Pangbourne-on-Thames is a village in West Berkshire. From top restaurants to stunning river walks, there are many things to do in Pangbourne!
English villages are really stunning! If you are looking for ideas and best villages near London, then Pangbourne on Thames will be a great choice!
Known as one of the most popular places to visit in Berkshire, the village is also one of our favourite spots to visit on a day trip from London!
Pangbourne is a lovely and charming village nestled against the River Thames. It’s a delightful place to wander around. The village is filled with one-off shops, pubs, and cafes that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a village that’s genuinely full of character, and there’s nowhere else quite like it.
Ready to learn more about Pangbourne-on-Thames? 🙂
Where is Pangbourne?
Pangbourne is in Berkshire county. It sits on the outskirts of Reading, just east of London. If you’re travelling from London, it’s just a quick 30-minute train ride from Paddington Station.
Pangbourne’s location is perfect for English countryside fans. It sits on the boundary between two areas of outstanding natural beauty – North Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills.
How do I get to Pangbourne?
Pangbourne is a village located in Berkshire, England. Depending on your starting location, there are several ways to get to Pangbourne:
- By car: Pangbourne is located just off the A329 road, which connects to the M4 motorway at junction 12. If you’re driving from London, take the M4 westbound and exit at junction 12, then follow the A340 to Pangbourne.
- By train: Pangbourne has a train station on the Great Western Railway, with regular trains from London Paddington and Reading. From London Paddington, take the train to Pangbourne station, which takes around 45 minutes.
- By bus: There are several bus routes that serve Pangbourne, including the Thames Travel X39 from Reading and the Stagecoach 143 from Newbury.
- By bike or on foot: Pangbourne is located on the Thames Path, a popular walking and cycling route that follows the River Thames. If you’re coming from a nearby town or village, you may be able to cycle or walk to Pangbourne using local paths and trails.
We recommend using a map or a GPS navigation app to plan your route, and to check the latest travel updates and timetables before you set off.
The postcode for Pangbourne, a village located in Berkshire, England, is RG8. In addition to the RG8 postcode, there are several more specific postcodes that are used in Pangbourne, depending on the exact location within the village. For example, some of the more specific postcodes for Pangbourne include RG8 7AE, RG8 7AW, and RG8 7AP.
What is Pangbourne famous for?
Pangbourne has long been linked with the literary world. This delightful little village has served as inspiration for many a writer.
Water voles live in the banks of the river. Many believed they were the inspiration for Kenneth William’s Wind in the Willows. If you visit today, you can still see the banks of the river teeming with these delightful animals.
DH Lawrence, the author of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, wasn’t so taken with the town. After he visited, he renamed the town ‘Pongbourne’, an insult that still rankles the locals. They’ll be quick to tell you that if he were to visit today, he certainly wouldn’t think so poorly of the place anymore.
The local pub, The Swan, is also mentioned in Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat. After mucking around a bit, the men end their epic journey at The Swan in Pangbourne, which is certainly a good excuse to check it out for yourself.
Accommodation in Pangbourne
Pangbourne is a charming village located in Berkshire, England, that offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering apartments. Here are some suggestions for places to stay in Pangbourne:
- The Elephant Hotel: This historic hotel is located in the heart of Pangbourne and features 22 individually designed rooms, a restaurant, and a bar.
- The George Hotel: This 17th-century coaching inn is located on the Thames and features 26 en-suite rooms, a restaurant, and a bar.
- The Hermitage: This bed and breakfast is located in a quiet residential area of Pangbourne and features four individually decorated rooms and a garden.
- The Royal Oak: This pub and hotel is located just outside Pangbourne and features eight en-suite rooms and a restaurant.
- Self-catering apartments: There are several self-catering apartments available for short-term rental in and around Pangbourne, including the Reading Serviced Apartments and the House of Fisher.
These are just a few of the many accommodation options available in Pangbourne. Be sure to check online booking websites for the latest availability and pricing information, and to book in advance if possible, especially during peak travel periods.
Things to do in Pangbourne:
Pangbourne is a lovely place filled with things to do. Just a little way down the road you’ll find Basildon Park. It’s a beautiful estate maintained by the National Trust which is worth a visit if you have the time.
For animal lovers, nearby Beale Park is also a great place to visit. They have everything from meerkats to mongooses, owls to otters and coatis to capybaras!
