The Ridgeway

A walk along Britain's Oldest Road through the ancient landscapes of the Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills.
The Ridgeway Map

click on the map to enlarge

The Ridgeway runs from Avebury in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. The trail follows part of an ancient track established by prehistoric man that stretched across the country from Dorset to Norfolk. It passes through two distinct landscapes.

The western half of the trail, from Avebury to Goring, follows a broad track along the North Wessex Downs, with far-reaching views over rolling open downland to the south and the wide expanse of the Thames Valley to the north.

The eastern half, from Goring to Ivinghoe Beacon, begins by following the banks of the River Thames before heading into the Chiltern Hills, through a landscape of beech woodlands and fertile farmland dotted with attractive villages and towns. The Ridgeway has a long and rich history. Stone Age man left the long barrows at West Kennet, Wayland's Smithy, and Whiteleaf Hill as well as the extraordinary stone circle at Avebury and Silbury Hill, the largest man-made mound in Europe. Bronze Age people left the round barrows that litter the route and the Uffington White Horse, one of the most famous hill figures in the country. Grim's Ditch and vast hill forts including Barbury, Liddington, Uffington, Segsbuy, Pulpit Hill and Ivinghoe Beacon were built during the Iron Age. In the Dark Ages The Ridgeway was the main route for the Saxons and Vikings during their advances into Wessex. From medieval times until about 200 years ago, it was drovers moving livestock, rather than armies, who used The Ridgeway.

We also offer the Ridgeway as a trail running holiday, for those eager to enjoy this trail at speed. Click here to find out more.

Holiday Highlights

  • Experiencing the contrast of landscapes, from the open rolling hills of the Wessex Downs to the woodlands and charming villages of the Chilterns.
  • Visiting the World Heritage Site of Avebury, with one of Europe’s largest stone circles.
  • Admiring the beautiful wildflowers, hedgerows and villages of the Chilterns.

Testimonials

"Well signposted route, relatively easy walking, good accommodation. And generally good weather too!"
- Ms Olive. UK


The Ridgeway

Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon through rolling open downland, prehistoric sites and pretty Chilterns villages.
Total Distance 91 miles (145.5 km)
Start and Finish Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon
Availability 2nd January to 24th December
click on a photo to enlarge
Ridgeway Avebury
Ridgeway Waylands Smithy
View from Ivinghoe Beacon The Ridgeway
Tour Code Itinerary Tour Price    
RIDG1 7 nights, 6 days walking £590 per person More Information Book Online
RIDG2 8 nights, 7 days walking £665 per person More Information Book Online
RIDG3 9 nights, 8 days walking £750 per person More Information Book Online
Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are walking on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:
£45 per person / per night
£25 per person / per night
You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:
Extra night (Standard)
£60 per person / per night
All of our prices are in British pounds (£). Use our currency converter to convert British pounds (£) to your country’s currency.

The price that you pay includes:

  • accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • door to door luggage transfers for every day of your tour.
  • maps, guidebooks and a tour pack detailing specific information about your holiday.
Don’t have the time for the complete walk?

We also offer The Ridgeway in two sections, giving those with less time the opportunity to complete the trail in stages.


The Ridgeway Taster Break - Western Section

Avebury to Goring through the historically rich landscape of the Wessex Downs.
The Ridgeway - Wessex Downs Map

click on the map to enlarge

Total Distance 42 miles (67 km)
Start and Finish Avebury to Goring
Availability 2nd January to 24th December

The Wessex Downs section of The Ridgeway starts in Avebury and continues along the Western half of the Ridgeway National Trail, visiting some of Britain’s most interesting prehistoric monuments and rolling downland scenery on the way to Goring on the River Thames.

The World Heritage Site of Avebury marks the starting point of the trail. Here, the pretty little village is surrounded by one of the largest Neolithic henge circles in Europe and is testament to the wealth of prehistoric attractions along the trail.

Crossing the rolling fields and gentle ridges of the surrounding Wessex Downs, the trail visits a series of fascinating sites, including the remarkable man-made mound at Silbury Hill, the chambered tomb of West Kennet Long Barrow, one of Wiltshire’s eight visible chalk horses at Hackpen Hill and the Iron Age Hill Fort of Barbury Castle. Soon, the trail arrives in the picturesque village of Ogbourne St George on the River Og.

Continuing along the oldest road in the UK, the trail offers lovely views down to the Og Valley and continues over fields and on woodland pathways past the Iron Age Hillfort of Liddington Castle, which is said to be the location of the Battle of Badon. As the trail arrives in the sleepy town of Foxhill, there may be time to climb the nearby hill of the same name, where there are wonderful views over Swindon and the surrounding area.

Having visited the beautiful woodlands, hedgerows, fields and villages of the Wessex Downs, the trail then reaches one of Wiltshire’s most famous sites, Uffington Castle or White Horse Hill, where the iconic white chalk figure has remained unspoilt for 3000 years.

