Walking on Bucklebury Common
Monday, May 31, 2010 at 12:31PM
Following on from the last two posts, we did a walk around Bucklebury Common today.
It’s a bit of an odd place, with vegetation similar to Greenham Common. It also feels like a military base left to go wild. Doing a quick search, I’ve found out that it was once used as a military camp…
“The Earl of Manchester and his parliamentary army of some 20,000 men camped on the western end of Bucklebury Common on 25th October 1644, just prior to the Second Battle of Newbury.” –www.berkshirehistory.com
Bit further in the past than the cold war..
Anyway. There are lots of byways and footpaths that cross the area which alternates between heathland and small woodland. There are a large number of private homes about and many of the byways feel more like private driveways than paths through a nature reserve. In comparison to Greenham Common it feels more claustrophobic and strangely isolated. Like we could, at any moment, have stumbled upon Mr and Mrs Psychopath and their little homestead of crazy.
Didn’t see any interesting wildlife except for one very pretty yellow butterfly and lots and LOTS of caterpillars.
Perhaps it was the weather (slightly overcast and alternating cold and humid) but there was definitely a creepy feel to Bucklebury Common.
Things perked up when we met a lovely couple of walkers in the car park and had a chat about Andrew Lloyd Webber’s place (in Syndmonton, good walks) and the weather. Then we headed off to Woolhampton to find a pub.
Stopped at The Rowbarge Inn in Woolhampton for lunch. This is a pub we’ve visited on & off for years but like most pubs in our neck of the woods it’s always under new management when we visit. Standard chain pub food this time. Nice enough but overpriced for what it was and small portions. Personally I prefer a PUB pub rather than these restaurants in disguise.
It was very busy inside and out. As soon as we’d scoffed our chicken pudding and fish pie we scarpered. On the way across the field towards the canal I trod on a broken pint glass. Luckily my walking shoes were tough enough to protect me and Dogface managed to avoid it all. Leaving we certainly didn’t feel enamoured with the place despite the friendly Polish barmaid who looked a bit like Felicia Day.
Will give it a second chance though as it was a bank holiday Monday and I’m sure that usually it’s not half as busy and they do have London Pride on tap. I also loved the fact that every inch of wall was decorated with pictures and ornaments. It’s a gorgeous old building on the Kennet and Avon canal right by Woolhampton lock.
After lunch we went for a little potter down the canal towpath. The canal is very high with dark water at the moment and lots of strange insects flying about. The rather creepy feeling of the day was persisting so we called it a day and headed back to the car and home!
Both backpacks felt comfortable even though I had to do some adjusting half way round as I hadn’t done up the straps enough and my pack was sitting too low down on my back. The trekking poles are ace and we both used them (me on the common and Nev by the canal). Still impressed with their lack of weight.
Dogface walk review:
Lots of good sticks on the common. Buried them for later use. Disappointed with lack of nibbles at the pub, the chicken pudding smelt good though. Glad to get home as I was given lots of new toys and told ‘happy birthday’. Not sure why but the toys are great, especially the squeaky one.