Twins tell the long story of the Thames

GORING and Streatley are twin villages which face each other across the Thames, nestled in the gap that the river has carved between two chalk hillsides.

And it’s here that Chilterns travel blogger Mary Tebje sets off on another of her local sojourns, this time exploring the picturesque countryside around the Goring Gap.

RIVERSIDE SETTING: this stretch of the Thames boasts spectacular views PICTURE: Mary Tebje

As glorious views go, the backdrop of the two villages clustered around the Goring weir is the stuff of jigsaws and chocolate boxes, and the perfect starting point for a ramble around a stretch of the Oxfordshire-Berkshire border which is sandwiched between two areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Mary explores the long history of the villages and how the river, along with turnpikes and railways, shaped their fortunes.

Whether by boat, foot or on horseback, it’s not hard to imagine the bustle of the boats, soldiers and drovers who once converged on this lovely spot, and even today the Thames Path, Ridgeway or Icknield Way can tempt visitors onto trails which have been trodden for centuries.

Famous faces associated with the area range from Oscar Wilde to Sir Arthur (Bomber) Harris, and George Michael fans still make a pilgrimage to leave flowers and light candles near his former home.

The article is one of the many entries in Mary’s “quiet exploration” of the Chilterns which shares the stories of the people and places that have shaped the region. See more of her adventures here.