Cholsey to Tilehurst a 13 mile Thames walk.

We decided to do this walk on the hottest day of the year I think about 28 deg of heat and very little shade on the walk. Transport links are easy for this walk as the GWR railway branch line runs from Cholsey and Tilehurst and cost about £10 for 2 people one way. From Tilehurst station you take a right and head towards the bridge over the rail line by the Roebuck public house, as soon as you come to the Thames head left towards Cholsey. The walk is flat with just a couple of small climbs along the way, the paths are well kept and you have to cross over the Thames a couple of times to keep to the path. Some lovely villages and towns are on route and you will visit Goring and Whitchurch on Thames. You can soon come off the path to visit these towns if you wish and you will find some nice pubs also if you fancy a pint. The walk was a long one and the heat was extreme but it was enjoyable with Some great scenery . Please check out the GPS file of ViewRanger to help you plan this one.

Cholsey is a village and large civil parish two miles (3 km) south of Wallingford, in South Oxfordshire. In 1974 it was transferred from Berkshire to the county of Oxfordshire, and from Wallingford Rural District to the district of South Oxfordshire. Cholsey’s parish boundaries, some 17 miles (27 km) long, reach from the edge of Wallingford into the Berkshire Downs. The village green is known as The Forty and has a substantial and ancient walnut tree. Winterbrook was historically at the north end of the parish adjoining Wallingford and became within Wallingford parish (run by its Town Council) since 2015. It is the site of Winterbrook Bridge, which carries a by-pass road across the Thames, and was one of the two main residences of the late author Dame Agatha Christie (the other being the village of Galmpton on the south Devon coast). John Masefield, poet laureate, was a resident of Cholsey.

Mapping:

Please goto Viewranger here , or Garmin Connect here. 

 

 

Chiltern open Air Museum

We had a week off work but didn’t go away so instead decided to have a few days out. The weather was gorgeous so we set off to have a trip to the open air museum. We had visited here before many years ago with Kay and Stuart and thought we would have another look. The admission was £9.50 each and parking was free. The museum is full of saved local buildings such as houses and farm buildings, my favourite building there was a pre-fab house which you can go into and have a look around, these must have seemed like luxury, although small, coming from the bombed out buildings after the war. There is also a small chapel and a newly constructed Iron Age round house. We enjoyed a cream tea while we were there and a walk round the woodland path. It was a pleasant day although there wasn’t as much there as I thought

From Wiki:

The museum was founded in 1976 and aims to rescue and restore common English buildings from the Chilterns, which might otherwise have been destroyed or demolished. The buildings have been relocated to the museum’s 45-acre (180,000 m2) site, which includes woodland and parkland. The collection has more than 30 buildings on view including barns, other traditional farm buildings and houses.

Buildings of interest include a 1940s prefab from Amersham, a reconstruction of an Iron Age house, a Victorian toll house from High Wycombe, a “Tin Chapel” from Henton, Oxfordshire and a forge from Garston, Hertfordshire. A fine pair of cottages from 57 Compton Avenue at Leagrave, near Luton which started out as a weather-boarded thatched barn with central double doors in the early 18th century. In the late 18th century the barn was converted into two labourers’ cottages.

 

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Chiltern Open Air Museum

 

Birmingham Back to Back houses

A cheap train ticket to Birmingham on a wet saturday led us to the National trust back to back houses, the restored 19th century courtyard is one of the best NT attractions we have visited and well worth the trip alone. If visiting make sure you book your tickets in advance as you cannot gain entry simply by just turning up . After that we looked around the centre of Birmingham and well not a lot I can say about that really, anyway a bit from Wiki about the back to back houses below for you to read before you plan your visit.

The Birmingham Back to Backs (also known as Court 15) are the city’s last surviving court of back-to-back houses. They are preserved as examples of the thousands of similar houses that were built around shared courtyards, for the rapidly increasing population of Britain’s expanding industrial towns. They are a very particular sort of British terraced housing. This sort of housing was deemed unsatisfactory, and the passage of the Public Health Act 1875 meant that no more were built; instead byelaw terraced houses took their place. This court, at 50–54 Inge Street and 55–63 Hurst Street, is now operated as a historic house museum by the National Trust.

