The Ridgeway National Trail
Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon, described in both directions
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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.
- 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 Ridgeway can be magical - but daylight hours are shorter
- Avebury, Swindon, Marlborough, Wantage, Streatley, Goring, Wallingford, Watlington, Chinnor, Princes Risborough, Wendover and Tring
- 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 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
Harvey Maps produce the Ridgeway National Trail Map, a1:40,000 (2.5cm to 1km) scale waterproof map covering the entire route andall but a few of the short detours described in this guide. The map is alsogood for anyone cycling or riding the Ridgeway as it shows both theSwan’s Way and Icknield Way Riders Route, which need to be followedfor the eastern section after crossing the River Thames.
The Ordnance Survey offer two series of maps: the 1:50,000(2cm to 1km) Landranger series and the considerably more detailed 1:25,000(4cm to 1km) Explorer series. The OS maps covering the Ridgeway are:
- Landranger: 165, 173, 174, and 175
- Explorer: 157, 170, 171, and 181.
This guide contains extracts of the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000Landranger series of maps with overlays showing the route, along with anydetours.
The grid references given in the guide are generated fromthe National Grid. Each map is overlaid by a grid with a spacing of 1km. Agrid reference is made up of two letters, which correspond to the 100,000metre square in which the grid reference lies, and six numbers. The firsttwo numbers correspond to the vertical line (known as‘eastings’) to the left of the point of interest: the thirdnumber is the tenths of the square (equivalent to 100m). The fourth andfifth numbers locate the horizontal line (‘northings’) belowthe point of interest, and the last digit is again the number of tenthsmoving up through the square. Always remember – the horizontalnumbers come before the vertical ones.
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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
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Steve Davison is a writer and photographer who has lived in Berkshire for over 25 years. He has written a number of books as well as articles for magazines and national and local newspapers, specialising in hill-walking and UK and European travel, and counts nature, geology and the countryside among his particular interests. 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
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