Sonning Village - Walks & Cycle Paths
A Short Historic Stroll — 20-30 minutes
- This short walk starts at the Kissing Gate entrance to St Andrew‘s Church at the bottom of Sonning Lane. The cottage to the right of the Kissing Gate entrance, Turpins, is believed to have been the residence of aunt of Dick Turpin, the notorious highwayman. Walk down through the churchyard heading straight across the crossroads in the gravel pathway. Sonning Church was founded in Saxon times and was largely re-built in 1852.
- At the far corner of the churchyard pass through another wooden kissing gate and turn right down to the road. A short walk to the left will take you down to the River Thames and the iconic Sonning Bridge with its 10 brick arches, built in 1775. If you cross over the road at the start of the bridge you can take a seat on one of the benches on the wharf and enjoy watching the boats pass by.
- Retrace your steps back to the road and follow the pavement around the sharp left hand bend and up the steep hill that is part of Thames Street.
- At the top of this hill, cross over the road and turn right down the High Street. You will pass many old houses of significance along either side of the high Street.
- At the end of the High Street you will come to a T junction. Opposite you, you will see the house ‘Sonning Grove’. This is where Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve, the French Commander-in-Chief was billeted after Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar.
- Now turn left and enjoy a walk down the historic Pearson Road, passing many pretty houses including ‘The Robert Palmer Alms Houses’ on your right. At the end of Pearson Road there is a mini roundabout in the road, cross here and turn left back along Thames Street. After a short walk you will find yourself back at the top of the High Street. Turn back down the High Street again but about halfway down, take a right turn which will lead you to the car park of the Bull Inn, a charming 16th century timber framed pub owned by St Andrew‘s Church.
- Enter the churchyard again and retrace your steps up the pathway back to the kissing gate where you started.
A Riverside Ramble — 40-60 minutes (3 miles)
- Park along Sonning Lane towards the entrance to St Andrew‘s Church. Facing away from the wrought iron gates of Bishops Close with Turpins on your left, head down along the pavement of Pearson Road. Just before the end of Pearson Road, cross over Pound Lane and continue to the mini roundabout that is the junction with Charvil Lane and Thames Street.
- Turn right here along Charvil Lane, past Spring Cottages and Littlecourt. Upon reaching the entrance for Sonning Farm, cross over the road and enter the permissive footpath through a kissing gate.
- Follow this farm track, enjoying glorious views of fields, The Thames and beyond. The track gradually descends and then levels and you will soon pass some farm buildings on your right. Continue past these, and walk straight along the now grassy track, keeping the hedgerow on your right. At the end of this path you will reach a small wooden kissing gate which brings you on to a narrow lane, Milestone Avenue.
- Turn left along this lane until you reach a small bridge crossing St Patrick‘s Stream — a great place to play Pooh Sticks! Do not cross the bridge, instead turn left passing in front of a house and wooden fencing. Shortly after you will find yourself on the riverside path. Walk along this path for about a mile until you reach the Wharf and Sonning Bridge.
- Walk under Sonning Bridge (or if the river is high, cross over the bridge) and continue on a now wider tarmac riverside path. After a short walk, turn left up a gravel track which leads to St Andrews Church and ‘The Bull Inn’ next to it.
- Leave the churchyard via the gate by the pub car park. Walk along the roadway for approximately 20 metres, then turn right along the High Street and then right again at the top. A short walk back along Pearson Road will take you back to your starting point.
Cycling in Sonning
Sonning falls within the National Cycle Networks route 4 which is a long distance route between London and Fishguard. The main route follows alongside the A4 Bath Road. However there is a link route which diverts from the main cycle route 4 into Sonning and alongside the River Thames, meeting back up with the main route 4 again at Thames Valley Business Park.
For further details please consult the Sustrans website www.sustrans.org.uk