Goring & Streatley from Lough Down on a snowy January day
Goring and Streatley are twin villages in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the boundary of Berkshire and Oxfordshire, in England. Strictly speaking Goring is in Oxfordshire and Streatley in Berkshire, but as everything in both villages is in reasonably easy walking distance of everything else it seems better to deal with them as one.
The two villages cluster around a bridge across the river Thames, with an adjacent lock and weir. Both villages have their fair share of quaint thatched cottages and pubs.
What distinguishes these villages from many others on the river Thames is their location in the 'Goring Gap', a geological feature where, during the last ice age, the river forced its way between the Chiltern Hills and the Berkshire Downs. As a result the valley is much narrower, with some spectacular views from the tops of the surrounding hills.
Goring has a rail station on the Reading to Oxford line. Trains run every half hour taking about 15 minutes from Reading and about 30 minutes from Oxford. From London, travel from London Paddington Station and, if necessary, change at Reading. Train times (from any station) can be found on the National Rail Planner or by calling 0845-748-4950 from anywhere in the UK.
Alternatively the villages are about 8 miles north-west from Reading on the A329, or about 16 miles south of Oxford on the same road.
If arriving by plane, see the 'Get In By Plane' section of the Reading article, and then travel on from Reading as described above.
The views from Lardon Chase over the villages and Goring Gap. From the bridge, walk or drive uphill on the Streatley side to the Bull pub, and then continue down the side of the pub up the steep hill to the car park at the top. Lardon Chase opens out to the right; walk to the end for the best views.
The Bull, Reading Road, Streatley, RG8 9JJ tel 01491 872392, www.bullstreatley.com . This pub in Streatley is a very food oriented pub (full menu on pub website), with excellent fare at moderate prices. Not to mention the attraction of an ancient Yew tree, which is the burial site of a monk and a nun executed in 1440 for 'misconduct'. From the bridge, walk or drive uphill on the Streatley side until you reach the pub at the cross-roads.
The Miller of Mansfield, High Street, Goring, tel 872829, . This is a traditional oak-beamed eigtheenth-century coaching inn. Besides serving bar food and snacks, there is a separate restaurant for dining. The menu is substantial and traditional English roast is available for Sunday lunch.
The Swan, High Street, Streatley, tel 878800, . This restaurant of this up-market hotel (see below) has picturesque waterside views and offers a combination of traditional English and European cuisine. £~35.
The Bell, Aldworth, tel 01635-578272 from within the UK or +44-1635-578272 from outside. This very tradional old pub is located in the tiny village of Aldworth, on the Berkshire Downs about two and a half miles from Streatley. It regularly wins prizes for the quality of its beer and is housed in a 13th century hall house which has been in the licensees' family for over 200 years, has a large garden and is next to the village cricket ground. Open Tu-Sa 11am-3pm & 6pm-11pm; Su noon-3pm & 7pm-10:30pm; M closed.
The Bull, Reading Road, Streatley, tel 01491 872392, A recently refurbished 13th Century traditional country pub, with accommodation, real ales, reasonably priced high quality food, 3 working open fireplaces, ample parking and beer garden. www.bullstreatley.com . See 'Eat' above.
The Miller of Mansfield, High Street, Goring, tel 872829, . See 'Eat' above.
Streatley Youth Hostel, Reading Road, Streatley , tel 872278, . Run by the Youth Hostels Association of England & Wales. £10-£14.
The Bull, Reading Road, Streatley, RG8 9JJ 01491 872392, . This pub in Streatley (see above) also does bed and breakfast in a range of self contained en-suite cottages alongside the pub garden. £70 double room, £80 twin room, £90 family room, Breakfast £7.50 per person extra.
The Miller of Mansfield, High Street, Goring, tel 872829, . This village inn (see above) also has 10 rooms, all en-suite. £55-£70.
The Swan, High Street, Streatley, tel 878800, . This up-market hotel has a great location set beside the Thames, ideal for an English summer's day. Many bedrooms enjoy the views and rooms are well appointed. The hotel offers a range of facilities including meeting rooms and leisure club. £99-£218.