Start : The John Barleycorn (RG8 9DP) Grid ref. SU 598 906
(S/E) Leave the pub and turn right along Manor Road. At the junction with the High Street, turn left and take the next right turn into Thames Road. Continue along Thames Road in northerly direction until the end of the road. At this point you should see a footpath sign; follow the footpath along the back of some house.
(1) At the end of the footpath when you reach Cleeve Road, turn left and walk along the road until the road turns sharp into Mill Road. At this point walk straight ahead on to the Ridgeway Path. After the first batch of houses, the view opens up with the river on the left, including a view of Cleeve Lock and the river meadow on the far bank of the Thames.
(2) Soon afterwards you cross a small lane leading to the Leatherne Bottle, which was once a riverside put but is now a restaurant. The building below is just visible from the path. After passing another group of houses you will see the Goring Sailing Club on the left. On a summer’s day you are quite likely to see a lot of sailing dinghies on the water below. The path goes away from the Thames and passes the Withymead Nature Reserve.
(3) After about 300m, you will enter South Stoke where the path ends and meets a road called The Street. Follow the road in the same direction passing the Perch and Pike pub and some other fine buildings including St Andrew’s Church.
(4) After about 100m, turn left into Ferry Lane and after another 150m branch left and follow signs to the River Thames, Ridgeway and North Stoke (3.5km). After about 300m, you will reach the Thames and this point you will see the Beetle and Wedge restaurant on the opposite side of the Thames. (The ferry ceased operation in the 1970s). Turn right through a gate and walk along the river bank on a well defined path (Ridgeway), passing St John the Baptist Church and Moulsford Preparatory School both visible on the opposite bank of the river. After about 1.2km go under a brick railway bridge continue straight ahead via a wooden gate alongside a meadow. Continue to follow the path along the Thames until you reach a small hamlet. As you approach Little Stoke you will cross over a wooden footbridge and you will see on your right, in a private garden, a WW2 Pill Box.
(5) Where the Ridgeway path turns right and then almost immediately turns left, leave the Ridgeway at this point and walk straight ahead on a gravel driveway between two houses, Little Stoke House and the red bricked Ferry Cottage. Bear left and continue to follow the driveway for about a 100m until you reach a small lane.
(6) Follow the lane round to right pass the Little Stoke Manor Farm with a brick and flint wall perimeter. Walk up to the entrance to Little Stoke Manor and turn left, clambering over the wall via the support stepping stones set in the wall and take the footpath alongside the fence and then over a stile and walk across the field. Cross a stile into the next field and walk towards the railway embankment.
(7) Go through the narrow tunnel under the railway line and on emerging from the tunnel, turn left on to a broad grass track that starts to curve away from the railway line. When you reach a fork in the footpath bear right on to a narrow path between some houses before emerging on to Ferry Lane. Turn right into the lane and walk for about 50m along the lane before turning left into The Street.
(4) Follow the road past St Andrews Church and the Perch and Pike. When the road turns left sharply, leave the road and follow the Ridgeway Path back to Goring. When you reach Cleeve Road again, you can either leave the road at the footpath sign retracing your steps back to the pub, or you can continue along Cleeve Road until you reach the T junction with the High Street. Turn right into the High Street passing the shops then turning next left into Manor Road.(S/E)