There’s a pub in Berkshire that is the perfect venue to visit for those that love a good walk.
The Swan has retained its rustic charm since it was first built and the venue boasts an interesting history, which involves the pub being split in half due to it lying on the border between Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
The pub was built in the 17th century and still has many of its period interior features including wooden beams, low ceilings, and muted lighting.
The menu offers classic pub grub, which is personalised through the addition of hearty ingredients like bone marrow and cider.
The house burger, for example, is a short rib and flank burger that comes with burnt onions, bone marrow crumb, and gherkins.
Meanwhile, the fish and chips are cider battered and come with both peas pudding, tartar sauce, and mushy peas.
The starters look tempting as well, with the pub offering devilled whitebait, lamb belly fritters, torched leek hearts, and pan-fried pigeon.
They also offer up traditional desserts such as Bramley apple rhubarb crumble and sticky toffee pudding.
Thames side walk to Basildon Park
The Swan sits right next to the River Thames and it’s possible to walk all the way to Basildon Park from the pub, along the Thames Path.
The location of the pub and its menu makes it the perfect place to go for a Sunday roast before embarking on a walk to a lovely National Trust property and gardens.
The walk will take around half and a hour and on the way, you’ll enjoy scenic views of the Thames and the beautiful houses that lay opposite it.
The Thames path is situated next to the A329 so it’s also a nice drive if the weather’s too rainy for a walk.
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On the way, you will also see Beale Wildlife Park which is another great place to visit, if you’re wishing to see some animals.
Basildon Park is a country house which is right next to Goring-on-Thames, between the villages of Upper Basildon and Lower Basildon.
The house was built in the 1700s and it was never fully completed.
The glorious house, which was inspired by the neoclassical period is flanked by rolling meadows and trees and is the perfect place for a dog walk or day trip.
When the Swan was split in two
The pub has a rather peculiar history and was once split in two.
According to the historian Stuart Hylton in his Little Book of Berkshire, the Swan was split in two due to county borders.
Apparently, the county boundaries went through the pub. While one half was in Berkshire, the other was in Oxfordshire.
Berkshire and Oxfordshire have different licensing rules, and Hylton says that there used to be a half an hour difference between the two counties in terms of the times it was allowed to sell booze.
This meant that one half of the pub had to close before the one other did and customers had to move their way across if they wanted another pint.
In the book, Hylton says: “Those wanting more drinking time simply carried their glasses to the appropriate part of the pub.”
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