Walk Distance: 3 km
Walk Duration: 1 hour ( at a leisurely pace)
OS Map: OS Explorer 171 Chiltern Hills West; OS Landranger 175 Reading & Windsor
Suitable for: Pushchairs (all-terrain buggy required after bad weather); little legs, babies in carriers, all the family.
Walk features: Part of Ridgeway National Trail, riverside views, adventure playground, picnic area and refreshments at South Stoke village shop and Perch & Pike pub, pubs & shops at Goring, option to return to Goring by bus.
This walk from Goring to South Stoke actually forms part of the Ridgeway National Trail but has to be the most non-ridgey, flat and pushchair friendly section of the Ridgeway possible! We tackled it on a day when we felt like carrying on with our Ridgeway challenge but were running low on energy.The walk is not the most spectacular section of Thames-side walking around but does have some pretty views, is pushchair friendly and Roo absolutely loved the brilliant playground in South Stoke. The belgian buns from South Stoke village shop are also delicious! If you are stuck for cash like we were for the bus back, the village shop offers cashback if you spend around £5 (I could easily have eaten £5 worth of belgian buns)!
The Goring to South Stoke pushchair walk starts from Goring at the intersection between Thames Road and High Street. The Ridgeway National Trail signpost clearly marks the start of the walk. Follow the sign and head off down Thames Road. The road peters out into a footpath, which is a little overgrown but still passable with a pushchair. The occasional glimpse of river is visible down the banks to the left here. This path links on to Cleeve Road.
Turn left down Cleeve Road and follow it around the bend to the right. Just round the corner there are two tracks ahead of you. Take the right hand track, following the Ridgeway National Trail signs toward South Stoke.
The walk now follows this leafy track on a bank above the River Thames. The path passes some rather extensive riverside gardens and boathouses, Goring Thames sailing club on the left hand side where there are lovely riverside views and continues on until passing into a woody stretch by the Withymead Nature Reserve.
Keep following the track. Eventually it emerges onto scrub land beside the river out the ouskirts of South Stoke. The railway embankment runs along the right hand side of the path here making it a good spot for train spotting with younger kids.
Walk on until reaching the pretty village of South Stoke where the path joins The Street. If you are carrying on to try out the playground, fancy a good picnic stop or need to get provisions/cash for the journey back then continue on down The Street to Cross Keys Road. Turn right and walk up Cross Keys Road under the railway bridge. Just beyond the houses on the left-hand side immediately after the bridge is the entrance to the playground and also the village shop where refreshments and the aforementioned amazing belgian buns are available!
If you are returning to Goring by bus as we did, then you will need to walk back down to The Street. The bus stop is just by the lovely looking village pub and the bus from South Stoke to Goring is more like a minibus than the traditional variety so keep an eye out for it!
Map of Route:
Goring is easily accessible by bus and train (Goring & Streatley Station) from Reading and Wallingford.
If travelling by car there is a pay & display car park in central Goring – entrance by the Catherine Wheel pub just off Station Road. One hour of parking is free.
The return bus trip uses the 143 Wallingford to Goring bus which runs approximately hourly Monday-Saturday.
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