The Ridgeway National Trail runs for 87 miles from Overton Hill near Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon just north of Aldbury. The entire length of the trail lies within two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the North Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills, and passes through no fewer than five of the greenest counties in England – Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. The trail also visits a number of National Nature Reserves, home to a vast array of birdlife, butterflies and wildflowers.
With a history dating back some 5,000 years, The Ridgeway is the oldest road in Britain, perhaps even in Europe. A way for prehistoric man to travel across the land on higher and naturally drier ground. For thousands of years it was a drove road, used for the transportation of livestock and goods. From their elevated position travellers would benefit from the relative safety of being able to see any dangers around them. Today, it’s a place of leisure, where walkers, cyclists and horse riders can exercise and enjoy the stunning scenery on offer.
The North Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills offer two quite differing landscapes and walking experiences, yet remain really quite complementary. From the World Heritage Site at Avebury, the trail travels north east along the chalk downs with the reward of fine views stretching into the distance and the pleasure of walking on broad, springy grassland. The Ridgeway drops down to cross the River Thames at Goring before climbing into the Chiltern Hills. This a more diverse landscape of open downland, chalk escarpment, farmland and woodland, utilising a variety of footpaths, bridleways and tracks.
The Ridgeway isn’t simply a long distance walking trail, it’s a historic monument too, dating back to the Neolithic Age. Some of the earliest archaeological remains to be found on the trail include Avebury Castle and the long barrows at Wayland’s Smithy and West Kennett. The Iron Age brought impressive Hill Forts with Barbury, Segsbury and Pulpit Hill among those visited on the trail. Grim’s Ditch likely dates from this period too. There are many chalk carvings on the downs, the most famous of these, the Uffington White Horse, dating back 3,000 years to the Bronze Age.
Step back in time and follow those who for five millennia have worshiped upon and walked The Ridgeway.
We offer 3 holidays on The Ridgeway. We have the whole route, a hugely rewarding 91 mile journey from Avebury to Aldbury and onto Ivinghoe Beacon, combining the North Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills, walked over 6 to 9 days.
We have the option to walk the 42 miles of the North Wessex Downs from Avebury to Goring over 3 or 4 days, enjoying relatively easy walking over a predominantly wide open chalky grassland where one down succeeds another with the continual reward of far reaching views.
Finally we have the option to walk the 49 miles of the Chiltern Hills from Goring to Ivinghoe Beacon over 3, 4 or 5 days. This a more diverse landscape comprising open downland, chalk escarpment and farmland, following a variety of footpaths, bridleways, tracks and woodland trails.
Please bear in mind that the distances each day are trail distances only. They do not take into account walking to your accommodation. On some days the accommodation might be on or close to the trail but due to the nature of this route following an escarpment you will on a number of days need to walk one or two miles, much of it along unpaved minor roads, to get to your overnight accommodation.
Avebury to Aldbury 91 miles/146 km
We offer 4 itineraries walking the whole route. The 6 and 7 day walks start with a lengthy 17 mile day. There are further 17 mile days at the end of the 6 day walk while the 7 day option has a more gentle finish. Our 8 and 9 day walks start with easier 9 mile days. The 9 day option has the most gentle finish with the final 3 days all being under 10 miles.
|Code||Length||Average per day||Price range|
|RG7||6 days walking (7 nights)||15 miles/24 km||£790 - £999||Full Info Book|
|RG8||7 days walking (8 nights)||13 miles/21 km||£909 - £1153||Full Info Book|
|RG9||8 days walking (9 nights)||11 miles/18 km||£1001 - £1280||Full Info Book|
|RG10||9 days walking (10 nights)||10 miles/16 km||£1129 - £1443||Full Info Book|
The Ridgeway: The North Wessex Downs
Avebury to Goring 42 miles/68 km
We offer 2 itineraries walking the North Wessex Downs section of the trail. The 3 day walk starts with a 17 mile day while the 4 day option takes things easier with a 9 mile day and even has a gentle 6 mile penultimate day ahead of a lengthy 15 mile finish. Our 5 day itinerary can also be booked with dog-friendly accommodation. Please select the code ending D if you would like to bring your dog with you.
|Code||Length||Average per day||Price range|
|RGW4||3 days walking (4 nights)||14 miles/23 km||£478 - £582||Full Info Book|
|RGW5||4 days walking (5 nights)||11 miles/18 km||£581 - £720||Full Info Book|
|RGW5D||4 days walking (5 nights)||11 miles/18 km||£581 - £720||Full Info Book|
The Ridgeway: The Chiltern Hills
Goring to Aldbury 49 miles/79 km
We offer 3 itineraries walking the Chiltern Hills section of the trail. All 3 begin with a 15 mile day. The 3 day walk continues with 2 lengthy days of 17 miles while the 4 and 5 day walks take things a little easier. The 5 day option especially so with the final 3 days all being under 10 miles.