Just follow the fucking river
Cross Goring Brisge into Streatley, turn right towards the church and then follow the lane past the church.
Follow the River to Moulsford go up Ferry Lane into the village of Moulsford.
Walk along road turn right at Mouslford Preps sports fields and drop back down to river.
Follow River to Fairmile
At Whitchurch Bridge, cross bridge go past the Toll House then almost immediately left to the pretty church, where there are also good views back to the bridge.
.The Thames Path continues through the churchyard emerging back onto the High Street. Continue up the hill, past The Greyhound Pub on the right and Manor Road on the left.
As you reach the top of the High Street you see Hardwick Road on the right and the Thames Path now continues down the next lane on the left.
The Thames path then continues gradually returning closer to the banks of the river, but reamining at a high level, passing through a wood.
The path returns to the level of the river by Gatehampton Farm, where you turn left back to the river side. Ahead is the large railway bridge, carrying the line over the Thames.
Pass under the railway bridge through the open meadows.
Cross wooden bridge and look for Goring Bridge ahead.
Walk along path next to the Railway Line until the End of Reading Sign and sign for the Roabuck Hotel on the river
Climb the steps to the pedestrian bridge over the railway line follow to A329
Go into Skerritt Way, which you follow to the end of the road, where you come to Hazel Road.
Follow Hazel Road as it curves round, ignoring the two roads to the right and when you come to the end of the road turn right into New Hill.
Follow this road to the end, where you see the Thames Path sign pointing down Mapledurham Drive, marked “No Entry Residents Only”.
This takes you back to the river at Mapledurham Lock.
Originally built in 1777 the current one dates back to 1908.Oddly enough it is in Purley (right side of the river) as opposed to Mapledurham (wrong side of the river). The history of the place seems to originally have related to the Mill at Mapledurham where the weir originates (first mentioned in the reign of Edward I). This was linked to Mapledurham House, which in turn seems to have been a regular haunt of Alexander Pope because the randy goat fancied one of the daughters of the house!
Carry on til Whitchurch Bridge.
The bridge is one of two remaining toll bridges across the Thames and was created by Whitchurch Bridge Act 1992 and arose from an idea by Robert Micklem, who with Samuel Gardiner and Vanderstegen.. The original proprietors grew to ten in number by the time the Act was passed to take over the ferry rights and to build at their own costs “a good and substantial bridge” which was described as being “of great utility and advantage to the public”. In return for their investment the Proprietors were given the right to charge tolls.
Apart from the Old Dear being resident in Pangbourne as a result of the evacuation of the Royal Vet College during the war (no self-management by Joe Willy apparently she was born at the Battle in Reading – they weren’t that short of midwives or no wicket keeping gloves were available or summat). Apparently this is the place that Jimmy Page was living when he was visited by Robert Plant in 1968, Led Zeppelin were to follow. Kenneth Grahame was also a resident after his son Alastair’s suicide in 1920. The Wind in the Willows was written and published when he was a Cookham resident in 1908. Other than that the only other things of not is the place is named after the River Pang…. yep you have one of the countries foremost rivers running through the place and you name it after a tributary of it. Can’t work out if that is a stroke of awkward genius or just bloody stupid!
This is as much as anything a set of scribbles for my own use….
Directions from Reading Station to Reading Bridge
Walk east on Blagrave St towards Forbury Rd
Continue onto Forbury Rd
At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Vastern Rd/A329
At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto George St/B3345
Well according to google! According to me, walk out the back of the station, walk past the ticket machines and then follow the road down to the main road. Cross it and turn right. Follow it down to the Thames Water building on the left, enter their car park! Whilst doing this realise you’ve forgotten the cereal bars you meant to pack…. have no liquids with you and think ‘Fuck it, I’ll find something on the way!’
At the south side of Reading Bridge (the station and city centre side) follow the footpath sign down the side of the Thames Water Utilities office building.
Turn your back to Reading Bridge and start your walk along the Thames Path (aka turn left). On a bright summers morning this is when you appreciate the shades, start noticing wild daisies, and begin to discover on this part of the path you have cyclists and joggers along the way. So the result is you get an eyeful of a variety of sizes or lycra clad arses male and female. On the plus side there were also plenty of geese with goslings which were cuter than the majority of the lycra clad arses.
Walk to Caversham Bridge, carry on the paved prom by the river.near the rowing club. At this point you will hear the rythm of rowlocks, the yells of coxes and coaches, and if you’re lucky like me the sound of someone strumming an acoustic guitar. You’ll also start noticing the downside of geese and cute goslings, in the shape of heaps of bird shit. Ath this point you’ll also have the joys of dog walkers and more lycra clad arses. At the end of the paved promenade the walk continues on a narrower stony path, where most joggers turn around and cyclists seem in the main to fear to tread.
This challenge will be opportunistic as I’m in the Sarf so won’t be a continuous walk, just a set of pathchwork Dadaist strolls.
Walk 1 – Reading to Wallingford 18.25 miles total