Description of the walk
The suggested walk takes about 2 to 3 hours if the main walk if followed. It can be as long or as short as you like there are many other footpaths and excursions possible. Some of the walk is quite steep and the paths may be a bit muddy in wet weather.
The description of the walk starts and finishes at the Tylers Rest, Norcot Road, but of course many other starting points are possible.
The entrance to McIlroy Park is opposite the Harvester [see note 1] pub. Look for the park sign and the gateway. Follow the lane. This is the old Drove used for driving sheep and cattle when Tilehurst was still largely agricultural. After about 500 metres there is a fork in the path. The right fork leads to Romany Lane; the left fork is Gypsy Lane. The main walk (the blue route) goes up the bank straight ahead to the open area previously known as Beecham Hill. An alternative route turns to the right here.
The walk follows along the top of the hill keeping the woods to your left. Here you have magnificent views over the river Thames to the Mapledurham hills. There is also laid out before you a panoramic view of Reading. At the far end of the meadow the path again enters the wooded area (Kentwood Grove) and starts to drop down the hill. Go down the steps to meet the path at the bottom, follow round to the left for a few metres then turn right past the large beech tree, across a small rough area to the exit of the park.
Walk down the alley between the houses out on to Coniston Drive. Walk approximately 50 metres along Coniston drive where there is a path on the left also between the houses. Cross Rodway Road, along the next path between the houses and out on to Kentwood Hill. Cross Kentwood Hill and walk up Oaktree Road.
The entrance to Arthur Newbery Park is on the left about 75 metres. The walk through the park can be steep if you take the left side. It is a more gentle climb if you keep to the right side and this also has the benefit that you will go past the old hedge, past the allotments and find the small stream. If you venture to the far left side there is a path that takes you through the old copse and along the old avenue at the top end of the park. Whichever way, take time to turn around and look at the view. Again, there are ranging views across to Mapledurham. The rightmost exit of the park has the old Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Company drinking trough although sadly there are neither drinking fountain or cattle; nor is there the pond which was filled in and replaced by the trough. At the exit to the park is one of the few remaining thatched cottages left in Tilehurst.
Turn left on to Armour Hill, then right up Lower Armour Road past the two pubs and left down Armour Road. At the end of Armour Road note the playing fields and allotments to your left with the fine beech trees and wonderful views over to Mapledurham. These too, are remnants of Kentwood Common. At the traffic lights cross the road and follow right along School Road, past the shops as far as the Co-op. Turn first left down Recreation road and after about 50 metres find the entrance to Blagrave park.
The walk crosses Blagrave Park, which has a small nursery play area and is a typical town park with a few large trees. The exit is on to Gratwick Road on the far right of the park.
Continue to the right past the Tilehurst Horticultural Society hut out on to Corwen Road. Turn left to Bran Close. Enter the open area and on the left, through the kissing gate, is the entrance to Blundells Copse.
Weaving down the path you will come upon the stream. The walk continued to follow the stream through the closely wooded area. Take a left fork in the path. The right fork crosses the stream and rises up to the playing fields of Moorlands School - but we are continuing round to the left and then rounding back again to the right to rejoin the stream. The exit to the copse is close by on Calder Close. Cross the road and follow the footpath between the houses to come out into Chichester Road. Keep straight along the road until you come to Church End Lane You can either turn to the left on to Norcot Road then right down to the starting point at the Tylers Rest or you can make a small detour by crossing Church End Lane and turning right up the hill. Turn into Riley Road on the left, then also on the left into Delaney Close.
The entrance to Lousehill Copse is on the left. There is a steep path down into the wood and there is a pretty wooded hollow on the left which is a protected area. If you don't go into the wood there is a path with a grassy verge at one side that runs steeply down back on to Norcot Road. The start of the walk and the Tylers Rest is over the road to the left.
1. Apparently the Tylers Rest is now a Sizzling Pub. Back