Sonning is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England, on the River Thames, east of Reading. The village was described by Jerome K. Jerome in his book Three Men in a Boat as "the most fairy-like little nook on the whole river".

Sonning Eye forms the southernmost tip of Oxfordshire and lies opposite the village of Sonning, to which it is linked by crossing the 18th century brick-arched Sonning Bridge.

Sonning village is a popular and attractive destination for people to enjoy activities including: riverside walks, drinks at the historic Bull Inn or Coppa Club, theatre and dinner at The Mill, a round of golf at Sonning Golf Club, fine dining at The French Horn restaurant, or tea and cake at Sonning Lock.


Sonning Church of England Primary school is supported by the Diocese of Oxford and the catchment area is Sonning and Charvil. Just outside the village, above Sonning Lock, is the independent secondary school, Reading Blue Coat School, in the 19th century manor house, Holme Park.


Sonning Cricket Club plays on King George's Field. Sonning Hockey Club, Reading Hockey Club, Reading R.F.C and Berkshire Shire Hall R.F.C. are all on Sonning Lane. Sonning Hockey Club has squash and tennis courts.

Redingensians R.F.C. is nearby, off the Old Bath Road. Sonning Golf Club is on the other side of the A4 road.

Sonning Regatta restarted in 2000 and is held every two years just upstream from Sonning Lock. There is sailing and waterskiing on the Caversham Lakes across the river and the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake.


The historical name of the village is Sunning, derived from the name of the Old English Sunna. The spelling can be found on old maps and documents.

Sonning prospered as an important stopping post for travellers, both by road and by boat. There were a number of ancient hostelries where they could have stayed, notably the Great House on the site of the original ferryman's cottage. The Bull Inn has the added bonus of being near St Andrew's church. The Bishops of Salisbury had a Bishop's Palace in the village until the 16th century.

Notable Residents

George Clooney, American film star. In 2014, the Mill House in Sonning Eye, just over the river from Sonning, was bought by the actor as a residence for him and his new British wife, the human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, at a cost of around £10 million.

Uri Geller the illusionist formerly lived in Sonning.

Jimmy Page, lead guitarist of the rock group Led Zeppelin.

Dick Turpin, reputedly, at his aunt's house, now called Turpins.

Jon Lord, composer and founder member of the 19790's group Deep Purple

Right Honourable Theresa May, Prime Minister since 2016 is the local Member of Parliament

Take a look at our other Area Guides

Sonning Golf Club
Sonning Church of England Primary School
Coppa Club
The Bull Inn
Reading Blue Coat School
The Mill at Sonning
The French Horn