On seeing “Goring to Reading”, you may be thinking “Ah, the Thames Path!” However, this linear walk will be taking a rather different route, mostly following the Chiltern Way extension north of the river, through rolling hills, woodland and farmland via Mapledurham and Caversham.
We will begin at the east exit of Goring and Streatley station on Gatehampton Road, adjacent to Platform 4, at 10:30am, just after the arrival of the 10:15 service from Reading. (The walk leader intends to be on this train – if it is delayed, then the start of the walk will be too.)
We’ll quickly leave Goring behind, picking up the Chiltern Way into the rolling hills, passing through Great Chalk Wood and Coombe End, and across the hills north of Whitchurch-on-Thames, before descending through Bottom Wood to reach the picturesque and rather isolated village of Mapledurham. (Sadly, the house, watermill and estate grounds are not currently open to the public, but it’s still well worth the visit.)
From here, we’ll follow the Chiltern Way once more, up through Park Wood towards Chazey Heath, where we will make a pub stop at the Pack Saddle for some no doubt welcome refreshment. For those who prefer a shorter walk option, there are regular buses from here back to Reading. For those who want to keep going, we’ll continue through Tokers Green and past Dyson’s Wood before leaving the Chiltern Way behind to take the surprisingly scenic route into Caversham and Reading via Hemdean/Bug’s Bottom and Balmore Park. We’ll end the walk at one of Caversham’s pubs (quite possibly the recently-opened Last Crumb) from which it’s just a short distance across Christchurch Meadows and Bridge back to Reading station.
Note: this is a linear walk.
Please bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink. Although most of the terrain isn’t too difficult, there are some low hills and a few sections may get quite muddy so please wear suitable footwear.
Sat Nav: RG8 0EW or 51.5211 -1.1327
Grid Ref: SU602806