A lovely short but hilly walk exploring National Trust woodlands, ‘The Holies’, and the hills and valleys of the West Berkshire countryside to the west of Goring and Streatley. The steep climbs are rewarded with stunning views. There is an option to shorten this walk.
This walk can also be combined with the 2-mile Lardon Chase walk over Lough Down and across Streatley golf course from the same car park.
- 3 miles / 5 km (can be shortened to 2.2 miles / 3.5 km)
- Start point and parking: Lardon Chase Car Park, top of Streatley Hill (B4009), Berkshire.
- What3words: ///locals.sensible.according
- Grid Ref: SU583806
- OS Explorer Maps: 159/170/171
- Public Transport: Goring Train station. Approx 1.4 miles to start of walk (uphill through Lardon Chase). Infrequent buses between Streatley and Aldworth
- Hilly, mostly on reasonable paths, can be muddy, stiles & kissing gates
- Refreshments: There are several pubs nearby. The Bull is situated at the bottom of Streatley Hill. Other eateries can be found in Goring.
- GPX: Click here to download
1) From the car park, cross the B4009 Streatley Hill road carefully and follow the sign for ‘The Holies’ along a woodland path.
2) On reaching a kissing gate, go through the gate and continue straight ahead uphill. At the top of the hill the path becomes more open and lined by majestic trees.
3) Continue along this path, passing a couple of memorial benches
When you reach a 7-bar metal gate straight ahead, you have a choice to shorten the walk by 0.8 miles by following these instructions: (to continue the longer walk jump to point 4.
A. Just before you reach the open gate turn right and follow a grass path keeping a fence close to your left.
B. Keep close to the fence on your left. The path then continues between bushes on either side. You will also see a gate to your left do not go through this gate
C. Continue along this path through a kissing gate and into an open field. Head straight down the steep hill following a grass path giving views of the valley. After the path passes through some large evergreen fir trees, turn immediately right and follow a wooden fence on your left to the bottom of the hill and a country road.
D. Turn right onto the country road and re-join the longer route to point 7 below.
4) Go straight ahead through the gate and downhill towards the bottom of the valley.
5) After passing through a gate towards the bottom of the valley, bear right and then left up the slope, past a post with yellow footpath sign, to the fence line. Follow the path alongside the fence down the hill to the corner of the field, and out of the Holies through a kissing gate.
6) Immediately turn right back on yourself to follow a bridleway steeply uphill. At the top of the hill, keep left along a driveway downhill to a lane. Turn right and keep right following the signpost for Aldworth/Streatley. Continue along this road for almost 1km.
7) Shortly after passing a National Grid gate on your left, take the footpath on your right immediately after Red Cottage. Walk up the short steep climb to the top and into the woodlands.
8) At a stile (with a dog hole), climb over and turn left. Keep close to the fence on your left (after a short distance you will see a golf course on the other side of the fence).
9) At a kissing gate, go through and follow the woodland footpath keeping close to the fence on your left.
10) Pass through the final kissing gate and turn right onto a gravel driveway back to the main road. At the road, turn right onto a footpath on the verge and then carefully cross the road to the car park.
Points of Interest:
- The Holies and Lardon Chase chalk grasslands are some of the best remaining in Berkshire. In early summer you can see beautiful wildflowers such as bellflowers, vetch and orchids, as well as specialist butterflies including the chalk hill blue and grizzled and dingy skipper.
- Basildon Park (3 miles from Lardon Chase car park): an 18th-century Palladian-style mansion, restored by Lord and Lady Iliffe after being requisitioned in the World Wars Basildon Park | Berkshire | National Trust
- Beale Park (3.5 miles from Lardon Chase car park): an outdoor wildlife park within 40 acres set against the River Thames in Berkshire. Home – Beale Wildlife Park and Gardens (bealepark.org.uk)
- Goring & Streatley: two ancient riverside villages separated by a river and joined by a bridge. Having a foot in the Chilterns Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as the North Wessex Downs. Two National Trails – The Ridgeway and the Thames Path also intersect at Goring and Streatley. There are a number of places to eat and drink in Goring and Streatley.