Sunday, 31 August 2008

Lardon Chase to Pangbourne (Berkshire Way 8)

Looking south

Today - a damp, misty day - we tackled stage 8 of the BBC's Berkshire Way, from Lardon Chase near Streatley to Pangbourne. Seven and a half miles.

The route heads initially south, out of a wood and into fields with lovely views to the south, albeit restricted by the weather. A series of tracks and sections of road bring you to the rear entrance to Basildon Park (on which more below).

We rather liked this barn conversion - a change from the timber ones which abound in Berkshire.

And we loved this Victorian gatehouse with its Dutch gables.

Then a quite long trudge following the wall of the Park down towards the river (Thames) at Lower Basildon. The walk along the Thames Path which formed the final section of the walk was more enjoyable, with glimpses of Basildon Park on the ridge to the right.

We passed to the rear of the Beale Wildlife park, but sadly could not see so much as a llama, although we did hear a peacock.

The final stretch was almost a mile along the main road down into Pangbourne. Still by the river of course, but it felt like a surfeit of pavement/tarmac. There are some wonderfully extravagant Edwardian houses along here with elaborate turrets and gables and big windows.

Rating: three stars (just). Lovely country initially, but too much road overall. The weather didn't help.

-->Explorer 159 (Reading, Wokingham & Pangbourne).


Not much to report really, but this multi-coloured herd of cows caught the eye.

Basildon Park

A slightly shadowy presence on this walk, rather than a real feature. It was built in the Palladian style between 1776 and 1783 by John Carr of York for Francis Sykes, who had made his fortune in India. The most famous feature is the beautiful Octagon Room. It is now owned by the National Trust.

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