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Day out in Berks / Oxon

place to discuss doing things round and about the UK or to ask advice about other locations
Clitheroekid
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Day out in Berks / Oxon

#86192

Postby Clitheroekid » October 6th, 2017, 12:47 am

I'm meeting up with a couple of friends next weekend who live in Pangbourne. There's a guy from California and a woman from Germany joining us as well.

We'd like a good day out on the Sunday, and I'd be grateful for any suggestions, as I know quite a few Fools live in that area.

Our foreign visitors have both been to London on several occasions so we've decided to stay in the countryside. Of course the weather may be highly influential, but I don't think the visitors are particularly outdoorsy types, so my favoured option of a nice, long walk is unlikely to find favour.

I'd immediately suggested a tour of the West Berkshire Brewery, but sadly the first tour isn't till 28 October.

Blenheim Palace was also a thought, but we've already been and although our visitors would probably enjoy it we'd prefer somewhere that's new to us as well.

I was thinking of Windsor Castle, which surprisingly none of us have visited. Have any fellow Fools been recently? Would you recommend it, or is it just an overpriced, crowded tourist trap as I suspect?

We'd probably be looking to leave Pangbourne around 10:30 and we'd want to be back for 6.

TIA for any inspiration.

redsturgeon
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Re: Day out in Berks / Oxon

#86204

Postby redsturgeon » October 6th, 2017, 7:45 am

I used to live in Englefield Green and I used to enjoy Savill Gardens, Windsor Great Park...the long walk with views to Windsor castle and Virginia Water lake.

http://www.windsorgreatpark.co.uk/en

The Fox and Hounds Pub right on the Surrey Berks border by the Englefield Green entrance to the Great Park is an excellent pub for lunch.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restauran ... gland.html

Within a couple of miles you have the Runnymede RAF memorial and also the JFK memorial which are both worth a visit.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/runnym ... -runnymede
https://www.cwgc.org/find/find-cemeteri ... e-memorial

John

Watis
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Re: Day out in Berks / Oxon

#86222

Postby Watis » October 6th, 2017, 9:08 am

Clitheroekid wrote:I'm meeting up with a couple of friends next weekend who live in Pangbourne. There's a guy from California and a woman from Germany joining us as well.

We'd like a good day out on the Sunday, and I'd be grateful for any suggestions, as I know quite a few Fools live in that area.

Our foreign visitors have both been to London on several occasions so we've decided to stay in the countryside. Of course the weather may be highly influential, but I don't think the visitors are particularly outdoorsy types, so my favoured option of a nice, long walk is unlikely to find favour.

I'd immediately suggested a tour of the West Berkshire Brewery, but sadly the first tour isn't till 28 October.

Blenheim Palace was also a thought, but we've already been and although our visitors would probably enjoy it we'd prefer somewhere that's new to us as well.

I was thinking of Windsor Castle, which surprisingly none of us have visited. Have any fellow Fools been recently? Would you recommend it, or is it just an overpriced, crowded tourist trap as I suspect?

We'd probably be looking to leave Pangbourne around 10:30 and we'd want to be back for 6.

TIA for any inspiration.


If visiting a stately pile is on the cards, Basildon Park is on the doorstep:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park

And for refreshment, this pub is in Aldworth is hard to beat: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restauran ... gland.html

You can't use mobile phones or credit cards though!

HTH,

Watis

YeeWo
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Re: Day out in Berks / Oxon

#86235

Postby YeeWo » October 6th, 2017, 9:52 am

Clitheroekid wrote:I was thinking of Windsor Castle, which surprisingly none of us have visited. Have any fellow Fools been recently? Would you recommend it, or is it just an overpriced, crowded tourist trap as I suspect?
The Castle per se isn't really my thing, however, Windsor itself is well worth visiting. You can walk down to The Thames and stroll over the bridge to Eton which is fantastic. A Riverside Meal, a stroll around Windsor & Eton and perhaps a boat trip would be an excellent afternoon's entertainment. We've taken a coach-load of Indonesians to Windsor & Eton, they really loved it! The feedback from the Indonesians was it felt like they were in a Harry Potter film........

AleisterCrowley
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Re: Day out in Berks / Oxon

#86243

Postby AleisterCrowley » October 6th, 2017, 10:05 am

I live walking distance from Eton/Windsor
I've never done a tour of the castle, but it seems to be very popular ! Nearest I get is drinking in the Carpenters near the entrance...
Boat trips look like fun, unless it's cold and rainy.
Thames St opposite the castle is very commercialised (McDonalds, Nandos etc) and Peascod St is just main shopping street anywhere
Windsor Racecourse only has Monday events in October
Not much to do in Eton once you've looked at Eton College (5 minutes) - The George is a lovely pub though

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Re: Day out in Berks / Oxon

#86642

Postby ahenry » October 8th, 2017, 1:50 pm

The White Horse at Uffington is quite impressive, with a nice view in the right weather. It isn't a long walk from the National Trust car park. You could go further on the Ridgeway if you wanted. Wittenham Clumps are another short walk from a car park, with a reasonable view.

