The Ridgeway National Trail

Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon, described in both directions

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21 Nov 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm

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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.

Seasons Seasons
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
Centres Centres
Avebury, Swindon, Marlborough, Wantage, Streatley, Goring, Wallingford, Watlington, Chinnor, Princes Risborough, Wendover and Tring
Difficulty Difficulty
a fairly low-level (never going above 300m) waymarked walk that follows mostly good tracks and paths, suitable for all abilities
Must See 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
21 Nov 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm
  • Overview

    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.

  • Contents

    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

  • Updates
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    Aug 2017


    Appendix B: Accommodation

    New entries

    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

  • Reviews
    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.

    Ian Ritchie
    The Ridgeway Partnership

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Steve Davison

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