Thames Towns

Pangbourne and surroundings

Pangbourne is a pretty little village situated on the south bank of the River Thames 5 miles west of Reading. The River Pang flows through the village and joins the River Thames between the lock and the bridge. The village dates from Saxon times and managed to remain a small unspoiled and relatively obscure village until the arrival of the Great Western Railway in 1841. The village was then easily accessible from London and other places on the railway, and this encouraged visitors of all sorts – it became particularly popular with anglers, artists and pleasure boaters. The author Jerome K Jerome set part of his book "Three Men in a Boat" in Pangbourne, and this again encouraged the flow of visitors to the village. Pangbourne has some delightful old pubs like The Swan for you to visit plus several shops, like Ruby and Grace the Florists, and The Wendy House.

Basildon House and Park

Whitchurch, opposite Pangbourne is another picturesque little village, most of which is designated as a Conservation area. It boasts a nice old Church, St Mary’s and no less than two great pubs, The Greyhound and The Ferryboat. Whitchurch is also home to some nice individual shops and businesses, like Happy Hens, Tigermoth Lighting and Farmhouse Flowers.

Just beyond the village lies Basildon Park, a famous stately home, set in acres of landscaped parkland. This beautiful house was designed by the Yorkshire architect John Carr of York for Sir Francis Sykes who made his millions in the East India Company. The House is built of honey-coloured Bath stone in the Palladian style. It was neglected, but finally rescued by the very generous Iliffe family who presented it to the National Trust so that all of us can enjoy seeing it.  

Another wonderful visitor attraction near to Pangbourne is Mapledurham House and Watermill. This lies about 3 miles east of Pangbourne on the north bank of the Thames. The watermill is one of the very few working mills left in the country. Mapledurham House itself is open to the public and hosts special events throughout the year.

Written by Jeannette Briggs

Here are a selection of pubs and visitor attractions in and around Pangbourne/Whitchurch -nothing scientific, just our choices!

 Mapledurham House

 Photo courtesy of Christine Matthews


The Ferryboat

Shops and Businesses:

Grey's Cheese
Garlands Organic

Tigermoth Lighting
Farmhouse Flowers



Peking Garden
Lina Tandoori
The Elephant

For Boat Charter hire, please see full details                           

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