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Pinkneys Green and Maidenhead Thicket Walk

Trail : BRKSTR0017
Activity : Walk
Area : The River Thames and Reading
Type(s) : Tea Shop, Pub, Country Escape
Author : Jean Patefield
Distance : 2.8 miles / 4.5 km
Ascent : 59 feet / 18 metres
Location : SU857809 / SL6 4GL

Trail Summary

The open, meadow-like expanse of Pinkneys Green and the heavily wooded Maidenhead Thicket both belong to the National Trust and provide a pleasing contrast for the two halves of this short, almost level walk. Maidenhead Thicket is perhaps at its most attractive in spring, when a mass of primroses bloom.
The trail has been taken from the book Thames Valley Teashop Walks by Jean Patefield. It has been reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher, Countryside Books.

Trail Map

Route Map

 Trail Profile

Route Map

Trail Details

[1] Leave the car park along a path leading to a footbridge over the A404. Do not cross the bridge but follow the path through to the road by which you arrived at the car park. Go straight across and through a narrow belt of trees onto the common. Take a grassy path ahead across the common.

[2] At the far side of the common turn left to walk along the right-hand side of the grassy expanse.

[3] Some 100 yards before a road, bear right at a fork to a roughly surfaced track. Cross this and continue on a clear path ahead to the road.

[4] Turn right for 50 yards and then turn left past the Stag and Hounds. Turn left on a signed path along a track called Bix Lane which soon narrows to a path. When the path forks, by the last house on the left, bear left to a lane. Go across this and follow a signed path along the right-hand side of the common.

[5] At a path junction by a house on the right, continue in the same direction and stay on the path as it bears slightly left by another, rather imposing, house. Cross a road, ignoring a path on the left, and follow the path down to a drive. Turn left under the A404 and then immediately bear left again, following the signed path up away from the drive.

[6] At the top of he rise turn right. Follow the path ahead at a junction by some gates. When the path forks after about 100 yards, bear right to walk just inside the wood with a fence on the right.

[7] A few yards before the fence on the right ends, bear left on the main path. Cross one wide path and continue to a second.

[8] Turn right to the main road and Village Life, The Old Shire Horse Centre with its café is across the road to the right.

[9] Recross the main road and now turn right on a path parallel with the road, just inside the wood, for 160 yards.

[10] Opposite the end of Cherry Garden Lane, turn left into the wood. After 50 yards turn right at a cross path.

[11] When the path forks bear right. At a T junction with a somewhat larger path turn to right to continue walking in more or less the same direction. As you approach the A404 again, the traffic noise becomes more intrusive, Cross one major path and come to a T junction with a second. Turn right and almost immediately bear left to the footbridge over the A404 and back to the start.

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Gallery

Pinkneys Green
 
The A404(M), Maidenhead
 
Misty dawn, Maidenhead Thicket
 

Trail Location

Route Map

Location Details

Starting Point: National Trust car park at Pinkneys Green (GR 857809)

Turn off the A4 at the roundabout on the Maidenhead side of the Thicket Roundabout, which is the junction of the A4 and A404. Take the minor road signed ′Pinkneys Green′ and ′Stubbings′ to a car park about 300 yards ahead on the left.

Note that some of the paths can be muddy at any time of year, so be prepared with suitable footwear.

Pinkneys Green

The name Pinkneys Greey comes from a Norman knight, Ghilo de Pinkney, who was awarded land in this area as a reward for his support of William the Conqueror. The last Pinkney to be lord of the manor was Catherine Pinkney whose illegitimate son was adopted as heir of the Hoby estates at Bisham. Pinkneys Green′s main claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of the Girl Guides, the first troop being formed here by miss Baden-Powell in 1910.

Maidenhead Thicket

Maidenhead Thicket along with the common land at Pinkneys Green is now owned by the National Trust. It was a favourite haunt of highwaymen who used this wild land as cover to prey on coaches. There is a record as early as 1255 of the vegetation being cut back to make passage safer. The Vicar of Hurley was paid extra to brave the dangers of the thicket on his way to take services at Maidenhead. The romantically named Robin Hood′s Arbour is a pen for animals which used to graze here rather than suggesting that he was one of the robbers. The various excavations have also revealed a potter′s field with eleven kilns, and other finds include a Palaeolithic hand axe.

Further Reading

Royal County of Berkshire History by Nash Ford Publishing
The National Trust by The National Trust

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