The Ridgeway National Trail
Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon, described in both directions
Guidebook to the Ridgeway National Trail, an 87 mile (139km) route through the south of England from Avebury in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. Accompanied by a pull-out 1:25K mapping booklet, this guidebook details the trail in both directions and features information on historic sites and facilities along the way.
Seasonscan 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 Ridgeway can be magical - but daylight hours are shorter
CentresAvebury, Swindon, Marlborough, Wantage, Streatley, Goring, Wallingford, Watlington, Chinnor, Princes Risborough, Wendover and Tring
Difficultya fairly low-level (never going above 300m) waymarked walk that follows mostly good tracks and paths, suitable for all abilities
Must SeeTwo contrasting AONBs: the wide open, chalky North Wessex Downs and 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
This guidebook - which includes both a guide to the route and a separate OS map booklet - describes the Ridgeway National Trail, an 87 mile (139km) route through southern England from Avebury in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. Typically walked in 6 or 8 days, this is a low-level waymarked route suitable for all abilities and for year round walking.
The guidebook details the trail in both directions, west to east and east to west. Step-by-step route descriptions are accompanied by 1:100,000 OS mapping and a separate OS 1:25,000 map booklet showing the entire route is included. Packed with details on points of interest and a trek planner giving at-a-glance information about facilities, public transport and accommodation available along the way, this book is an indispensable guide to walking this national trail.
Following a ridge of chalk hills through the Chiltern Hills AONB and North Wessex Downs AONB, the Ridgeway takes walkers through five counties and five thousand years of history. It offers a scenic and fascinating journey through our ancient and more recent past, visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Avebury's Neolithic stone circle and the famous Uffington White Horse, and includes excursions to picturesque villages, thatched cottages and cosy pubs.
Plants and wildlife
When to walk
Planning your walk
Getting to and from the Ridgeway
Where to stay
Food and drink
Communications and money matters
What to pack
Health, safety and emergencies
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 Useful contact information
Appendix B Accommodation near to the Ridgeway
Appendix C Further reading
Receive updates by email
Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction
Appendix B: Accommodation
Streatley: Chaddleworth B&B; tel: 0771 1420586
Existing entry changes
Kingston Blount: The Cherry Tree pub with rooms is closed and up for sale (may re-open in future)
Ogbourne St George: Foxlynch no longer offers camping or hostel accommodation
Pick and choose a section for a day walk.
This guidebook covers the Ridgeway National Trail, an 87 mile (139km) route through the south of England from Avebury in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. Comes with a pull-out 1:25K mapping booklet, and details the trail in both directions featuring information on historic sites and facilities along the way. To walk the whole route in one go would typically take 6 – 8 days, and author Steve Davison describes the walk as “A lowlevel waymarked route suitable for all abilities and for year round walking”, however the walk is also broken down into 12 sections so if you wanted you could pick and choose a section for a day walk.
Life In magazine
My favourite of the many walking guides to The Ridgeway on the market.
When I reviewed the first edition of this book three years ago I chose it as my favourite of the many walking guides to The Ridgeway on the market. The reasons I favoured it then remain with the second edition – it is a handy size (it will fit into the pocket of your anorak), it describes the route in both directions, the text and the mapping are clear (I always favour OS maps in preference to sketch maps) and it contains much useful advice on planning your walks along the Trail. It gives a good overview of the history of the route, its plants, wildlife and geology, accommodation and transport links. Steve Davison makes a very agreeable walking companion – throughout the guide he provides interesting snippets of information about places on and just off the route and there are ample excellent photographs (taken by Steve, I believe).
The second edition contains a few necessary updates to reflect changes over the past three years and includes a handy route planner that I have used with a friend who plans to walk half the Trail later this year. It worked well! However the big difference comes with the provision of a separate route map booklet showing the complete Trail on 1:25,000 OS mapping. This slim and light booklet would be quite adequate to carry with you when walking The Ridgeway and obviates the need to purchase and carry the four individual OS maps you would otherwise need. It is printed on quality paper that looks to me to be capable of resisting the odd shower. The guide and booklet are bound together in a clear plastic cover that certainly would help keep both dry should the rain begin to penetrate your anorak pocket or rucksack. The provision of the map booklet comes at a price, with the second edition being some £4 more expensive than its predecessor. To my mind it is well worth it. If anyone who bought the earlier version wishes to update it, the map booklet is available to buy separately.
The Ridgeway Partnership
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Steve Davison is a freelance writer and photographer who has written several walking guides. He has also written for a number of outdoor magazines and other publications, including local and national newspapers, specialising in hill walking and European travel, with interests in nature, geology and the countryside. A keen hill walker for many years and a Mountain Leader, Steve has also worked as a part-time outdoor education instructor. He is also a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.View Articles and Books by Steve Davison