Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Chapel Row and Bucklebury
A late afternoon walk on a lovely sunny day. This one starts at the Blade Bone pub in Chapel Row - just down the road from Bradfield where I walked a couple of weeks ago. The sign of the pub is said to contain the blade bone of a mammoth.
The route takes you across the edge of Bucklebury Common and then along the road towards the village of Bucklebury. The church of St Mary is notable for its ornate late Norman doorway.
The tower is fifteenth century.
From here, there is a quite long climb through a field, then a gulley and finally woodland, with nice glimpses of the Pang valley from time to time. You turn left after a remote cottage and walk along a ridge where there are further nice views over the rolling hills. The deer of the Bucklebury Park Farm deer park can just be seen on the right.
You then cross a road and rejoin Bucklebury Common, passing the thirteenth century fishponds which used to supply the monks of Reading Abbey. Their man-made origin is apparent in the essentially straight sides.
Following the power lines across the common (lots of silver birch and dead bracken) you return to the Blade Bone having covered four miles of quite varied terrain.
From: Village Walks in Berkshire by Berkshire Federation of WIs (Countryside Books).
Map: Explorer 159 (Reading Wokingham and Pangbourne).
Rating: three and a half stars.
Any amount of pheasants - some in every field - as well as the odd partridge. Also a heron (by the fish pond, naturally) and a fox in the woods on the common.