The trail then continues along gentle tracks to the market town of Wantage in the Vale of the White Horse, which is famed for being the birthplace of Alfred the Great. With views of the Chilterns in the distance, the trail crosses through Streatley and over the River Thames, finally arriving in Goring, a pretty Oxfordshire town which rests in the Goring Gap. This charming village is in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a wonderfully relaxing location to end your walk along the Wessex Downs section of the Ridgeway.

Holiday Highlights

  • Following the Uk’s oldest road through the rolling downland landscape of the North Wessex Downs area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Visiting the numerous prehistoric sites along the trail, including Avebury, Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow and Liddington Castle.
  • Admiring the famous chalk hill figure of the Uffington White Horse.

Testimonials

"We enjoyed the walk very much, lots of beautiful wild flowers, wonderful views, interesting archaeological sites!"
- Mrs Groen. The Netherlands

click on a photo to enlarge
Ridgeway West Kennet Long Barrow
Ridgeway Silbury Hill
Ridgeway White Horse Hill
Tour Code Itinerary Tour Price    
RIDW1 4 nights, 3 days walking £355 per person More Information Book Online
RIDW2 5 nights, 4 days walking £440 per person More Information Book Online
Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are walking on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:
£45 per person / per night
£25 per person / per night
You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:
Extra night (Standard)
£60 per person / per night
All of our prices are in British pounds (£). Use our currency converter to convert British pounds (£) to your country’s currency.

The price that you pay includes:

  • accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • door to door luggage transfers for every day of your tour.
  • maps, guidebooks and a tour pack detailing specific information about your holiday.

The Ridgeway Taster Break - Eastern Section

Goring to Ivinghoe Beacon through the pretty villages and woodland of the Chiltern Hills.
The Ridgeway - Chiltern Hills Map

click on the map to enlarge

Total Distance 48 miles (76.5 km)
Start and Finish Goring to Ivinghoe Beacon
Availability 2nd January to 24th December

The Chilterns section of the Ridgeway starts in the charming village of Goring and continues through the wonderful countryside of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to Ivinghoe Beacon.

Nestled besides the River Thames in the Goring Gap, which divides the Berkshire Downs and the Chiltern Hills, the pretty town of Goring marks the start of the eastern half of The Ridgeway National Trail. From here, it follows the banks of the River Thames through the Chilterns, passing through a series of quaint villages and charming woodlands before reaching the prehistoric earthwork of Grim’s Ditch.

Soon, the trail arrives in the old market town of Watlington, where a further walk up Watlington Hill reveals panoramic views of the countryside below, as well as being the perfect location to spot the majestic Red Kite. The Watlington White Mark is also visible as a curious triangle cut into the white chalk of the hill.

Continuing along the most challenging section of The Ridgeway, the trail joins the ancient path of the Icknield Way, walking through sheltered woodland and open chalk grasslands filled with wildflowers, before arriving in Saunderton, on the outskirts of the small town of Princes Risborough. Here, the chalk carving of the Whiteleaf Cross dominates the hillside and there is an abundance of butterfly and plant life to enjoy, before the trail passes the impressive 16th century house of Chequers, the official residence of British Prime Ministers since 1921.

After reaching the summit of Coombe Hill, the trail descends to the market town of Wendover, before continuing through Beech woods and chalk downlands to Wigginton. Finally, the trail passes through the Duchies Piece Nature Reserve and Pitstone Hill, a Site of Special Scientific Interest where there are wonderful views over the Vale of Aylesbury. A final climb to the top of Ivinghoe Beacon will ensure that the end of this walk is truly worthwhile, with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

Holiday Highlights

  • Visiting a series of charming villages such as Goring-on-Thames, Britwell Salome, Princes Risborough and Wigginton.
  • Catching a glimpse of the impressive, but rare Red Kite in the skies around Watlington.
  • Admiring the impressive residence of British Prime Ministers as you pass through the ground of Chequers.

Testimonials

"Thank you for all your efficiency and choosing such excellent accommodation we had a really wonderful trip."
- Mrs Hughes. UK

click on a photo to enlarge
Ridgeway view from Coombe Hill
Ridgeway Goring on Thames
View over the Chilterns from the Ridgeway
Tour Code Itinerary Tour Price    
RIDC1 4 nights, 3 days walking £355 per person More Information Book Online
RIDC2 5 nights, 4 days walking £440 per person More Information Book Online
Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are walking on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:
£45 per person / per night
£25 per person / per night
You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:
Extra night (Standard)
£60 per person / per night
All of our prices are in British pounds (£). Use our currency converter to convert British pounds (£) to your country’s currency.

The price that you pay includes:

  • accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • door to door luggage transfers for every day of your tour.
  • maps, guidebooks and a tour pack detailing specific information about your holiday.