Thatcham Discovery Centre - Lakes and Canal Walk
This delightful nature reserve in Thatcham is the perfect place for an easy waterside stroll in Berkshire. There are well laid out footpaths taking you to several lakes, reedbeds, along the Kennet and Avon Canal and to the Thatcham Community Orchard. There are very good facilities with a car park, bird hides, picnic area, a lakeside cafe and an excellent visitor centre with interactive wildlife and natural history displays.
The reserve is a great place for wildlife. Look out for birds including fieldfare and redwing. The wildflowers attract various butterflies such as garden tiger, butterbur, waved black, holly blue, and gatekeeper. The reserve is also accessible by public transport. You could follow the canal from Thatcham train station which is located just a mile to the east.
To extend your walk you could head south of the reserve to Bowdown Woods and Greenham Common. At Bowdown Woods Nature Reserve you will find exceptionally rich woodland and a variety of wildlife including birds, reptiles, dragonflies and butterflies. Greenham Common is covered in heather and gorse and has nice wide footpaths to follow. There's also wildflower filled grasslands and wetland areas which attract dragonflies and birdlife. The woods and common are located just half a mile south of Thatcham Discovery Centre. Just to the north east there's miles of trails in the expansive Bucklebury Common.
PostcodeRG19 3FU - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
Thatcham Discovery Centre Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Thatcham Discovery Centre Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Thatcham Discovery Centre OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Thatcham Discovery Centre Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The reserve has a nice lakeside cafe where you can enjoy refreshments after your walk. There's seats outside with nice views over the lake, so perfect for a fine day.
You could also head into Thatcham village and visit the King's Head. It's a lovely, recently refurbished old Pub, with a wonderful Beer Garden and Garden Bar. The pub is also dog friendly and can be found it at 59 Broadway with a postcode of RG193HP for your sat navs.
If you were to head short distance south you could visit the old control tower on Greenham Common. The 1950's building has been unused for almost 3 decades, but now it has been restored as a visitor centre, museum and community cafe. The cafe offers hot drinks and a variety of delicious cakes, pastries and more. There's also an observation deck where you can enjoy views across what was one of the longest runways in Western Europe.
On the south side of Buckleberry Common you will find the excellent Cottage Inn. The friendly pub has a great atmosphere, and serves good home cooked food. There's also a splendid outdoor area which includes a paddock with farm animals. It's a lovely place to sit out in during the summer. You can find the pub on 26 Broad Lane with a postcode of RG7 6QJ.
Dogs are welcome at the nature reserve but should be kept under close control and are not allowed in the lake.