Goring Wild Walk

Explore Goring : enjoy magnificent views of the River Thames and rare chalk grassland species. Starting in Goring, this 8 km circular walk takes in the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust’s (BBOWT) Hartslock nature reserve and a section of the Thames Path

Technical sheet No. 13385575

A Goring walk posted on 16/08/21 by BBOWT. Last update : 23/06/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h50[?]
Distance Distance : 8.76 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 121 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 118 m
Highest point Highest point : 152 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 39 m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Chiltern Hills
Location Location : Goring
Starting point Starting point : N 51.521215° / W 1.133129°
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Description

(D/A) From Goring & Streatley railway station, cross the road bridge over the railway and follow the main road into Goring. Bear left just before the bridge over the Thames, past Goring Mill to reach the riverside. Turn left and follow the Thames Path beside the river and across the pasture to Little Meadow Nature Reserve.

(1) Continue on the Thames Path, passing under Brunel’s railway bridge to the cottage (formerly Gatehampton Ferryman’s cottage). Turn left, over the bridge, between the horse paddocks, then turn right on to the bridleway.

(2) After 500 metres, just after entering Lower Hartslock Wood, turn left onto the footpath, up a short, steep slope to enter Hartlock Nature Reserve. Follow the fence up the slope, before pausing at the summit to admire the view across Goring Gap. Continue down the slope and turn right on leaving the reserve. Follow the path up to the road and turn left.

(3) After 400 metres, turn right at the derelict farm buildings onto the bridleway. Enter Great Chalk Wood and bear right. Follow the path almost to the exit by Stapnall’s Farm, then turn left on to another bridleway that gently descends past the hazel coppice on the right. After 400 metres, turn left onto the footpath that gently climbs through mixed beech and spruce. Follow this path through the wood, ignoring minor paths to the left.

(4) Leave the wood and follow the footpath around the field margin with the mature blackthorn hedge on your right; uphill, then bearing left, past the cemetery.

(5) Head downhill and turn right, go across the playing field onto Whitehills Green. Bear left and then right for Reading Road. Head down the hill and turn left for Goring & Streatley railway station or right to the village. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 51 m - Goring & Streatley railway station
1 : km 2.74 - alt. 42 m - Brunel’s railway bridge
2 : km 3.87 - alt. 48 m - Lower Hartslock Wood
3 : km 5.23 - alt. 126 m - Derelict farm buildings
4 : km 7.08 - alt. 84 m - Field
5 : km 8.01 - alt. 65 m - Playing field
D/A : km 8.76 - alt. 51 m - Goring & Streatley railway station

Useful Information

Start : Goring & Streatley railway station. Postcode: RG8 0EP Grid ref: SU 602 806
By bus: Check www.traveline.info for information about local buses
By train: The route starts at Goring & Streatley railway station. Check www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times
By car: There are pay & display car parks at Goring & Streatley railway station and in Goring centre
By bike: There is cycle storage at Goring & Streatley railway station

  • There are some short, steep climbs and descents on the route There are additional paths in Hartslock nature reserve to explore further
  • The route follows a section of the Thames Path. This National Trail follows the River Thames from its source in the Cotswolds to London

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

Hartslock Nature Reserve
This small, steep remnant of chalk grassland, untouched by fertiliser and pesticides, is the scenic and wildlife highlight of the walk. The far-reaching views over the River Thames and Goring Gap are worth the climb up the hill.
In spring, the ground erupts with hundreds of orchid spikes breaking through the turf. Finest among the host of different species is the rare monkey orchid that only grows in two other places in the UK.
Later, wild marjoram carpets the ground in mauve and scents the summer air that is now filled with butterflies such as brown argus, chalk hill blue and common blue. Scrubby field margins provide shelter from winds, keeping the ground warm to benefit insects such as rufous and stripe-winged grasshoppers.
In summer, swallows skim the grassland whilst red kites soar overhead. Sheep graze the grass after the main flowering season, continuing the traditional downland management once commonplace in the area. This stops scrub and coarser grasses from dominating the grassland and encourages the wildflowers to bloom here each year.

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
BBOWT relies on the support of our members to help us look after local wildlife. By joining BBOWT you can help to secure the future of special landscapes like Hartslock.

Opinions and comments

Average

Global average : 4/5
Number of opinions : 1
Clarity of route description : 4/5
Clarity of route map : 3/5
Walk interest : 5/5


Walker
on Mon 04 Apr 2022 12:21:15 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 03/04/22
Clarity of route description : Good
Clarity of route map : Average
Walk interest : Very good

Tracks through Great Chalk Wood Easily missed, Otherwise very good.

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

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