Berkshire walk around Tidmarsh
PUBLISHED: 12:04 15 January 2018
Steve Davison suggests a short walk to get you out in the fresh air at Tidmarsh over the winter period
The walk meanders through Sulham Wood before crossing the River Pang to arrive at Tidmarsh. The road through the village was once a turnpike route and we soon pass the former octagonal toll house (private). On reaching the thatch-roofed Greyhound pub the walk heads back across the River Pang.
The walk then passes several pillboxes that formed part of Britain’s defences during WWII. A series of barriers, known as ‘GHQ Lines’, that made use of existing natural and man-made obstacles such as rivers and railway embankments, were devised to hinder a possible German invasion.
One such line – the GHQ Red Line – ran northwards from the Kennet & Avon Canal (another stop line) following the Sulham Gap past Sulham and Tidmarsh before continuing along the River Thames towards Abingdon.
The last section of the walk heads back through Sulham Wood to the car park.
• Start/finish: car park at the top of Sulham Hill between Tidmarsh and Tilehurst (SU648745)
• Map: OS Explorer 159
• Distance: 3 miles (4.7km)
• Terrain: some gates and stiles, ups and downs, paths and tracks that can be muddy, sections of road
• Time: 1.5 hours (excluding stops)
• Refreshments: Tidmarsh – The Greyhound (0118 984 3557)
1 (SU648745) – From the north side of the road go through the gate and follow the signed path through Sulham Wood for 150m to a split (marker post). Fork right, following the permissive route close to the right-hand edge of the wood for 600m to reach a signed path junction. Turn left downhill, ignoring a crossing route. Go through a gate, continue across the field and leave through a gate. Turn right along the lane for 400m to a right-hand bend and go left over a stile. Continue through the field, then through gates either side of a footbridge to enter another field where the path splits. Fork right, cross a footbridge and continue under power-lines to a path junction on the far side beside a gate. Stay in the field and turn left following the right-hand boundary. Go through a gate and continue through the next field to another gate.
2 (S636757) – Cross the footbridge over the River Pang and immediately turn left along the riverside path for 300m before bearing right through a gate. Follow the left-hand field boundary, cross a stile and keep ahead to a stile in the corner. Cross over and bear left along the track and surfaced driveway. Immediately after the junction turn right and follow the enclosed path as it soon swings left, then later swings right before passing through a gate to join the A340 at Tidmarsh. Turn left to a junction beside The Greyhound.
3 (SU635747) – Turn left along Mill Lane. Immediately after the first bridge turn left along the narrow path and swing right over a footbridge. Cross the stile and follow the right-hand field margin. At the corner, keep ahead across a footbridge and follow the left-hand field margin (pillboxes to the left). Cross a footbridge, then go through a gate. Turn left along the lane for 20m and turn sharp right through a gate into the field. At the field corner turn left up alongside the boundary. Enter Sulham Wood and bear diagonally right up through the trees back to the start.
To find out more about Steve, including information on his walking books, visit: www.steve-davison.co.uk
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