Pete's Walks- Goring, Hartslock, Cray's Pond (page 1 of 4)

If you are considering walking this route yourself, please see my disclaimer. You may also like to see these notes about the maps.

Google map of the walk

I did this circular walk of about 8.3 miles on Saturday, May 18th, 2019. It was a repeat of a walk I first did in May 2015, the aim of the walk being to allow me to visit the Hartslock nature reserve to see the rare orchids there (and, as usual, I was then going to look for other orchids at two more nature reserves in the Chilterns during my drive home).

I parked at the far end of Manor Road in Goring, where it deteriorates into a very rough and uneven track (Grid Reference: SU 801602) and started walking at about 9.55am. I continued along the track, which ran between hedges with fields either side. After a few hundred yards it went left and then right, now running alongside a railway embankment. It then turned left to go under a railway bridge, and continued straight on to reach the buildings at Gatehampton Manor. Here the right of way turned left along a drive, and soon came to a T-junction with a bridleway, where I turned right. After passing Kingfisher cottage on my right, the bridleway continued for several hundred yards between fences and then hedges, with the Thames somewhere over to my right and steep hills on my left.

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The start of the track continuing from the end of Manor Road, Goring, to Gatehampton Manor

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The track to Gatehampton Manor

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Approaching Gatehampton Manor

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The bridleway from Gatehampton Manor

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The bridleway from Gatehampton Manor

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The bridleway approaching the Hartslock nature reserve

When the bridleway reached a wood, I immediately turned left on to a footpath, that climbed a steep scrub-covered slope, following a fence and hedge on my right. I then followed the same fence and hedge downhill a little way and went through a pedestrian gate in the fence and spent a few minutes exploring the very steep Hartslock nature reserve, where I saw a few Monkey Orchids and a large number of the hybrids between the Lady and Monkey orchids (for the second year running, there was no sign of the solitary Lady Orchid that is usually here). The hybrids were in the best condition I've ever seen them (I must have timed my visit just right this year!), they were absolutely stunning.

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The steep footpath through the Hartslock nature reserve

View back towards Goring from the Hartslock nature reserve

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Lady x Monkey Orchid hybrid

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Lady x Monkey Orchid hybrids

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Zoomed-in view back towards Goring from the Hartslock nature reserve

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Monkey Orchid

I then returned downhill to the same gate, and went downhill to my right, to a field gate where I turned right onto a byway (or, to be strictly accurate, an 'Other route used for public access'). The byway ran eastwards, initially between tall hedges and then through a belt of trees, all the time gradually going uphill, until after about half a mile (shortly after a footpath went left) it reached a lane.

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The byway from the nature reserve, heading east

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The byway from the nature reserve, heading east

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The byway from the nature reserve, heading east

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View right from where the byway reaches the lane