GGC 321 Routes

Circuits in the 5 – 15 mile range, ideal for training or fitness (3-2-1-Go!). Those on busier roads are particularly good in the early mornings or weekends. No guarantee of refreshments en route (but there’s always plenty in Goring!).

The Ups and Downs

The Downs and the Thames

A steady half-mile climb out of the Cleeve “suburb” of Goring gives way to rolling downland with views across to Wittenham Clumps. From South Stoke the route returns along a bridleway with frequent views of the river. This stretch is also part of The Ridgeway long-distance path. Although categorised as off-road, the bridleway is usually suitable for most types of hybrid bikes.

Views across the downs, views along the river.

Loose gravel and potholes on the minor roads. Parts of the bridleway can be muddy after heavy rain, but the B4009 is an alternative and is used by many cyclists.

The Perch and Pike pub in the middle of South Stoke.

South Stoke has a community shop. Its opening hours may vary.

The Leathern Bottel is right on the route, with a lovely Thameside location. Nowadays it is a smart restaurant rather than a pub.

This route is deliberately laid out to start from the station and finish in the village, to show recommended quiet routes through the village. It can be easily adapted to complete the circle.

By starting at Cleeve Cross Roads and returning from South Stoke Crossroads along the B4009 this route can be turned into a 4.5 mile on-road training circuit – just right for the Tour de Gap prologue!

Catsbrain and Gatehampton

A loop from Goring into the Chilterns, With more than 750 feet of climbing in less than 10 miles, it makes a good training ride.

A gradual climb up to Woodcote is followed by a fast swoop through the woods down Long Toll. A short climb from Hill Bottom into Whitchurch Hill is rewarded by lovely views across the Thames Valley before a steep final descent from Upper to Lower Gatehampton.

Views over the Thames Valley above Brunel’s magnificent bridge at Gatehampton

Potholes on Long Toll (and elsewhere!)
The sharp right-hand corner at the bottom of the descent from Upper Gatehampton, complete with loose gravel

Shops and pubs in Woodcote
The Sun at Hill Bottom

One of The Gap’s best-kept secrets: Even though the road through Upper Gatehampton is classified as bridleway, it has a tarmac surface throughout. There’s no through traffic because of a gate at the farm – perfect for cyclists!

Twin Peaks

The “Twin Peaks” of Streatley and Whitchurch hills

Two vicious climbs out of the Thames Valley in a 15 mile circuit. Great training before taking on bigger climbs further afield.

Streatley Hill, listed as one of Britain’s top 10 cycle climbs. It has been the venue for the National High Climb Championship a number of times

A long gentle descent through Upper Basildon, with views across the Goring Gap.

The fast descent into Pangbourne finishes at a T junction with the A329.

Busy (but usually slow) traffic around the mini roundabouts in Pangbourne.

Shops and pubs in Pangbourne and Goring – but this is meant to be a training ride.

Streatley Hill is also the B4009 to Newbury, so best avoided at rush hours. It’s good for early morning at weekends and bank holidays.

Nuney Green and Path Hill

A mainly off-road route through Chiltern woodlands above the Thames, with some wonderful views of the river.

Fast descent towards the River Thames on a concrete farm road (Pond Lane) near Park Farm.

Challenging climb from Hardwick House to Path Hill.


Busy road crossing at Deadman’s Lane (5.1 miles)

The descent on Pond Lane has a sharp bend towards the bottom of it. Parts of the concrete road are potholed.

There’s a tricky transition between a steep descent on tarmac at Path Hill and a sharp right turn uphill onto the bridleway towards Hill Bottom.

The route passes a supermarket in Woodcote (3.3 miles).

The Sun at Whitchurch Hill (12.2 miles) is the only pub en route.

Route-finding in the woods south of Woodcote can be tricky at times, as there are other bridleways that cross this route.

Beech Lane (1.8 miles) and Hawhill Wood (5.3 miles) can often be quite muddy.

Hardwick House and Mapledurham House are frequently cited as the inspiration for Toad Hall in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows. This route passes close to both of these, but little of either is visible.