The Ridgeway

Overview

Trail Details
> Prices from: £ 540.00 per person
> Start / Finish: Overton Hill / Ivinghoe Beacon
> Distance: 87 miles (139 km)
> Duration: 6 to 8 days according to choice
> Availability: Year round
> Grading: Moderate
> Way-marked

Ridgeway Highlights

  • Enjoy wide and exhilarating vistas over the rolling hills of the Wessex Downs
  • Take a trip back in time and explore the archaeological treasures on this ancient route
  • Experience the mystical atmosphere of Avebury Stone Circle & White Horse Hill
  • Explore the beech woodlands and the charming towns of the Chilterns

 

The Ridgeway is Britain’s oldest “road”, following ancient paths through the heart of England which have been walked by soldiers, herdsmen and travellers for 5000 years. The trail runs for 87 miles along a chalk ridge passing through two distinct landscapes: the remote and open hills of the Wessex Downs and the woodlands and quaint villages of the Chilterns. The trail is dotted with monuments from the past ranging from Neolithic stone circles and Bronze Age round barrows to Iron Age hill forts, bearing witness to the long and remarkable history of this area.

The walk starts at Overton Hill near the world heritage site of Avebury in Wiltshire, a Neolithic henge monument which contains the largest stone circle in Europe. From here the trail passes over the high grounds of the Wessex Downs, a surprisingly remote landscape of rolling hills with spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. These chalk downlands are home to prehistoric treasures such as Barbury Castle, Wayland’s Smithy and the world-famous chalk figure of the Uffington White Horse. Skylarks, lapwings and majestic birds of prey can often be spotted overhead, adding to the tranquil beauty of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The trail then descends into the Thames Valley and takes you through the charming towns of Streatley and Goring. You will notice a considerable change in the landscape as the wilderness of the North Wessex Downs gives way to sheltered woodlands, arable farmland and attractive villages of the Chilterns. The trail finishes at the prominent landmark of Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire, where the splendid views make for a fitting end to a spectacular walk.