Downs around Goring and Streatley by boxplayer

Downs around Goring and Streatley

Another walk today to get me into condition for our walking holiday later in the year. Couldn't decide between a localish one around Epping or a 11.5 circular around Goring on Thames with hills. The Goring one swung it being the right length and having hills.

A mild day, mainly overcast, but with no rain and a nice breeze. Got the tube to Paddington and bought a ticket from one of the machines. It was only when a single solitary ticket got spat out that I realised that I'd unfortunately accidentally pressed the button for a cheap day single rather than a return.

Tried to exchange it at the ticket office, but there was too big a queue. So I had to buy another single for the return journey - paying twice as much as I'd needed to. And then I only just had a few minutes to get to the train on the furthest platform possible from the concourse.

Found a group of likely looking walkers half way down the train so asked them if they were the South Bank ramblers and they were so I sat with them. A friendly bunch, we ended up talking about all sorts including our various pest infestations: mice (one of them had a plastic mac that had been nibbled by mice), clothes moths and bedbugs of course.

At Goring more people who'd been in another carriage got off the train so we were about 17 or this 11.5 circular in the countryside around Goring, familiar from our Thames Path walks.
Mainly fields, quiet lanes, and wooded bits. Generally flat with the odd bit of undulating down, before a last very steep hill up and down just before returning to Goring.

For lunch, we stopped at the very characterful Bell in Aldworth - a quirky real ale pub that's been in the same family for generations. Still family run, it had a tap room, a small main bar, flagged floors, and a huge fireplace with an ingle nook.

The bar staff half asked me what kind of glass I wanted - a straight up or one with a handle - which I've never been asked before. Ordered a mushroom pate warm roll, and a bag of crisps.

After lunch, walked through a lovely foxglove forest - forest bathing I think they call this now.
My legs were getting tired after the 5 to 6 mile mark - so took some drugs and pushed on, trying to keep up. Fast walkers these. Was more or less OK except when going uphill, but I was never the last thank goodness.

Stopped for a bit at the top of the very steep hill to take in the view over the Thames and Goring. Exhausted by time we descended down to the town and the station. My legs were very restless on the train back to Paddington. Then of course it was rush hour so very busy on the tube back.

Dave was late in so prepared some quickie tuna pasta ingredients so when he arrived, laden with elder flowers, the pasta took no time to make.

McQhae, baker and grocer

5 June 2019
Near Goring and Streatley, Berkshire
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