Numerous back-to-back houses, two or three storeys high, were built in Birmingham during the 19th century. Most of these houses were concentrated in inner-city areas such as Ladywood, Handsworth, Aston, Small Heath and Highgate. Most were still in quite good condition in the early 20th century and also prior to their demolition. By the early 1970s, almost all of Birmingham’s back-to-back houses had been demolished. The occupants were rehoused in new council houses and flats, some in redeveloped inner-city areas, while the majority moved to new housing estates such as Castle Vale and Chelmsley Wood.

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LInks:

From Wikipedia

From the NT website

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Tatton Park Estate and Mansion House

Due to a trip into the lake district we decided to stop off in Cheshire and visit Tatton Park Mansion and Estate. The Estate belongs to the National Trust and the whole site covers 2000 acres that inclues Gardens, a large Farm, and Manor House. You will have to pay £7 to get into the grounds even if you are a member of the NT, also to visit the farm will cost you a further £3.50 each but is well worth the visit. The Farm included an historic old mill complete with old mill grinders and old cattle feed mills, they will happily demonstrate with working demonstarshions if you ask. Next door is an old steam engine and boiler that once powered the mill its a shame it is still not working it would make a great demonstration. The kids will enjoy the old farm with loads of chickens, pigs and lambs about to birth whilst we were there.

Mansion House.

The huge country house dates from 1770’s and is in good state of repair, there are no timed visit just enter when you want. the following article about the history of the man is from Wikipedia so please visit the page to learn about Tatton Park.

A good visit and well worth stopping off along the route.

History

The original manor house in Tatton Park was Tatton Old Hall.[1] Around 1716 a new hall was built in a more elevated position on the site of the present mansion some 0.75 miles (1 km) to the west. This house was a rectangular block of seven bays with three storeys.[2] From 1758 the owner Samuel Egerton began to make improvements to the house, in particular a rococo interior to his drawing room (now the dining room), designed by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard.[3][4] During the 1770s Samuel Egerton commissioned Samuel Wyatt to design a house in Neoclassical style. Both Samuel Egerton and Samuel Wyatt died before the house was finished, and it was completed (1807–16), on a reduced scale, by Wilbraham Egerton and Lewis William Wyatt, Samuel Wyatt’s nephew.[5][6] Samuel Wyatt had planned a house of eleven bays, but Lewis reduced this to seven.[7] Wilbraham bought a number of fine paintings, and many items of furniture made by Gillows of Lancaster.[5] In 1861–62 an upper floor was added to the family wing to a design by G. H. Stokes.[7] In 1884 a family entrance hall was added to the north face and a smoking room to the extreme west of the family wing.[3] Also in 1884 electricity was installed in the hall.[5]

 

 

Milestone Museum Hampshire Cultural Trust

We saw this on a TV program and it looked interesting enough for us to travel nearly 2 hours to have a look. The museum is located near to Basingstoke Hampshire and first opened on the 1st December 2000. The building is very modern and all the exhibits are under 1 roof with easy access to all the displays. Inside the setup is very Victorian in style and you will find a Victorian Public House, Railway Station, Ironmonger, and terraced houses. There is a Toy shop and sweet shop where you can get some sweets they had in the 40’s still under ration. There is also large collections of things of yesteryear including Video recorders, TV’s, Vacuums and even an old Twin Tub . Many Steam engines and stored inside and old pumps and things from old Iron Foundry etc. A great day out and only £12 each to get in and this covers you all year if you are back down in this location.

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Henley-on-Thames to Tilehurst along the Thames Path.

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Another of our long walks along the River thames this time starting in Henley-on-Thames and finishing in the Town of Tilehurst a total distance of about 12.5 miles.

Mapping (sorry cant get it to Embed with WordPress)

https://my.viewranger.com/track/widget/6822509?locale=en&m=miles&v=2

Once at Tilehurst Station you will find the River Thames just over the Barrier however you cannot get down from the Station platform, just head onto the road and head North west along Oxford Road until you find the Roebuck Hotel and the bridge leading down to the path. You will pass some great real estate along the banks of the thames as you approach the City of reading, as soon you will find yourself at Redgrave Pinsent Rowing lake names after he Olympic rowers Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent. The lake and its boathouse are specifically designed for training use, and provide training, medical, and scientific facities for the GB rowing squad, and for Oxford University in preparation for the Boat Race.

