Reading is situated on two small eminences, whose gentle declivities fall into a pleasant vale, through which the branches of the Kennet flow till they unite with the Thames at the extremity of the town.
Hungerford is a market town, which stands partly in the county of Berks, and partly in that of Wilts. The Kennet flows past this town, which opens a communication with the river Thames on the east, and the Avon and Bristol Channel on the west. The town principally consists of one long main street, with a few smaller ones branching from it. In the centre stands the market house, over which there is a large room for public business, and here is still preserved the Hungerford Horn, presented to the corporate body by John of Gaunt. It is made of brass, and is blown every Horn Tuesday to assemble the inhabitants for the election of the town constable.
From Hungerford you may follow the Berkshire Downs round to Reading, past Lambourn, Ashdown (where Alfred beat the Danes). Uffington Castle, Wayland Smith’s Stone, the White Horse Hill (893 feet high, with the figure of a galloping horse, 370 feet long, cut in the chalk). Wantage, along Ickleton Street (a Roman way on the ridge) to East Ilsley (noted for its great sheep fairs), and so to Reading, a strip of about 40 or 45 miles, never to be forgotten by a light-heeled pedestrian.
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Old capital of the British Belgoe, county town of Hampshire, a bishop’s see, and parliamentary borough; stands among round chalk hills, sloping down to the Itchen.
Delightfully situated on a sloping bank of the Thames, amid extensive beech woods.