Goring Stile Free Walk, Chilterns

A lovely stile-free walk from Goring on the east of the Thames. Walk from the village out into the wooded areas to the east.

Technical sheet No. 29360481

A Goring walk posted on 18/12/22 by Chiltern Society. Last update : 27/12/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h00[?]
Distance Distance : 8.87 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 156 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 150 m
Highest point Highest point : 162 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 47 m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Chiltern Hills
Location Location : Goring
Starting point Starting point : N 51.521881° / W 1.137085°
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Start: Wheel Orchard car park, Goring (RG8 9HB). Grid ref: SU 599 806

(D/A) Leave the car park past the side of the public toilets and walk along the designated footpath towards the High Street (A). Turn right onto the High Street (B4009), head up the hill and over the railway bridge. Cross Wallingford Road and go down the lane opposite, marked with a 'Chiltern Way Extension' sign, for 120m.

(1) Where the lane bends slightly to the right, turn left along a fenced tarmac footpath to another road. Go straight ahead passing modern houses and, when the road ends, stay in the same direction along a tarmac path for 50m.

(2) Turn right through a fence gap on a path marked The Chiltern Way Extension. Cross a track and follow the path between fences to cross another track to a kissing gate. Go through and continue for 200m round the side of a hill until another kissing gate is reached. Pass through the gate and follow the main footpath for 650m, ignoring all paths left and right (including the left fork 10m after the gate), to reach a lane.

(3) Turn right, cross the road and almost immediately turn left (North-North-East) up a footpath signposted to Beech Lane and Woodcote. Follow the path for 670m to meet a junction of tracks. On the way the path passes between high hedges and trees, then bears right uphill through Wroxhills Wood (B).

(4) At the junction turn right (South-East) along the wide bridleway and continue walking through woods for 520m to emerge with a field on the right and wooded glade on the left. Continue for a further 270m to reach a wide hardcore track (C). Bear right downhill ignoring the gate/footpath on the right just before the junction and pass a metal gate to reach a road.

(5) Turn left (South-East-East) along it and after 130m, turn right onto a bridleway. Walk uphill through Old Elvendon Wood for 720m until reaching a road (B4526). Cross it, go through the kissing gate opposite and head across the field to a gap in the hedge. The path continues between hedges for 150m. It bears right and left, then descends to a junction of tracks.

(6) Turn right onto the hardcore bridleway and follow it as it gently descends past Bottom House Farm (D). As the bridleway narrows through woodland, continue for a further 560m to emerge at a path junction. Turn sharp left onto a track that climbs through a wooded area to the junction with the Chiltern Way.

(7) Turn right along the Chiltern Way to Goring. After 50m ignore a track on the left (E). After a further 90m go over a crossing track and shortly after that ignore a track on the right.

At a grassy area bear right (F) and continue walking downhill to a kissing gate at the edge of the wood. Pass through this gate into a field and walk 50m to the next kissing gate on the right-hand side of the field.

Go through that gate and walk up a steep hill, keeping the hedge to the right. Follow the hedge for 860m through this field and the next. At the corner, walk through the gap to playing fields, ignoring the footpath forking to the left.

(8) Head diagonally (North-West) across the fields to pass through a kissing gate in the hedgerow, which leads into a housing area. Follow the road as it bears left and right until it reaches the Reading Road. Turn left and head to a T-junction. Turn right over the road, then left over the railway bridge. Continue down the High Street, turning left along the original path into the car park.(D/A)

"We hope you have enjoyed your walk. Please remember to rate the walk and add comments. We are interested in how we could improve the instructions or the route and would like to hear about any issues with paths on the walk."

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 47 m - Wheel Orchard car park - Goring on Thames, Chilterns
1 : km 0.49 - alt. 58 m - Bear Left
2 : km 0.91 - alt. 67 m - Fence Gap
3 : km 1.75 - alt. 73 m - Lane - Wroxhills wood and plantation
4 : km 2.43 - alt. 122 m - Right turn - Elvendon priory
5 : km 3.56 - alt. 114 m - Road
6 : km 4.96 - alt. 157 m - Track Junction
7 : km 6.12 - alt. 122 m - Chiltern Way - Combe field and Hartslock Nature Reserve
8 : km 7.91 - alt. 63 m - Playing Fields
D/A : km 8.87 - alt. 48 m - Wheel Orchard car park

Useful Information

Start & finish: Wheel Orchard car park, Goring RG8 9HB. Grid ref: SU 599 806

Parking: Wheel Orchard car park, off Station Road, Goring, Oxon RG8 9HB

Local transport: Bus 134/135 runs between Goring and Wallingford on Mondays to Saturdays. Goring is also served by mainline trains out of Paddington to Reading, Oxford and beyond. Riverboat – during the summer, Salter’s runs a service between Wallingford and Reading.

Terrain: A moderate walk with three climbs.

Food & drink: None on the walk but plenty of pubs and cafés in Goring including Masooms Indian Restaurant opens for lunch at weekends; Miller of Mansfield pub "haute cuisine"; John Barleycorn - typical Chiltern Pub.

This walk was created for the book "50 Great Walks in the Chilterns" available from the Chiltern Society or from Amazon.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

(A) Goring: At the time of the Domesday Book Goring was known as ‘Garinges’. Its history goes back much further, as there is evidence that prehistoric man travelled the Ridgeway and crossed the Thames at this point. Indeed Goring stands on one of the oldest crossroads in the country – the meeting place of the Icknield Way, the Ridgeway and the Thames. The crossing of the river between Goring and Streatley was particularly shallow at this point. The Romans built a causeway here, which was later replaced by a ferry.

St Thomas’s Church was built c1100, probably by Robert d’Oilly, a Norman baron and staunch supporter of William the Conqueror. In the late 12th century the Augustinian Priory of Goring was founded and the nuns were given the rights to Streatley ferry and mill. The Priory survived until the early part of the 16th century, when it was destroyed as part of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries.

(B) Wroxhills wood and plantation: The route passes between the Plantation and the Wood, which is designated as a Local Wildlife Site. It contains larch, hazel, ash and wild cherry, and is noted for its bluebells. It has many oak trees.

(C) Elvendon priory is part of the 304 hectare Elvendon Estate. The buildings incorporate the remains of a medieval house that was extensively rebuilt in the 1920s. Although called a priory, it was probably used as a retreat by the nuns of Goring Priory. Local legend says there is a tunnel running from Elvendon to Goring church.

(D) Bottom house farm: A Grade II listed former gamekeepers’ cottage. The bridleway is Shay Lane, an old road between Cray’s Pond and Goring. Another local legend has it that Dick Turpin used the lane for his exploits.

(E) Great chalk wood: Privately owned, partly managed for nature conservation. Mainly beech, with some very tall conifers.

(F) Combe field and Hartslock Nature Reserve : The route cuts across the corner of Combe Field North, which is part of the Reserve. It is noted for its lowland chalk grassland.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.