Walk the Ridgeway National Trail with a Cicerone guide

Cover of The Ridgeway National Trail
Available as eBook
5 Mar 2013
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
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The Ridgeway National Trail

by Steve Davison
Book published by Cicerone Press

A guidebook to the Ridgeway National Trail, an 87-mile (139km) route described in both directions between Avebury in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. It passes through two AONBs, the chalky North Wessex Downs and the wooded Chiltern Hills. With information on many historic sites as well as trips off the trail to nearby villages.

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Would you like to follow in the footsteps of over 5000 years of human history? This guide to the Ridgeway National Trail in south east England allows you to do exactly that. Discover the extraordinary sights our ancestors have left us here, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Avebury’s Neolithic stone circle and the famous Uffington White Horse.

The trail is an 87-mile (139km) route that typically takes between five and seven days to complete. It is well waymarked, follows good tracks and paths and, by not exceeding 300m, is fairly low-level throughout. The guide is written as a 12-stage west-to-east route, but also gives details of the trail in reverse.

The Ridgeway has been here for thousands of years, and follows old tracks that have been in use since prehistoric times. Passing Neolithic burial mounds and Iron Age hill forts, the landscape really is steeped in history.

The guidebook also offers information on historic sites and details of excursions to nearby towns and villages, as well as practical information on useful contacts and accommodation.

  • information on historic sites, details of excursions to nearby towns and villages and practical information on useful contacts and accommodation
  • pass through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the chalky North Wessex Downs and the more wooded environs of the Chiltern Hills
  • ideal for day trips as well as long-distance walks
  • Seasons
    the Ridgeway can be undertaken at any time of the year, although the weather and ground conditions are better from spring through to the end of autumn (from colourful displays of flowers in spring to the dramatic tree colours of autumn); a frosty or snowy day on the can be magical - but the hours of daylight are fewer
  • Centres
    Avebury, Swindon, Marlborough, Wantage, Streatley, Goring, Wallingford, Watlington, Chinnor, Princes Risborough, Wendover and Tring
  • Difficulty
    the Ridgeway is a fairly low-level (never going above 300m) waymarked walk that follows mostly good tracks and paths suitable for all abilities
  • Must See
    two contrasting AONBs: the wide open, chalky North Wessex Downs and, after a peaceful river section following the River Thames at Goring, the more wooded, intimate landscape of the Chilterns; the stone circle at Avebury to Wayland's Smithy Neolithic burial mound and the Uffington White Horse, great views, short excursions to picturesque towns and villages
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Plants and wildlife
When to walk
Planning your walk
Getting to and from the Ridgeway
Where to stay
Food and drink
Waymarking, access and rights of way
Using this guide
Cycling and riding the Ridgeway
The Ridgeway online
The Greater Ridgeway
The Countryside Code
The Ridgeway (West to East)
Stage 1 Overton Hill (Avebury) to Ogbourne St George
Stage 2 Ogbourne St George to Ashbury Folly
Stage 3 Ashbury Folly to the A338 (Wantage/Court Hill Centre)
Stage 4 A338 (Wantage/Court Hill Centre) to Bury Down
Stage 5 Bury Down to Streatley
Stage 6 Streatley to Mongewell Park
Stage 7 Mongewell Park to Watlington
Stage 8 Watlington to Chinnor
Stage 9 Chinnor to Princes Risborough
Stage 10 Princes Risborough to Wendover
Stage 11 Wendover to Wigginton
Stage 12 Wigginton to Ivinghoe Beacon
The Ridgeway (East to West)
Stage 1 Ivinghoe Beacon to Wigginton
Stage 2 Wigginton to Wendover
Stage 3 Wendover to Princes Risborough
Stage 4 Princes Risborough to Chinnor
Stage 5 Chinnor to Watlington
Stage 6 Watlington to Mongewell Park
Stage 7 Mongewell Park to Streatley
Stage 8 Streatley to Bury Down
Stage 9 Bury Down to the A338 (Wantage/Court Hill Centre)
Stage 10 A338 (Wantage/Court Hill Centre) to Ashbury Folly
Stage 11 Ashbury Folly to Ogbourne St George
Stage 12 Ogbourne St George to Overton Hill (Avebury)
Appendix A Route summary tables
Appendix B Useful contact information
Appendix C Facilities near to the Ridgeway
Appendix D Accommodation near to the Ridgeway
Appendix E Further reading
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