenty of intere along the way and great variety of birds woodland and waterfowl. Do miss out having a drink or meal at the very welcoming and characterful Bull Inn.
|By Topflyer on 30 Apr 2017|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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