Sonning & Sonning Eye

Sonning and Sonning Eye straddle the Thames to the east of Reading with Caversham lakes in-between. This small, friendly community is highly sought after for its quiet location, pretty winding streets and riverside walks, all within striking distance of Reading town centre with its myriad shops, nightlife and excellent transport links.

Sonning is packed with activities including sports clubs, renowned restaurants, a theatre and regular community events, all within walking distance, and what a lovely village to walk around! The streets are lined with individual homes, mostly characterful period properties, while the Thames footpath and Caversham lakes offer miles of waterside walks.

In his book Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome refers to Sonning as “the most fairy-like little nook on the whole river.” Indeed, this lovely village and hamlet really do offer a wonderful lifestyle.

Culture & entertainment

The Mill at Sonning

This charming dinner theatre seats just 217, no need for binoculars here. They have a packed schedule of great plays, attracting well known names and faces. Neighbour George Clooney is yet to tread the boards here, though he does support the theatre.

The Thames-side restaurant is split level, built around the original mill structure. There’s also a bar for pre/post show drinks. Overall, a lovely spot for an evening out.

Sonning Festival

Hosted every two years, this series of events brings the whole community together. It includes a regatta and scarecrow trail with around 70 houses taking part.

Sonning Boats & Launches run private charters up and down the Thames from Sonning. Ideal for a special occasion or indulgent day trip.

Nibbles & tipples

The Bull

This friendly country pub has a great menu and very well rated food. They have a fire going in the winter and a pretty garden for summer. They host regular events such as an Easter egg hunt and murder mystery evenings. The Bull is a favourite for local residents and has become a community hub.

Coppa Club at The Great House

A Kai Carter Estates favourite. Beautifully decorated, there are zones for coffee, cocktails and dinner, with a large terrace and riverside garden. They have several garden igloos for hire too.

The Village Hamper

A popular spot with locals, the friendly ladies who run this serve fresh, healthy lunches and afternoon tea with beautiful home make cakes. They also provide event catering and picnics.

The French Horn

This 200 year old Thames-side hotel and restaurant is renowned for excellent food and ambience. They offer fine dining with an excellent menu.

Parks & recreation

Thames footpath

There are some gorgeous walks along the Thames, Sonning and Sonning Eye. For routes and points of interest from the Parish Council click here or for a circular walk from Sonning Eye courtesy of the Chiltern Society click here.

Reading sailing club

Set in Sonning Eye with use of Caversham lakes, this informal dinghy sailing club runs fun races, training courses and social events. Members are also free to windsurf and canoe from the club.

Sonning Cricket Club

This thriving club has 130 adult members and 200 children members. They regularly play and host, with an on-site bar open to all during cricket season. This is a great asset for the community whether playing or watching and socialising.

Sonning Golf Club

This 18 hole course has a long history and today provides excellent facilities, with a clubhouse, restaurant and regular events.

The Club at Mapledurham

Along with an 18 hole golf course, there’s a health club with a gym, swimming pool, classes and spa facilities. A well rounded club with activities for all ages.

Schools & education

Private schools

Reading Blue Coat School (11-18 yrs)

Shiplake College (11-18 yrs – Boys)

Caversham Prep School (3-11 yrs)

Queen Annes School (6 months -18 yrs – Girls)

State primary schools

Sonning CofE School (Good)

St Dominic Savio Catholic School (Outstanding)

Micklands Primary School (Good)

Emmer Green Primary School (Outstanding)

State secondary schools

Waingels School (Good)

Kendrick School (Outstanding)

Maiden Erleigh School (Outstanding)

Highdown School & Sixth Form Centre (Good)

Transport links

Reading train station (Crossrail): 3.5 miles / 10 minutes. Reaching London Paddington in as little as 25 minutes.

Twyford train station (Crossrail): 3 miles / 10 minutes. Reaching London Paddington in as little as 32 minutes.

M4: 6 miles / 15 minutes

 

Discover…

This month we’re taking you on a quintessentially British day out in the sought after, pretty Thames-side village of Sonning and neighbouring hamlet of Sonning Eye.

 

Breakfast

Coppa Club

Thames Street, Sonning, RG4 6UT

Enjoy a healthy breakfast on the terrace, overlooking the garden and river beyond. They have great coffee!

Village and waterside walk

There’s a lovely 3 mile ‘Riverside ramble’ taking in local points of interest, you can see the route by clicking here

If you’d like to stretch your legs a little further, extend the walk by strolling down to Sonning Eye and Caversham lakes, hopefully you’ll catch some sailors cruising along the lake.

Boat ride with picnic lunch

This is one to plan in advance.

Book a charter with Sonning boats and cruise up to Henley and back, a 3 hour journey.

The Village Hamper can pack a beautiful lunch of sandwiches, scones and cakes for your trip.

Dinner theatre

Enjoy a two course dinner followed by a play at The Mill at Sonning, the perfect way to round off a day of activities in this small and perfectly formed corner of England.

Enjoy!

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