Goring Gap Geography
The “Goring Gap” is recognised as one of the most beautiful stretches of the Thames. The river here flows through the valley between two ranges of hills, both of which are within designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Goring, in Oxfordshire, is within the Chilterns AONB and Streatley, in Berkshire, falls within the North Wessex Downs AONB.
The spectacular scenery in and around the Goring Gap is the setting for such classic books as Wind in the Willows, Watership Down and Three men in a Boat. Views of Goring Lock, the weirs and the rural landscape, especially as seen from the bridge, are some of the most photographed and painted scenes in England.
While many visitors come here because it is a pleasant place to spend a day by the river, others visit for its historical interest. Goring and Streatley have been inhabited for at least 5,000 years, due mainly to their unique geographical significance.
The origins of these two villages are probably due to their location, at the only junction of three of Britain’s most ancient routes: The Ridgeway, claimed to be Europe’s oldest road, The Icknield Way and the Thames. The crossing here is almost certainly the oldest of all Thames crossings.
For visitors able to stay a day or two, there is an excellent choice of shops, places to eat and stay and also many beautiful riverside walks and country paths to enjoy. For visitors planning to stay a little longer, this is an ideal base from which to visit the many heritage sites, historic towns and other visitor attractions within just an hour or so from here by train or car.
To appreciate the local geography in more detail, explore the following pages: