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Cookham Dean Walk

Trail : BRKSTR0007
Activity : Walk
Area : The River Thames and Reading
Type(s) : Pub, Village Explorer, Country Escape
Author : Les Maple
Distance : 4.3 miles / 7 km
Ascent : 410 feet / 125 metres
Location : SU870851 / SL6 9PE

Trail Summary

This delightful walk takes you down through Cookham Rise, along the edge of Cock Marsh close to the River Thames, before ascending to the top of Winter Hill. From here there are some fabulous views across the river towards the Chiltern Hills.
The trail has been taken from the book Pub Walks for Motorists: Berkshire & Oxfordshire by Les Maple. It has been reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher, Countryside Books.

Trail Map

Route Map

 Trail Profile

Route Map

Trail Details

[1] With your back to the pub turn left and in 20 yards, at a footpath sign, turn right. Pass to the right of St John's church and at the church wall corner turn left down a track, signed 'Sterlings Field'. Ignore a turning to the right and maintain direction downhill along a metalled track (Kennel Lane) passing Huntsmans Cottage. Go through a swing gate and continue downhill along an enclosed path. Ahead you can see the village of Cookham Rise and beyond that the rooftops of Cookham. The path emerges at a road, Whyteladies Lane. (Guglielmo Marconi, the wireless communications pioneer, liver at number 142, in 1897, where it is thought he carried out some of his experimental transmissions.) Cross the road and turn right. In 20 yards turn left into High Road. Pass Cookham Library on the right and follow the road round a left-hand bend. Go through Cookham station car park then turn right over the railway crossing. Continue along Station Hill to reach a road junction.

[2] Here, turn left along Poundfield Lane. When the lane narrows continue ahead uphill, passing a house called Englefield on the right, to reach a road. Turn left uphill and in 20 yards bear right and almost immediately turn right down a narrow hedged path. Ahead you can see the River Thames as it makes a big loop around Cock Marsh, an open area that has been in the care of the National Trust since 1934.

[3] At the bottom go through a kissing gate and turn left. Soon a small stream joins on the right to run parallel with the path. At a footpath junction, where a stone bridge crosses the stream on the right, continue straight ahead on a permitted path. You now have a good view across Cock Marsh to the River Thames, and Bourne End on the opposite bank. The path skirts the edge of Winter Hill Golf Course on the left. Just after the fairway ends, go through a gate and turn left under the railway.

[4] Immediately after passing under the arch, bear right through a kissing gate and continue ahead along the bottom of a steep slope. Ignore a footpath rising steeply up the slope on the left and carry on, staying at the base of the slope, until you reach a footpath junction. Just before the footpath sign bear left up a chalky track. As you ascend fairly steeply, good views start to open up across the River Thames over to your right. At the top go over a stone stile and continue ahead, ignoring all paths leading of left and right, to reach a road. A house called Chimneys is directly opposite.

[5] Turn right along the road. At a road junction continue straight ahead, passing the Winter Hill National Trust sign. Just beyond the sign use a path on the right to take you up to the viewpoint. this is safer than walking along the road, which can get quite busy especially in summer. The panoramic view looking north across the Thames to the lakes and the southern slopes of the Chilterns beyond is well worth the effort you have made to reach this point. Having savoured the view, continue along the road, passing Startin's Lane on the left and Dial Place on the right, and follow it as it bends left then right. In 150 yards, look for a bridleway sign on the left.

[6] Turn left down Job's Lane. Go straight over Dean's Lane and continue down the path opposite. Cross over the next road and up the grassy bank opposite to reach a chalky track. Turn left up the track to reach the common. Continue straight ahead past the Inn on The Green pub sign and at the war memorial bear right along Church Road to return to the Jolly Farmer, which will be on the right.

Get the Maps


Common and houses, Cookham Dean
Footpath Entering Cock Marsh
Winter Hill, Cookham
Cookham Dean: Winter Hill

Trail Location

Route Map

Location Details

Starting point: The Jolly Farmer pub. Please obtain permission if you want to leave your car in the pub car park while you walk. Roadside parking is available elsewhere in the village.

From Maidenhead take the A308 north-west towards Marlow then turn right into Winter Hill Road (signposted 'Cookham Dean') and follow it into the village. The Jolly Farmer is on the left just before the church.


Cookham Dean was once the home of the author Kenneth Grahame. It was the surrounding woods, and the Thames below Winter Hill, that provided the background and inspiration for his book, The Wind in the Willows. Cookham, nestling beside the River Thames, was also the home of artist Sir Stanley Spencer RA. His gallery in the village is well worth a visit.

Further Reading

Royal County of Berkshire History by Nash Ford Publishing
Thames Path by Natural England

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