A medium length but easy walk along the Ridgeway and the Thames.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Leave the pub and turn left along The Street and carry on until the road turns left sharply. At this point, carry on straight on the Ridgeway path. Continue along the path until you reach the Withymead Nature Reserve.
(1) Continue along the Ridgeway past the Goring Sailing club and shortly afterwards, just visible from above is the Leathern Bottle, once a riverside pub but now an up market restaurant.
(2) Cross the access road to the Leathern Bottle and continue along the Ridgeway and after about 500m through the trees you should be able to see Cleeve Lock below. After passing a group of houses, the track opens out on to Cleeve Road.
(3) Carry on walking along the road in the same direction and after about 500m take the footpath on the right hand of the road and follow the footpath around the rear of some houses until it emerges on to Thames Road. Walk along Thames Road until the T junction with High Street.
(4) Turn right and then cross over the road by Pierreponts café and walk down the steps and take the path by Mill Cottage towards the Thames.
To take a closer look at Goring Lock, turn right and walk under the road bridge up to the lock. Retrace your steps and continue along the river on the Thames Path.
(5) Pass under the Gatehampton Railway Bridge built by Brunel, built in 1838 at the same time as the Maidenhead and Moulsford Bridges. At Ferry Cottage, the Thames Path turns left and after a few yards then right.
(6) At this point, leave the Thames Path and instead turn left and take the footpath back towards Gatehampton. After a short distance the path becomes a metalled road and then you will then pass Gatehampton Manor and Farm building on your left. Take the next left, passing where South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group (SOAG) are actively excavating a Roman Villa. After 50m, bear right and follow the wide track towards the railway line and walk through a tunnel under the railway. Bear right as you emerge from the tunnel and cross the field to exit into Manor Road. Continue to walk along until you come to a junction with Station Road.
If refreshments are needed, the John Barleycorn pub is on the opposite side of the road. Alternately you could turn right and walk up Station Road for a short distance to the Catherine Wheel pub.
(7) Continue on past the John Barleycorn and on left is St. Thomas of Canterbury Church. When you reach the T junction, turn right and walk up Goring High Street for approximately 150m and then turn left into Cleeve Road. Continue along the road for about 700m until the road turns right sharply.
(8) Leave the road at this point, walking straight on to the Ridgeway and follow the footpath back to South Stoke. As you enter South Stoke, rejoin The Street and return to the Perch and Pike.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 154ft - Perch & Pike
1 : mi 0.5 - alt. 164ft - Withymead Nature Reserve
2 : mi 0.65 - alt. 161ft - Leathern Bottle
3 : mi 1.26 - alt. 154ft - Cleeve Road
4 : mi 1.76 - alt. 157ft - High Street
5 : mi 3.06 - alt. 138ft - Gatehampton Railway Bridge
6 : mi 3.38 - alt. 148ft - Footpath
7 : mi 4.5 - alt. 151ft - Station Road
8 : mi 4.78 - alt. 171ft - Glebe Ride
D/A : mi 6.57 - alt. 154ft - Perch & Pike
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
The Withymead Nature Reserve consists of 22 acres of woodland and marshland that appeals to naturalists, walkers, artists and families alike. The nature reserve is open by prior arrangement with The Anne Carpmael Charitable Trust. This area was the location of Saunders Boatyard between 1892 and 1912. The company moved to the Isle of Wight and became famous as Saunders Roe builder of flying boats and sea planes. In 1957 the company became the British Hovercraft Corporation.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.