Tucked away in the tranquil Berkshire village of Barkham, Ye Olde Leathern Bottel is a historic pub steeped in character. With crackling log fires, candlelit tables and a pretty little garden, it is an idyllic place to dine and unwind.
Set in the village of Barkham, Ye Olde Leathern Bottel is just a few minutes’ drive from the pleasant town of Wokingham, yet it feels like a true rural escape. The 17th-century red-brick building, with its stout chimneys and flagstone floors, has offered warm hospitality to weary travellers for hundreds of years. Today, it is a welcoming haven where locals, families and couples can enjoy hearty pub fare and real ales.
It’s location in the leafy, laid-back village of Barkham puts Ye Olde Leathern Bottel in the heart of the Berkshire countryside but just a stone’s throw from cities such as Reading and Windsor. Country parks, nature reserves, museums and charming historic architecture are all on the doorstep.Read more...
At first glance the little village of Barkham may appear small and unassuming, with its quiet leafy streets, community feel and acres of woods. Yet the village has ancient royal connections and once supplied the timber to build the roof of Westminster Abbey. Indeed, the name Barkham originates from ‘birch home’ referring to the birch trees on the edge of Windsor Forest. The village’s manor house is legendary, and during the reign of King Edward III, proceeds from the manor went towards the rebuilding of the great Windsor Castle. The current house dates back to the 18th century and is certainly worth seeing on a stroll after lunch.
On the topic of lunch, Ye Olde Leathern Bottel is a traditional rural hideaway within easy driving distance of several nearby towns. Its food is quintessentially English and typical pub favourites grace the menu, some of which are served with a cheeky twist. Plush sofas beg to be relaxed in, while the pretty garden is perfect for a sunset glass of wine. On Sundays, the pub is usually abuzz with chattering families.
History has it that weary travellers would stumble upon the building as they travelled north through a barren heathland. Legends abound here and tales are often told about the notorious French highwayman Calude Duval, who owned a house nearby. Stories also circulate about the much-feared local woman Molly Miller, who was known as the town witch.
Barkham and its charming pub sit on the doorstep of the market town of Wokingham, just two miles down the road. The town’s medieval timber-framed houses, grand Georgian buildings and unmissable Victorian town hall create an attractive atmosphere, while the central marketplace still forms the heart of town life with its weekly markets. One of Wokingham’s must-see attractions is the REME Museum of Technology, whose collection of military vehicles is one of the biggest in the country. The museum celebrates the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and makes for an interesting and educational family day out.
For guests who would rather work up an appetite out in the fresh air, Ye Olde Leathern Bottel is lucky enough to have a number of beautiful parks and reserves just a few minutes’ drive from its front door. California Country Park’s 40 hectares is set within the beautiful Berkshire countryside, where ancient bogland and lowland heath offer scenic strolls along raised boardwalks, as well as wildlife-watching and fishing opportunities. Enjoy watching butterflies flit over spring orchids and keep your eyes peeled for adders. Also worth a visit is Keephatch Park Nature Reserve, a small but lovely woodland with plenty of trails and indigenous tree species.
Closer still is Dinton Country Park, where 335 acres of parkland is home to no less than seven lakes, two rives and countless rolling meadows. Quietly hunker down in the bird hides, while away hours fishing, set sail on the lakes or just take a post lunch stroll.Show less...