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The Ridgeway

Prices start from £560* per person

for 6 nights B&B based on 2 people

sharing an en-suite room


DURATION: 6-10 nights / 7-11 days (Can be tailored to your preferences.)

DISTANCE: 87 miles/139 km

GRADE: Easy/moderate to challenging, depending on the itinerary option you choose.


The Ridgeway National Trail follows Britain’s oldest “road” - originally walked by traders, herdsmen and soldiers in prehistoric times – across the very heart of England, from Overton Hill in the Wessex Downs to Ivinghoe Beacon in the Chiltern Hills. The Trail travels through two distinct landscapes, both rich in history and natural beauty. West of the River Thames, the Ridgeway passes through the remote North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), where you will get to see numerous archeological monuments and enjoy wide, open views over the rolling hills to the south. East of the River Thames, The Ridgeway travels through woodlands, nature reserves rich in wildlife, and quaint villages and small towns. If you are curious about archeological treasures and enjoy quiet footpaths surrounded by natural beauty, this tour will most certainly not disappoint.



*Please see key points below for more information on pricing



Neolithic henge monument in Avebury


View of Dragon Hill from the top of Uffington White Horse


Wayland's Smithy long barrow

Overview

The Ridgeway will take you on a trip back in time as it travels through the distinct landscapes of the North Wessex Downs west of the River Thames and the Chiltern Hills east of the River Thames. Walking this ancient route, you will explore archeological treasures, take in spectacular panoramas of the rolling countryside, and enjoy exhilarating walks through small picturesque villages and market towns.

If you would like to walk longer or shorter stages than detailed below, we will be happy to tailor the itinerary to suit your requirements.


West of the River Thames – Avebury to Streatley

You will start your walk near the village of Avebury, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the largest stone circle in Western Europe can be found. Right from the start, The Ridgeway will take you up onto higher ground, revealing wonderful views down into the valley. As you proceed on the Trail – a broad track through open landscapes of the North Wessex Downs – there will be numerous other prehistoric sites waiting to be explored. Highlights will include the Iron age fort of Barbury Castle and Liddington Castle, the Neolithic long barrow at Wayland’s Smithy, and the Uffington White Horse (deep lines of trenches filled with crushed white chalk that form the outline of a 100m-long horse). As this part of The Ridgeway is quite remote, it is likely that you will be walking in blissful solitude, and only meet a couple of dog-walkers or fellow Ridgeway-hikers on the way – probably a welcome break from the day to day hustle and bustle of cities. Beyond the Goring Gap, the route descends into the valley of the River Thames, and the Trail will continue its journey into the Chiltern Hills AONB - a much softer landscape.

East of the River Thames – Streatley to Ivinghoe Beacon

As the Trail reaches the Thames, it changes its character. Instead of vast, open landscapes, the dominant theme will be woodlands, which will provide a refreshing and tranquil backdrop for the ascents and descents of the Trail. This section of the Trail is the perfect blend of riverbank walking and ascending into the Chilterns. Here, The Ridgeway passes through or near small picturesque villages and market towns such as Wigginton, Aldbury, Princes Risborough, Wendover, and Tring. Highlights of this section will include the Chequers Estate (traditional country home of the prime minister), spectacular views over the Vale of Aylesbury, and the final climb to the tip of Ivinghoe Beacon, after which you will be rewarded with splendid views and a wonderful sense of achievement.

Itinerary options

We have itinerary options from 6 to 10 nights, but we can tailor your tour to your personal preferences. Our favourite is the 9-night option, which is easy/moderate grade. Prices for this tour from £830pp based on 2 people sharing a room.

The below mileages include the distances walked from the trail to your accommodation, and back to the trail the following morning.

Easy/moderate - 9 nights (Price from £830pp, based on two people sharing a double room.)

Day 1: Overnight in Avebury.
Day 2: Walk from Avebury to Ogbourne St George – 10 
½ miles. Overnight in Ogbourne St George.
Day 3: Walk from Ogbourne St George to Bishopstone – 10 ½ miles. Overnight in Bishopstone.
Day 4: Walk from Bishopstone to Letcombe Regis – 11 
¾ miles. Overnight in Letcombe Regis.
Day 5: Walk from Letcombe Regis to Streatley/Goring – 16 ½ miles. Overnight in Streatley/Goring.
Day 6: Walk from Streatley/Goring to Watlington – 15 ¾ miles. Overnight in Watlington.
Day 7: Walk from Watlington to Princes Risborough – 11 
½ miles. Overnight in Princes Risborough.
Day 8: Walk from Princes Risborough to Wigginton – 13 ½ miles. Overnight in Wigginton.
Day 9: Walk from WIgginton to Ivinghoe – 6 
¾ miles. Overnight in Ivinghoe.
Day 10: Depart after breakfast.

Key Points

Friday and Saturday nights may incur a  supplement.

WHAT'S INCLUDED
Up to date and easy to follow route notes and maps in a handy sized booklet.
Voice navigation and offline maps in a mobile app.
A helpful and comprehensive information pack, including notes on where to eat and what to visit.
Hand-picked, high quality accommodation with en-suite facilities.
Breakfast each morning.
Upgraded accommodation available on request.
Door to door luggage services.
Local knowledgeable support and assistance when you need it, not just Monday - Friday, 9-5.

WHEN TO GO
Any time of year but we suggest May to October. Departure on any day subject to accommodation availability.

REMEMBER - many of our walks can be shortened by using either public transport or taxis. We can also adapt these routes to suit the time you have available and your walking capabilities.
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