The meadows and woodlands of Streatley

Walking trail

Lardon Chase, the Holies and Lough Down are three adjacent National Trust countryside properties located above the village of Streatley and overlooking the Goring Gap. Lardon Chase, and a part of the Holies known as Holies Down, are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Before acquisition by the National Trust, the Holies was used for motorbike scrambling, resulting in considerable damage to the ground. Since they were acquired by the National Trust, the landscape at all three sites have been managed by a mixture of scrub clearance and cattle grazing to encourage the growth of chalk-loving plants. The slopes of all three properties now form one of the largest remaining areas of chalk grassland in the county and support a wide range of wildflowers and rare and endangered butterflies. Please park responsibly, and if the area is busy on your arrival please help us keep everyone safe by coming back another time.

Map

Ordnance Survey walking route

Start:

Start at Lardon Chase National Trust car park at SU583806

1

Leave the car park by the road entrance. Cross the road (B4009) to a footpath taking you into the National Trust woodland called The Holies. Follow the path up a short slope by a hand rail. The path soon widens to become a clear track through the woodland. In late spring look for carpets of bluebells in the adjacent woodlands. The track soon starts to dip towards a gate as it crosses the head of a dry valley to your left called The Coombe. Continue straight ahead through the gate.

2

Soon the track starts to curve to the left, and on your right, the woodland gives way to open acid grassland with views to the south.

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Acid grassland

3

Continue on the obvious track passing through two gates and ignoring any side paths. At the second gate you will emerge at the top of a broad dry valley. This is the Holies Down Wildlife Conservation Site. Continue to follow the main track down into the valley. After passing through another gate bear right long a short uphill stretch as the track heads for the side of the valley. Follow the track around the curve of the side of valley around to the left.

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The Holies

4

At the foot of the hill, in the far corner of a wood, there is a gate. Go through the gate to follow a permitted footpath running parallel with the main Reading Road (A329). Continue until the path meets the Reading Road.

5

Taking great care, cross the road and continue in the same direction for 20 metres until you reach a sign-posted footpath on your right. Follow this path between paddocks, hedges and fences until it emerges into Vicarage Lane. Turn left and follow the lane for 150 metres until you reach the High Street in Streatley. Turn right to reach the river bridge where you can enjoy fine views of the River Thames and Goring Lock. If you wish to explore Goring village, continue across the river, otherwise, go straight to step 7.

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The high street at Streatley

6

Explore the village of Goring and the riverside at your leisure. For a suggested route, continue along the High Street to Manor Road. Here turn right and continue until you reach the junction with Ferry Lane. Turn right again and follow Ferry Lane to its end. Continue in the same direction a footpath until you reach the Thames path. Turn right once more and follow the Thames path until you meet the road bridge. Turn right again, past Goring Mill to reach some steps on your left which take you back up to the bridge. Turn left to cross the River Thames back to Streatley.

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Goring

7

From the bridge, retrace your steps and continue up Streatley High Street on the southern (left) side. Look out for Streatley Church and Streatley Meadow on your right. Streatley Meadow was purchased by the local community in 2011 and conserved as open space. At the far end of High Street, cross the main road using a traffic-light controlled crossing opposite the Bull Inn, and with great care, follow the narrow Streatley Hill road past the Bull Inn. There is a pavement on the left side of the road after you pass the Inn. Continue up Streatley Hill until you pass the Old School House on your right. At this point, cross the road and follow the track between fences, garages and houses to reach a gate on your left leading into Lardon Chase. Go through the gate and take the steep, grassy path straight up the hill. You will eventually reach the first of two wooden benches at the top. Here you can enjoy a fine view across the Goring Gap and the River Thames, with the twin villages of Streatley on the nearside of the river, and Goring on the far side.

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Lough Down

8

To visit the top of Lough Down, follow the hedgerow behind the bench to the left to reach a gate in the corner of the field. Go through the gate to overlook Lough Down with distant views to the north. If visibility is good, you should be able to see the twin wooded hills called the Wittenham Clumps, one of which has an Iron Age hillfort on its summit. When you are ready to continue, return through the gate and turn right. Keeping the hedge on your right, follow the path to the Lardon Chase car park where you began the trail.

End:

Lardon Chase National Trust car park at SU583806

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The meadows and woodlands of Streatley

Terrain

The walk is mainly on soft footpaths and gravel tracks with some short stretches on village roads in Streatley. There are some fairly steep slopes. There are a number of gates on the route, but no stiles, and you will need to cross busy roads at several places. Stout walking shoes or walking boots are recommended in wet or frosty conditions or after heavy rain as some paths can become muddy and slippery. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept under strict control with mess bagged and binned offsite. In the presence of livestock, all dogs must be kept on short leads.

The meadows and woodlands of Streatley

Contact us

Telephone: 01491 672382

Email: basildonpark@nationaltrust.org.uk

The meadows and woodlands of Streatley

How to get here

Address
Lardon Chase National Trust car park at SU583806
By train

There are regular services to Goring and Streatley station on the Great Western Line. To join the walking trail at Point 6, follow the path out of the station from Platform 1 towards Goring village to the junction with Yew Tree Crescent. Cross onto Station Road, and follow this to the John Barleycorn pub and turn right along Manor Road. On reaching the High Street, turn left and cross the bridge. (Additional distance: 0.6 miles each way.)

By road

From the traffic-light controlled crossroads on the A329 in the centre of Streatley, turn west and up Streatley Hill on the B4009. The National Trust car park at Lardon Chase is 900 metres (just over half a mile) on the right.

SATNAV: Streatley Hill, Streatley, West Berkshire. Latitude: 51.522019, Longitude: -1.1608037

By foot

Streatley is on the Ridgeway long distance footpath. You can join this trail between Points 6 and 7 in the centre of Streatley.

By bus

The nearest bus stop is on the High Street opposite the Bull Inn. Buses include the 143 from Reading and the 133 from Wallingford.

By bicycle

Please see OS maps 170 and 171. The route itself is not suitable for bicycles, but it is within easy cycling distance of Reading, Henley-on-Thames, Oxford and Wallingford.

The meadows and woodlands of Streatley

Facilities and access

  • Free parking is available at The National Trust car park at Lardon Chase. Grid Ref: SU583806
  • Teas and lunches are available at the Basildon Park (2 miles south of Streatley on the A329) between 10am and 4.45pm, or dusk if earlier, 363 days of the year. Please note admission to the site applies.
  • Bull Inn at Streatley serves food on most days from midday. Telephone: 01491 872392
  • In Goring village, there are public toilets, shops, pubs and cafes.
  • There are several seats and benches in Streatley and along the route at Lardon Chase and The Holies.