Within the village, you’ll find lots of fantastic local shops and pubs. It’s also a great place to start a walk from; you’ll be in the countryside before you know it. Here are some of the highlights.
1. The Elephant Hotel
Where to stay in Pangbourne? The Elephant Hotel offers a great range of drinks, snacks and full meals. In the afternoons, you can enjoy an Afternoon Tea, their bar, Babar is described as an eclectic bar where you can get everything from cocktails to tiffin!
If you’re in need of something more substantial, then you’ll find a delightful seasonal menu in the restaurant, The Herd. This is a place run by people who are passionate about good food and drink. That passion shines through making it a great place to book in for a meal.
2. The George Hotel
The site of the George Hotel has been a destination for weary traveller since 1295. The current building is a 17th Century coaching inn. The restaurant has elegant beamed ceilings and offers a selection of traditional English pub food, done really well.
3. Pangbourne Meadows
What to do in Pangbourne? Pangbourne water meadow is a beautiful spot for a picnic and a stroll. The local parish council owns and maintains the area. They keep it in gorgeous condition, so it’s a lovely place for all to enjoy.
If you’re lucky enough to visit on the right day, you’ll find the village fete here. They have all the classic tea and cake stalls as well as a not so traditional Limbo competition and Dragon Boat event.
4. St James The Less
What to see in Pangbourne? If you’re a fan of traditional and beautiful architecture, then you should take the time to visit St James the Less. This is the active parish church in Pangbourne. The red tile roof is a lovely contrast to the brick and stone walls.
The red-brick tower stands proudly at the end of the church. Inside, there are many beautiful features, including the stained glass windows. It is a truly lovely little church.
5. Cheese Etc
Interesting places to visit in Pangbourne? If you love cheese, and who doesn’t, then you need to pop into this store. They stock over 100 different artisanal kinds of cheese.
They specialise in cheeses made by small producers, so you’re sure to find something new and delicious at this award-winning shop.
6. @Baxters Cafe Kitchen
This fun and quirky cafe serves food all day from breakfast through to the evening. They specialise in delicious and locally sourced meals. The menu is genuinely eclectic and offers a wide range of delights. There is bound to be something here that you just can’t say no to.
7. The Swan
Looking for best pubs in Pangbourne? The Swan pub, where the Three Men in a Boat ended their journey, is well worth a visit. The building that houses it is called Shooter’s Hill. It’s a gorgeous 17th Century building that sits right on the bank of the river. Inside you’ll see exposed oak beams and open fires. In summer, you can go out on to the terrace to enjoy a drink in the sun looking out over the gently flowing river.
For an extraordinary experience, you can book out the pub’s private dining room. It’s called ‘The Bunker’. That’s because you’ll be dining in what used to be the pub’s coal bunker. It’s been converted into a gorgeous dining room that can hold around ten people.
8. Walk to Whitchurch-on-Thames
What to do close to Pangbourne? One of the wonderful things bout visiting Pangbourne is that you can enjoy two country villages in one trip. A quick walk over the toll bridge and you’ll find yourself in Whitchurch-on-Thames.
Fortunately, the toll only applies to cars, so you can pop back on forth on foot as much as you please.
9. The Toll Bridge
The Toll Bridge joins Pangbourne to the neighbouring village of Whitchurch. When you cross over the bridge, you’ll not only cross the river but county lines as well. In Pangbourne, you’re in Berkshire, however, on the other side of the bridge, you’ll be in Oxfordshire. A must-see when visiting Pangbourne!
The bridge is a lovely wrought iron construction. The lattice of bars makes it a beautiful bridge indeed. What’s even more attractive is the view from the middle. You can look upstream to see Pangbourne Lock, and to either side for great views of the two villages.
10. Toll Booth/Road
The toll booth sits on the Whitchurch side of the river. It has the distinction of being one of the most expensive tolls in England. So you might want to opt to walk over the bridge rather than drive if you can.
11. The Church of St Mary the Virgin
Things to see in Pangbourne? If you pop over the toll bridge into Whitchurch, you’ll find another lovely and ancient church. St Mary the Virgin is a medieval church that is dated to the Anglo-Saxons.
If you go inside, you’ll be able to see the exposed mediaeval timber roof. It is quite remarkable.
