Goring and Streatley
Goring, Oxfordshire; Streatley Berkshire
Although technically two villages, Goring and Streatley – the former in Oxfordshire, the latter in Berkshire – were joined by a bridge across the Thames in 1837 and have been hand-in-hand ever since. Even the train station is called Goring and Streatley. Their setting is pure Wind in the Willows – the Thames here runs between the Chilterns and the Berkshire Downs through the 'Goring Gap', narrowing the river and making for lovely views from the surrounding hills. Head to the top of Streatley Hill (a popular cycling hill climb) for perfect panoramas and kite-flying. Goring is also on both the Ridgeway and Icknield Way long-distance trails, making it a popular spot for walkers – and even if you only have half an hour, there are lovely strolls along the Thames Path. In the twin villages you'll find a decent selection of restaurants and pubs (the Leatherne Bottel is the classic choice), perfect for watching the river life drift by. Nearby are the wildlife gardens of Beale Park (good for families) and the National Trust-owned stately home of Basildon Park.