You will find many locks along the path including Sonning lock and Caversham Lock. You will also see along the route Caversham bridge that opened in 1926. 

A great but long walk this one but the ground is flat and easy with loads to see on route. Watch out because after rain some of the path can become a bit boggy under foot so take good walking boots. There are plenty of pubs along the route if you fancy a beer whilst out.

Transport Links:

We first made our way to Henley on Thames train station operated by Great Western Train services. The Car park has plenty of spaces so we parked here easily and on a Saturday it will cost you £5 for all day. To get toTilehurst just take the train to Twyford then change to Tilehurst it cost about £13 for 2 single tickets and took about 35mins in total.

 

 

Bury St Edmunds

The second part of the days trip took us to Bury St Edmonds in East Suffolk. The town sprung up around 1080 and was known for Brewing and Malting, The green king brewery is still in the Town as well as the Silver Spoon sugar works. Parking was easy with loads of long stay car parks and only cost a couple of Pound.

The highlight of the tour was walking around the ruins of the old Abbey , it was the Burial place of the king St Edmund who was killed by the Vikings in 869. Must say its an impressive town with some nice bars and restaurants if you are staying overnight.

History from Wikipedia

Bury St Edmunds (Beodericsworth, Bedrichesworth, St Edmund’s Bury), supposed by some[who?] to have been the Villa Faustina of the Romans, was one of the royal towns of the Saxons.[citation needed] Sigebert, king of the East Angles, founded a monastery here about 633, which in 903 became the burial place of King Edmund, who was slain by the Danes in 869, and owed most of its early celebrity to the reputed miracles performed at the shrine of the martyr king. The town grew around Bury St Edmunds Abbey, a site of pilgrimage. By 925 the fame of St Edmund had spread far and wide, and the name of the town was changed to St Edmund’s Bury.

Lavenham

with a Friday off work and some decent January weather at last we decided to go for a drive into Suffolk to the village of Lavenham. Its a long drive from South Northants but worth the visit. The village is noted for its 15th Century timbered medieval cottages and luckily on the day we visited it was not to busy. There are a large number of gift shops to take your cash and some nice pubs also dotted around the village. The villages wealth come mainly from the Wool trade and it was in the 20 most wealthiest settlements in england you will note the huge church of St Peter & St Paul thats stands in the village it is known as a wool church financed by wealthy wool merchants . The decline of the village come from immigrants coming from Holland producing cloth much cheaper than they could produce.

The Guild Hall.

This grand old house now belonging to the National Trust sits in the heart of the village. This late 15th century Guildhall has a checkered history , it was built in the late 15th Century. Four guilds were setup in the village by local merchants with the main one being the Wool Guild the building become the main and most important property in the village. After the decline of the wool trade it become a Bridewell where the prisoners were treated very poorly and forced into hard labour whilst there. They explained a story how a young girl of Eleven was finally transported to Australia for Petty crimes., After that it become the local Workhouse.

Gloucester Cathedral

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Gloucester Cathedral.

We booked this trip way back in July because we wished to visit the Christmas markets and also have a look at the Cathedral. At the time of visiting there were large building and conservation works going on around the perimeter and also inside the cathedral itself, however this did not spoil the visit to the cathedral . Gloucester cathedral is the burial place of Edward II and you will find his tomb inside also other large and elegant tombs can be found inside.

From Wikipedia.

The cathedral, built as the abbey church, consists of a Norman nucleus (Walter de Lacy is buried there), with additions in every style of Gothic architecture. It is 420 feet (130 m) long, and 144 feet (44 m) wide, with a fine central tower of the 15th century rising to the height of 225 ft (69 m) and topped by four delicate pinnacles, a famous landmark. he nave is massive Norman with an Early English roof; the crypt, under the choir, aisles and chapels, is Norman, as is the chapter house. The crypt is one of the four apsidal cathedral crypts in England, the others being at Worcester, Winchester and Canterbury.

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