Romantic evening stroll with Deer and a Tower!, 5 miles, easy

June 20, 2024 @ 6:45 pm – 9:00 pm
Theale Railway Station
Reading RG7 4AQ

This evening walk will give us chance to see the deer at Englefield House, followed by a visit to the romantic location of Wilders Folly in Theale – the views on a clear evening here are beautiful (if you can ignore the rumble of the M4).

Advance booking is not required, but if you plan on attending this walk, please indicate this on Meetup if you can, so others can see that there will be plenty of people going.

Pace: gentle.

Walk details

The walk will start with us leaving Theale railway station and making our way through Theale and heading towards Englefield Estate.

As we walk through Englefield Estate we should be able to see some of the roe and muntjac deer they have on the estate. Englefield means “Field of the Angles”, a reference to a battle that was fought here in 871 AD between the Saxons and the Danes.

The walk will continue with us passing through the picturesque estate village – you can tell which are estate houses as the front doors are painted BLUE! We might be able to get a glimpse of the big house through the trees.

Our walk will continue with us heading through the tiny hamlet of North Street and over the M4 via the pedestrian bridge. Once over the M4 we will continue our walk to the Dovecot also known as Wilders Folly.

The brick tower or Dovecot on Nunhide Hill was built in 1769 by Reverend Henry Wilder while he was courting Joan Thoyts. Wilder constructed the tower so that it could be seen from Thoyts’ home as well as from his own residence, Sulham House. Sulham House can still be seen through the south arch of Wilder’s Folly looking north, but Sulhamstead House is no longer visible from the top of the hill. Wilder and Thoyts were married on 13 June 1769, and had eleven children – VERY ROMANTIC!

After we have taken in the views and admired the tower we will start the walk back to the station. We walk up Nunhide Lane and past the big blue building of Ikea – again we head over the noisy M4 motorway and back into Theale.

We will head back through the high street with the option here to stop at one of the local ale houses (or pubs) for a well earned evening drink.

Travel details

By public transport

If you are coming from Reading you will need to catch the 18.37 train which arrives in Theale at 18.44. If you are coming from Newbury you need to catch the 18.14 which arrives at 18.28.

By car

Parking is available at Theale railway station but charges do apply. Parking will also be available in the side streets of Theale but these will be a few minutes’ walk back to the station. Please allow time to pay and/or get to the start point in time for the walk.


  • Please bring a drink and a snack.
  • Please note: there is NO lunch stop on this walk.
  • It might be muddy – please wear suitable footwear.
  • Please feel free to contact the leader with queries about the walk, or if you are delayed on the day.