Stone Henge, Avebury are a bit further away, but might be worth a look. Winchester and Salisbury are also an hour away. You probably don't have time to get to Bath, although its only an hour on the train from Didcot.

tea42
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Re: Day out in Berks / Oxon

#86655

Postby tea42 » October 8th, 2017, 3:07 pm

I live a couple of miles from Pangbourne. National Trust Basildon Park a couple of miles from Pangbourne https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park This house has featured in TV dramas. There is also Nuffield Place former home of Morris (Lord Nuffield) and Greys Court nearby, both nice NT houses. Not sure if they are all open. Stonor Park near Henley is a nice place too. Hambledon, just past Henley is very pretty, watch out for Midsomer Murderers though!

A very pleasant town to visit is Henley on Thames. Lovely flat scenic walk along the river. Park free in Mill Lane car park, visit beautiful Marsh Lock then walk into Henley along the river. You could call in the River and Rowing Museum on the river bank. It contains a collection of brilliant John Piper paintings. Grab a pint outside by the River at the Angel by the Bridge.

Nearby Orwells Restaurant at Binfield Heath is to die for, a brilliant place for lunch, not cheap but it should have multiple Michelin Stars. Being a solicitor you will be able to afford it!

Otherwise, nearby, the Bell at Aldworth or the Black Horse at Checkendon, two of Englands best pubs with nice gardens, but dont expect a lunch, both pubs serve great beer but only rolls.

My choice would be Henley and a late lunch at Orwells. Windsor is a bit far.

PrincessB
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Re: Day out in Berks / Oxon

#86657

Postby PrincessB » October 8th, 2017, 3:14 pm

I was thinking of Windsor Castle, which surprisingly none of us have visited.


The quick answer is the castle is very very impressive.

The longer answer is that you can game the sightseeing bus to make for an interesting and relaxing day out which includes free parking.

The open topped tour bus loops around Windsor and Eton and also has a stop at the Windsor Farm shop which sells fantastic meats as well as the touristy stuff - Funnily enough, we were there this morning stocking up on their marvellous sausages among other things.

You can order the tickets online and drive to the farm shop which is a couple of miles outside Windsor and boast a large (and as mentioned) free car park.

The bus will accept a print out of the ticket codes and once the tickets are issued you can hop on and off through the day.

There is a stop directly outside the castle main entrance near the top of the main shopping street and next to the station which is packed with food outlets and designer shops. The castle is spectacular, more impressive than the main eateries in town which I've found disappointing - I think the number of tourists in the main castle area has meant few will revisit and hence the standards are low.

If you wanted to slum it and have snacks, there's a decent sized Waitrose halfway down the hill. For a better class of dining, take the bus down to Eton riverside stop and walk over the footbridge or wait for the bus to stop at the far end of Eton.

Here's a link to the route map if this appeals:
https://www.bathbuscompany.com/wp-conte ... -Small.pdf

While on the bus, you are issued with a set of (very uncomfortable) ear bud headphones which plug into sockets next to the seats for a commentary which is worth a listen if you can cope with the pain of the headphones.

Eventually, you'll complete the loop and can return to the car.

Also in the area is the Air Forces Memorial in Egham which is perched on top of the hill looking down over the Thames. You can download a commentary by scanning the QR codes at the entrance and it's fascinating stuff.

If you don't mind paying a few quid for parking and it is fairly dry there's a sculpture called the Jurors at the bottom of the hill, in the middle of a field, to commemorate the signing of Magna Carta 800 or so years ago. It comprises twelve elaborate chairs with scripts and images of democracy. It's small, quite artistic and astonishing politically correct.

Regards,

B.


http://artatrunnymede.com/

AleisterCrowley
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Re: Day out in Berks / Oxon

#86704

Postby AleisterCrowley » October 8th, 2017, 6:21 pm

Windsor Waitrose is actually in the King Edward Ct shopping area near the station (Central)
Oddly enough just got back from there having spent the afternoon aimlessly wandering around Windsor and Eton!
If you do Windsor, pop into the Two Brewers , a lovely cosy little pub next to the Long Walk. Beer is only average though ...

dspp
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Re: Day out in Berks / Oxon

#86764

Postby dspp » October 8th, 2017, 9:33 pm

Clitheroekid wrote:I'm meeting up with a couple of friends next weekend who live in Pangbourne. There's a guy from California and a woman from Germany joining us as well.

We'd like a good day out on the Sunday, and I'd be grateful for any suggestions, as I know quite a few Fools live in that area.

Our foreign visitors have both been to London on several occasions so we've decided to stay in the countryside. Of course the weather may be highly influential, but I don't think the visitors are particularly outdoorsy types, so my favoured option of a nice, long walk is unlikely to find favour.

I'd immediately suggested a tour of the West Berkshire Brewery, but sadly the first tour isn't till 28 October.

Blenheim Palace was also a thought, but we've already been and although our visitors would probably enjoy it we'd prefer somewhere that's new to us as well.

I was thinking of Windsor Castle, which surprisingly none of us have visited. Have any fellow Fools been recently? Would you recommend it, or is it just an overpriced, crowded tourist trap as I suspect?

We'd probably be looking to leave Pangbourne around 10:30 and we'd want to be back for 6.

TIA for any inspiration.


CK - This area is an old haunt of mine and I resemble many of the suggestions so far. Can I propose you go to The Vyne, just across the border https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-vyne near Basingstoke. Less people, more intimate, equally thought-provoking. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vyne . Cafe in the grounds. Pubs a plenty in the area. Less tourist hordes. regards, dspp


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