5 of the best views in Berkshire
PUBLISHED: 11:32 17 December 2015 | UPDATED: 11:32 17 December 2015
We all have our favourite views, and here’s the pick of Steve Davison, our man who has walked thousands of miles up and down Berkshire
Combe Gibbet near Inkpen
Why? - The panoramic views across the rolling contours of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
About the view - Tucked away in the south-west corner of Berkshire is Combe Gibbet – a grisly reminder of a bygone era. The original double gibbet was erected in 1676 to hang a local man, George Bromham, and his mistress, Dorothy Newman, for the murder of Bromham’s wife and son. The story of the murders was used as the basis of the 1948 film: Black Legend, which was produced by a group of Oxford undergraduates, including John Schlesinger (1926-2003) who later became a well known Oscar-winning film director. Just to the east, at the car park, lookout for the small memorial recalling that the area was used in 1944 by the 9th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, in preparation for the successful assault on the German coastal artillery battery at Merville, France.
Why? - Scenery and wildlife, which includes over 30 species of butterfly, rare birds such as the nightjar and Dartford warbler and plants including several species of orchid.
About the view - To the south-east of Newbury is Greenham Common, once associated with the Cold War and the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp during the 1980s; in 1982 and 1983 between 30,000 and 50,000 women circled the site on two occasions. Following the signing of a nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the airfield was declared redundant in 1992 and at the turn of century, after several decades of military use, the common was officially re-opened for public use. Several waymarked routes criss-cross the common, managed by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), making it easy to explore.
The River Thames at Cookham
Why? - Picturesque scenes of England’s greatest and longest river as you walk through open fields enjoying the riverside views.
About the view - Here the river marks the border between Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. After soaking up the scene head back to Cookham and call in at the Stanley Spencer Gallery (opening times: 01628 471885) to admire views of a slightly different kind. The famous English painter, Sir Stanley Spencer (1891-1959), spent most of his life in Cookham and used scenes from the village as the background to many of his paintings. One of his most famous, The Resurrection (Cookham), was set in the village churchyard.
Streatley Warren near Aldworth
Why? - A lovely view across the rolling chalk downs towards the distant Chiltern Hills.
About the view - Head to the picturesque village of Aldworth, home to a pub (The Bell Inn) and local church that houses the Aldworth Giants – nine larger than life effigies of the de la Beche family, dating from the first half of the 14th century. Take a short walk to Streatley Warren for the best views.
The Copper Horse in Windsor Great Park
Why? - Great views back along the Long Walk to Windsor Castle and on a clear day you can see several London landmarks, including the Wembley Arch and Canary Wharf.
About the view - Situated in the heart of Windsor Great Park, at the end of the 2.5 mile Long Walk that stretches south from Windsor, is the mighty equestrian statue of George III on Snow Hill, known as the Copper Horse. While walking through the park you might catch sight of the deer that roam the park and if it’s getting near dusk, keep a lookout for the ghost of Herne the Hunter, a former huntsman who worked for Richard II; his ghost is said to ride through the park wearing stags antlers.
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