Route for a Berkshire walk at Streatley
PUBLISHED: 13:25 21 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:27 21 August 2020
Head to Streatley for a 13-mile hike over the Berkshire Downs to discover incredible views
This is a substantial hike from the village of Streatley along the edge of the Berkshire Downs, offering panoramic views across an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The village of Streatley lies alongside the Thames and shares its shops and services with the village of Goring-on-Thames. Both villages contain a number of pretty buildings and cottages dating back to the 17th century.
- Start/finish: Lardon Chase, National Trust car park, Streatley Hill, Streatley Road, RG8 9RD
- Map: OS Explorer 171, Chiltern Hills West
- Distance: 13 miles or 20km
- Terrain: A substantial hike with a mixture of hilly open grassland, fields, woodland and flat river paths, plus some short minor road sections
- Time: 5 to 6 hours
- Refreshments: Eateries and pubs in Streatley or Goring. The Bell Inn is an ideal place to stop for a while
1 (SU 58294 80660) The walk starts from the Lardon Chase National Trust car park. From the car park there are two footpaths. Take the right path to the right of the car park that leads uphill across Lardon Chase, where you will see superb views across the Goring Gap and the Thames. At the top you will see a gate to your left; take this over Lough Down until you see a gate at the bottom that leads to Rectory Road. Lardon Chase and Lough Down are connecting hills and good examples of chalk grasslands.
2 (SU 58772 81550) Rectory Road follows The Ridgeway National Trail − a route that was adapted from an ancient trackway and extended in 1972, and is often regarded as one of Britain's oldest roads from Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon. At Rectory Road turn left and follow the road west past Streatley Golf Club on your left and the Thurle Grange Equestrian Centre on your right, until you come to a footpath on your left.
3 (SU 57561 81430) Follow this path uphill until the path comes to a fork. Take the right-hand path and follow this along a field on the edge of some woods and then left uphill across another field before reaching a track path.
4 (SU 55984 80165) At this point, turn left and then right at the next footpath, following the path across the field until you reach the village of Aldworth. At Aldworth, turn right and follow the Ambury Road, past the Bell Inn.
The Bell Inn is a Grade-II listed public house that was built in the 15th century, with 17th, 19th and 20th century alteration. It has a rare Heritage Pub Interior. It is believed it was a manor house before it became a pub and the name refers to bells that were displayed as part of the coat of arms of the landowners. You could stop here for refreshment before continuing with the walk.
5 (SU 55536 79650) From The Bell Inn, follow the road right outside the pub, ignoring a farm track on the right until you get to a public footpath sign indicated to the right. Follow this path across the field as it winds through to Bower Farm. At Bower Farm, follow the path indicated left past the cow pens until you get to a junction of two paths. Take the left path through a gate and then right again at another gate onto a track. Follow this track to another junction and then turn right onto the Ridgeway.
Follow the Ridgeway path until you come to a left turn with a security gate. Take the public footpath gate and follow the track until you reach some woods. You will come to a fork of three paths; take the central path across Town Copse.
After a short stretch of woodland you will come to another junction of tracks and paths. Take the right path along the woods at the very edge of Cow Common until you come to another small junction, at which point you turn right and then left. Continue following this path eastwards across the Wantage Road (A417) and then past Greenlands Farm. You will finally come to Wallingford Road (A329). Turn left, and after a short walk along the road, turn right at the next footpath. Follow this footpath to the Thames.
6 (SU 59339 83603) At the Thames, turn right again and follow the Thames Path with the river on your left. The path eventually heads inland to the right and at another path junction go left and follow the path past a church on your right till you reach a main road (B4009). You are now in Streatley.
The church you pass in Streatley is St Mary's Church and was built in the 13th century, but extensively restored in the 19th century. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name of Lewis Carroll (the writer of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) used to preach in the church and there is a blue plaque outside commemorating this.
Follow the path and then follow over the road slightly right and then immediately left down a footpath, which winds through Streatley till you reach the A329.
7 (SU 59299 80418) Turn left and cross the road to the footpath opposite that takes you into some woods. Follow the path on the edge of the woods with the road on your left as you walk uphill. After a short walk you leave the woods through a gate to the Hanging Holies. Go slowly downhill and follow the path right towards another gate in the field and then uphill.
Continue uphill straight on following the path through Common Wood, ignoring two footpaths that cross your path until you eventually reach the car park where you started.
- The best walks in Berkshire - With the North Wessex Downs, Windsor's Long Walk and a whole host of beautiful towns and villages, Berkshire is an amazing place for a stroll