12. Whitchurch-on-Thames Circular walk
There are many stunning walks near London, and this one is one of the best! Starting from Pangbourne, you can easily get to the beginning of the Whitchurch-on-Thames circular walk. It’s a 6-mile hike that will take you into the Chiltern Hills. At the highest points on the walk, you’ll be able to get breathtaking views of the countryside.
When you’re looking down over the Thames, it’s easy to understand how this part of England was labelled as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
If you do the walk in summer, then you’ll be treated to a carpet of wildflowers as you pass through Hartslock Nature Reserve.
Pangbourne village history
Pangbourne is a historic village located in the Royal County of Berkshire, England, and has a rich and fascinating history. Here are some key events and milestones in the history of Pangbourne:
- Prehistoric times: The area around Pangbourne has been inhabited since prehistoric times, as evidenced by the discovery of flint tools and other artifacts.
- Roman occupation: The Romans established a settlement in Pangbourne around the 1st century AD, and the remains of a Roman villa and other structures have been found in the area.
- Medieval period: Pangbourne was an important market town during the medieval period, and its location on the River Thames made it an important hub for trade and commerce.
- Civil War: During the English Civil War in the 17th century, Pangbourne was the site of several skirmishes between Royalist and Parliamentarian forces.
- Industrialization: In the 19th century, Pangbourne saw the arrival of the Great Western Railway and the expansion of local industry, including the production of paper and the operation of a watermill.
- 20th century: During World War II, Pangbourne was the site of an important training school for the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and the village played a key role in the war effort.
Today, Pangbourne is a thriving community that blends its rich history with modern amenities and a vibrant cultural scene. Visitors can explore the village’s many historic buildings and landmarks, such as the 12th-century St James the Less Church, as well as its picturesque setting on the River Thames.
Pubs in Pangbourne
Pangbourne is a picturesque village located in Berkshire, England, and is home to several historic and charming pubs. Here are a few pubs in Pangbourne that you might want to check out:
- The Elephant Hotel: This historic hotel is located in the heart of Pangbourne and features a bar that serves a range of beers, wines, and spirits. The hotel’s bar has a cozy and inviting atmosphere, and is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.
- The Swan: The Swan is a traditional English pub located in the center of Pangbourne, and offers a range of real ales, ciders, and lagers. The pub’s interior features a large fireplace, wooden beams, and a cozy atmosphere, and it also has an outdoor seating area.
- The Cross Keys: The Cross Keys is a popular pub located on the outskirts of Pangbourne, and offers a range of beers, wines, and spirits. The pub has a large outdoor seating area, as well as a cozy interior with a fireplace.
- The Greyhound: The Greyhound is a traditional pub located in the nearby village of Whitchurch-on-Thames, and offers a range of real ales, ciders, and wines. The pub has a large beer garden with views of the nearby countryside, as well as a cozy interior with a fireplace.
- The Heron: The Heron is a contemporary pub located on the banks of the River Thames, just a short walk from Pangbourne. The pub offers a range of beers, wines, and spirits, as well as a menu of modern British cuisine.
These are just a few of the many pubs in and around Pangbourne. Be sure to check with locals and other visitors for additional recommendations, as there are many other great pubs in the area that are worth checking out.
Pangbourne tourist information
Pangbourne is a charming village located in the Royal County of Berkshire, England, that offers a range of tourist attractions and amenities for visitors. Here is some tourist information to help you plan your visit to Pangbourne:
- Visitor Information Centre: The closest Visitor Information Centre is located in Reading, just a few miles away from Pangbourne. The Reading Visitor Information Centre provides maps, brochures, and other resources for visitors to the area.
- Local attractions: Some of the popular local attractions in and around Pangbourne include the River Thames, the Pangbourne Meadow, the Beale Park Wildlife Park and Gardens, the Basildon Park stately home, and the nearby town of Henley-on-Thames.
- Outdoor activities: Pangbourne is surrounded by beautiful countryside and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, such as walking, cycling, boating, fishing, and bird-watching. The Thames Path, a popular walking and cycling trail, runs through the village.
- Shopping and dining: Pangbourne has a range of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as several pubs and bars. Visitors can enjoy traditional English pub fare, international cuisine, and local specialties.
- Accommodation: Pangbourne offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering apartments.
