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Counties > Berkshire > Pangbourne


PANGBOURNE, just five miles off the M4, is a riverside commuter haven where the Thames meets the Pang. This is where Kenneth Grahame, author of Wind In The Willows, lived and where the buffoons in Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat stopped off. Canoeists and boating tourists now cavort in the shallows. Its discreet Georgian charm, with its square, weir and meadow, has developed a certain hustle as the population has swollen to 2,500. Local people say it is so busy that you can’t cross the road in the rush hour, yet during the rest of the day it is so quiet you can lie down in it. There are old-fashioned shops, including a butcher and baker, as well as an organic supermarket, restaurants and take-aways. Pangbourne, the co-educational public school, stands on Pangbourne Hill. Prices are high. A modern semi in Kennedy Drive would cost from £220,000; a Victorian terrace, £250,000 to £275,000; a period detached house around £475,000 and more. Flats with river views will fetch £200,000 to £265,000. Much larger houses go for anything between £750,000 and £1.5m.

Good for: famous naval boarding and day mixed independent school, tucked away but very commutable.
London terminal: Paddington
Journey time: 74 mins (51 mins changing at Reading) mins
Season ticket: £3492
Peak trains: 2 per hour
Off-peak trains: 2 per hour