Goring to Wallingford cycle route

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The Mend the Gap Programme aims to enhance the areas of the Chilterns AONB and North Wessex Downs AONBs that have been negatively impacted by the electrification of the Great Western Railway around the Goring Gap. The Programme has recently called for photographs “that will support the communication of the special character of the area we live and work in between Wallingford Bridge and Purley 3km either side of the GWR railway”.

The cycle route from Goring to Wallingford follows quiet minor roads and bridleways, except for a gap between South Stoke and Little Stoke, where it is necessary for cyclists to use the busy B4009. Fixing this gap to complete the GWR (Goring – Wallingford Route) would enhance active travel in the Goring Gap, reducing car use and improving health and well-being.

Background: National Trails in the Goring Gap

Goring sits at the junction of four long-distance trails: The Ridgeway, The Thames Path, Swan’s Way and King Alfred’s Way, as shown on the map. Both Swan’s Way and King Alfred’s Way are bridleways and so are open to keen cyclists, but neither is signposted for the casual rider. From Goring to Wallingford, the Thames Path is for pedestrians only, following the towpath on the west bank of the river except for a detour along the A329 around a private school. For 40 miles west of Goring, The Ridgeway follows bridleways and is popular with cyclists. East of Goring parts of it currently footpaths, where cycling is not permitted.

The Goring-Wallingford Route

The Ridgeway provides 8.4 of a 9.8 km low-traffic route from Goring to Wallingford, except for the gap of 1.4 km where it is necessary to divert to use the busy B4009. Between South Stoke and North Stoke, The Ridgeway follows the towpath along the river. This is a footpath, so cycling is not permitted.

Surface Conditions

For a summary of current (Autumn 2023) surface conditions along the route, please see this spreadsheet.

The gallery of images presented here describes the current route and highlights the need for improvements.