Places to visit
Tel: 01494 755558
This beautiful Palladian mansion and gardens were featured in the recent film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Built in 1776–83 by John Carr for Francis, it is now under National Trust stewardship. The house is set in glorious parkland overlooking the River Thames. Open: March – end Oct.
Mapledurham House and Watermill
The Estate Office
Tel: 01189 723350
Mapledurham House is the historic home of the Blount family and a superb Elizabethan mansion. A beautiful Thameside location where visitors can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Oxfordshire countryside. The house contains a wealth of history and the watermill is the last remaining watermill on the river Thames and still grinds flour for sale in the gift shop. Cream teas can be purchased in the Old Manor tea rooms and there is a well stocked gift shop in which to browse. Visitors may arrive by boat from nearby Caversham. Call for opening times.
Tel: 01491 628529
An intriguing Tudor Manor with 14th-century fortifications, Greys Court served as a prison for Mary Queen of Scots. Its ornamental gardens with their old-fashioned roses, wisteria walk and maze are set within medieval walls. Open: April – end Sept.
Tel: 01491 638587
Stonor is the historic home of Lord and Lady Camoys and of the Stonor Family for more than 800 years. The House contains many items of rare furniture, tapestries, bronzes and paintings. It nestles in great tranquillity in a fold of the beautiful wooded Chiltern Hills, five miles north of Henley-on-Thames on the B480. There are breathtaking views of the hillside terraced walled gardens and of the surrounding park where fallow deer have grazed since medieval times. Call for opening times.
14 Queen Street
Tel: 01865 340054
The Abbey Church of St Peter and St Paul, more usually known as Dorchester Abbey, is the parish church of Dorchester-on-Thames, a small Oxfordshire village with just over 1000 inhabitants, located 8 miles south-east of Oxford.
Tel: 01491 641224
The home from 1933 – 1963 of Willliam Morris, Lord Nuffield. Nuffield Place is a rare survival of a complete upper-middle class home of the 1930s, retaining most of the furniture and contents acquired by Lord and Lady Nuffield when they took up residence along with a great deal of fascinating personal memorabilia and material connected with Morris cars. Call for opening times.
The Herb Farm
Tel: 01189 724220
A specialist Herb Nursery where experienced staff grow a comprehensive range of herb plants to sell. Cottage garden plants and old-style roses are also available and can be seen in mature settings in the attractive display gardens. The Barn Shop displays a fascinating range of herb-based products and hand-crafted items and an additional attraction is the beech hedge Saxon Maze with over a mile of curving grass pathways.
Sport, fun and family activities
The Child-Beale Trust
Tel: 0870 7777160
Wildlife park and gardens with animal farm and children’s entertainment and activities on the banks of the Thames. Open March – October.
The Living Rainforest
Tel: 01635 202444
The Living Rainforest brings the rainforest to Berkshire. See a huge array of different wildlife and plant species both free-ranging outside and in purpose built glass houses. Includes new ‘Human Impact’ Building and large play area. Open all year but call to check.
The delightful Maharajah’s Well in the pretty village of Stoke Row was the flamboyant gift of the Maharajah of Benares which is complete with canopy and golden elephant. The Crooked Billet and Cherry Tree Pubs are also close by.
Shooting at the Royal Berkshire Shooting School or Private Tuition with Matthew Rivers
Hook End Lane
Tel: 01491 672 900
The professional instructors are dedicated to teaching and will have you, whether a complete novice or experienced game-shot, hitting “not-in-my-wildest-dreams” clays in no time. From around £90 for an hour’s lesson.
Hire an Electric Launch
Glide over the Thames from Goring Lock through the beautiful Goring Gap in an electric launch, from around £25 per hour. We can make all arrangements (subject to availability) and also create wonderful custom picnics, complete with all your favourites.
Henley on Thames
Wander around the marketplace on market day, visit the antique shops and boutiques or stroll by the river. Henley is famous for both the Regatta in the first week of July and the Henley Festival, a celebration of art & music (and generally a good excuse to have a party).
The picturesque villages of Goring and Streatley nestle face-to-face in the most dramatic location along the whole length of the Thames. The river has carved a deep passage here between the chalk hills of the Chilterns and North Wessex Downs to form the “Goring Gap”, a natural crossing point since Celtic times.
The ancient Ridgeway crosses the river to join the Thames Path at Goring and the two National Trails then continue together towards Wallingford before The Ridgeway takes a high line across the Vale of Oxford to Watlington and Chinnor on the edge of the Chiltern Hills.
All of this is excellent walking country, with boats, trains and buses providing the return leg along the river and more adventurous routes opening into the Chilterns and North Wessex Downs, both of which are Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Stop by reception for maps, pamphlets, etc.