Walk 2 – Postman’s Path Ring – 4½ miles

This walk, as do all the described walks, commences at St Andrew’s church South Stoke. There is parking on The Street outside the church.  Note: Postman’s Path can be very muddy if it is or has rained recently.

Proceed north along The Street towards Ferry Road, at the road junction turn right (east) into Ferry Road and proceed under the railway bridge and up to the crossroads with the B4009. Continue straight on into Woodcote Road, taking care crossing the B4009. At the brow of the hill turn onto the footpath that is signposted on your left. This is Postman’s Path.

Follow the path across the field until you reach the first stile, it is a good place to take a rest and enjoy the views of the valley. To the north on a clear day you can just make out Oxford and Wittenham Clumps.

Continue to follow the path straight on across the next field towards Cameron’s Copse; at the next stile you will join the bridleway with Cameron’s Copse directly in front of you. The copse was built in memory of a well-respected local veterinary surgeon; a stone commemorating the event can be seen.

Turn left (west) onto the bridleway and continue straight on until you reach the B4009, passing Middle Barn on your right and a little later a chalk quarry on your left. Take time while walking, dependant on the time of the year, to look for the different species of wild flowers and butterflies.

Continue straight on towards Little Stoke, taking care crossing the B4009. After about a ¼ mile, with the entrance to Little Stoke Manor directly ahead, follow the road round to the right. Continue straight ahead passing the entrance to Little Stoke farm on the left and at the next road junction turn onto the footpath on your left (at this point still a road). Follow the footpath and shortly after turn right towards and walk past Little Stoke House and continue on until you reach the river, the Ridgeway Path joins from the right just past the cottages.

Turn left (south) and continue on the Ridgeway Path as it follows the river bank, making sure you shut all gates behind you, until you reach the Four Arches, which carries the Great Western railway across the Thames. Take time to look at the architecture of the bridges, the engineer being Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Continue straight ahead as the path follows the river bank and passes the preparatory school and Sheridan Marine on the opposite bank, until you exit the gate at the bottom of Ferry Lane, South Stoke. To your right you will see the boat slipway and on the opposite bank the Beetle and Wedge hotel.

Turn left (east) proceed on up Ferry Lane and at the top turn right into Ferry Road and proceed until you reach the next junction and turn left into The Street, St Andrew’s church is on the left after a few yards. This is the end of the walk.