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Enjoying a Berkshire stroll around Cookham

PUBLISHED: 10:35 22 January 2019

© Steve Davison

© Steve Davison

© Steve Davison

A shorter route to get you out in the fresh air over the winter period: a walk through artistic Cookham

The picturesque village of Cookham, which lies alongside the River Thames – England’s longest and most famous river – was once the home of the English painter, Sir Stanley Spencer. He spent most of his life in Cookham and used scenes from the village as the background to many of his paintings. To learn more about the artist visit the Stanley Spencer Gallery, located in the former Wesleyan Chapel where Spencer used to worship as a child.

The walk passes the Tarry Stone, a large sarsen stone beside a seat at the junction of the A4094 and Odney Lane. This once marked the boundary of lands belonging to the Abbot of Cirencester and is said to have been connected with sports events before 1507. Close by is the Holy Trinity Church, which dates back to Norman times. Inside there is a copy of Sir Stanley Spencer’s The Last Supper, and some colourful stained glass windows.

The walk follows the peaceful River Thames upstream for a while, passing The Bounty pub and Cock Marsh, before heading back to the Moor car park.


Information

• Start/finish: Cookham Moor car park (SU892853) on the B4447

• Map: OS Explorer 172

• Distance: 4.25 or 2.25 miles (6.7 or 3.7km)

• Terrain: Gates, riverside paths, with road crossings, pavements

• Time: 1−2 hours

• Refreshments: Cookham village pubs and cafes


The walk

1 (SU892853) – Cross the road (B4447), keep ahead to join the raised causeway, then turn left towards the village; soon, to the left is The Crown pub. Pass the War Memorial and follow the High Street to a T-junction, passing The King’s Arms; on the right is the Stanley Spencer Gallery. Turn left alongside the A4094, keeping left at the junction with Odney Lane (spot the Tarry Stone). After 40m, fork left along Church Gate and turn right into the churchyard. Follow the path, keeping left of the church, to reach the River Thames. Turn left (river on right) and shortly pass the sailing club. Go through a gate and follow the riverside path for half a mile to a gate (here, for the shorter walk, turn left for 200m and rejoin at Point 3).

2 (SU893864) – Keep ahead through the gate and continue with the river on the right, later passing under the railway bridge and then some houses and The Bounty pub. Go through gates either side of a field, then follow the track. After the first house, fork left across the field corner before rejoining the track at a bend and turn left. Go through a gate, follow the raised path for 25m and turn left following a level path along the bottom of Winter Hill. Go under the railway to a junction of three routes and turn right.

3 (SU891864) – Follow the path between the railway (right) and golf course (left), later swinging left and right past the hedge. Follow the gravel track to Terry’s Lane. Turn left to a junction and follow the enclosed path between Terry’s Lane (left) and Poundfield Lane (right). Rejoin Terry’s Lane and turn right to a mini-roundabout at the junction with the B4447; to the right is The White Oak and the Old Swan Uppers pubs. Cross the road via the zebra crossing and turn left for 40m, then fork slightly right (straight on) along the raised causeway. Immediately after crossing the bridge turn left back to the car park.


More…

The best routes for a winter walk in Berkshire - When the weather gets colder, there’s not much more refreshing than a brisk walk across the countryside. Here are a few of those to enjoy in Berkshire

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