- Getting around: Pangbourne is easily accessible by car, train, and bus. The village has a train station on the Great Western Railway, with regular trains from London Paddington and Reading, and several bus routes serve the area.
If you have specific questions or need more information, don’t hesitate to ask locals, hotel staff, or staff at the local visitor information centre. They are often happy to help visitors with recommendations and tips.
Pangbourne coffee shops
Here are a few coffee shops that you might want to check out when you visit Pangbourne:
- Roast House Coffee: This family-run coffee shop offers a range of speciality coffee drinks, including lattes, cappuccinos, and flat whites, as well as pastries and cakes. The shop has a cozy interior with comfortable seating and a welcoming atmosphere.
- The Cottage Bakery: This bakery and coffee shop offers a range of baked goods, sandwiches, and salads, as well as speciality coffee drinks. The shop’s products are made with locally sourced ingredients, and it also offers catering services for events and parties.
- The Herd: This cafe and deli offers a range of speciality coffee drinks, as well as breakfast and lunch items, such as sandwiches, soups, and salads. The shop’s interior features a rustic and cozy atmosphere, and it also offers outdoor seating in a sunny courtyard.
- Café St Louis: This cafe offers a range of coffee drinks, as well as breakfast and lunch items, such as pastries, sandwiches, and salads. The shop has a cozy interior with comfortable seating, as well as a courtyard with outdoor seating.
- Costa Coffee: This international coffee chain has a location in Pangbourne, and offers a range of coffee drinks, as well as sandwiches, pastries, and other snacks. The shop has indoor and outdoor seating, and is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike.
These are just a few of the many coffee shops in Pangbourne. Be sure to explore the village’s high street and side streets for additional independent cafes and tea rooms.
Pangbourne offers a range of independent shops, boutiques, and galleries. Here are a few shops that you might want to check out when you visit Pangbourne:
- The Pangbourne Cheese Shop: This family-run shop offers a wide selection of British and European cheeses, as well as chutneys, crackers, and other accompaniments. The shop also offers a range of locally sourced products and gift hampers.
- Waterfront Gifts & Gallery: This shop features a range of gifts, souvenirs, and artwork, including prints, paintings, ceramics, and jewelry. The shop also has a gallery space that showcases the work of local and regional artists.
- The Pangbourne Bakery: This bakery offers a range of fresh breads, pastries, cakes, and sandwiches. The bakery’s products are made with locally sourced ingredients, and the shop also offers catering services for events and parties.
- The Pangbourne Bookshop: This independent bookstore offers a wide selection of new and used books, as well as greeting cards, stationery, and gift items. The shop hosts regular author events and book clubs, and also offers a range of online services.
- The Blue Duck Gallery: This gallery features a range of contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, and mixed media works. The gallery represents both established and emerging artists, and also offers a range of art consultancy services.
- Pangbourne Village Market: Held on the third Saturday of every month, the Pangbourne Village Market features a range of local vendors selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, and other goods.
These are just a few of the many shops in Pangbourne. Be sure to explore the village’s high street and side streets for additional boutiques, antique shops, and other independent retailers.
Places to visit near Pangbourne:
- Goring on Thames: 5 miles away from Pangbourne
- Sonning on Thames: 10 miles away from Pangbourne
- Henley-on-Thames: 12 miles away from Pangbourne
- Dorchester-on-Thames: 14 miles away from Pangbourne
- Hambleden: 16 miles away from Pangbourne
- Marlow: 19 miles away from Pangbourne
- Abingdon: 22 miles away from Pangbourne
- West Wycombe: 27 miles away from Pangbourne
- Windsor: 28 miles away from Pangbourne
- Burnham Beeches: 30 miles away from Pangbourne
- Wendover Woods: 35 miles away from Pangbourne
- Old Amersham: 44 miles away from Pangbourne
Is it worth visiting Pangbourne?
Pangbourne is a lovely village near London. It’s the perfect size to come and explore, while still having time for an excursion into the countryside. The local shops and unique character of the place make it the perfect example of English country life.
It is most certainly worth a visit! In fact, the surrounding area is very popular amongst locals in this part of southern England.
Whether you are looking for the next UK weekend getaway idea or just a day trip from London, Pangbourne just has to be on your UK bucket list!
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