The Ridgeway

The Ridgeway

A walk along Britain's oldest road through the ancient landscapes of the Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills.

4 to 12 nights
45-93 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding

From £515 per person

Find your holiday

About the trail

An ancient track established by prehistoric man once stretched across the country from Dorset to Norfolk, and the Ridgeway follows it from East Kennet to Ivinghoe Beacon. The trail passes through two distinct landscapes on the way: the rolling North Wessex Downs, and a landscape of beech woodland and farmland dotted with historic towns in the Chiltern Hills.

The long and rich history of these areas is clear throughout, in extraordinary stone circles, ancient barrows, and the striking figure of the Uffington White Horse. The Ridgeway walk is a well-signposted and manageable route overall, and is well worth exploring.

We offer multiple holiday options along this trail. If you wish to experience the entire trail, simply select the first option from the list below.

Choose your route

  • This route includes dog friendly tour options The Ridgeway
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options The Ridgeway - East Section
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options The Ridgeway - West Section

Dog friendly tours available

Dogs are welcome on select routes along this trail. Look for the pawprint icon when choosing your holiday.

Trail running tours available

We also organise trail running holidays along this route. Find out more.

About this route

7 to 12 nights
93 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding
2nd January to 24th December
Includes Dog-Friendly Tours

From £915 per person

The Ridgeway

Book a walking holiday along the Ridgeway and follow an ancient track established by prehistoric man. This undulating trail once stretched across the country from Dorset all the way to Norfolk, and the Ridgeway follows in those past footsteps from East Kennet to Ivinghoe Beacon. The trail is 93 miles long and passes through two distinct landscapes on the way: the rolling North Wessex Downs, and a landscape of beech woodland and farmland dotted with historic towns in the Chiltern Hills.

The rich history of these areas is clear throughout, represented by extraordinary stone circles, ancient barrows, and the striking figure of the Uffington White Horse. The Ridgeway is a well-signposted and manageable route.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
RIDG1 From East Kennett(T) to Ivinghoe Beacon 7 nights, 6 days walking Demanding £915
RIDG2 From East Kennett(T) to Ivinghoe Beacon 8 nights, 7 days walking Moderate / Demanding £1040
RIDG3 From East Kennett(T) to Ivinghoe Beacon 9 nights, 8 days walking Moderate £1170
RIDG4 From East Kennett(T) to Ivinghoe Beacon 12 nights, 11 days walking Easy / Moderate £1550

The Ridgeway 7 nights, 6 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights

Important information

On reaching Ivinghoe Beacon, you will need to retrace your steps back along The Ridgeway Trail to your accommodation for your last night. This return walk to Tring, Aldbury or Wigginton should be around five miles depending on the location of your accommodation and is included in the stated mileage on this day.

Start

Travel to East Kennett(T) where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

East Kennett(T) to Liddington(L). 16 miles (26km) / 1234 ft (376 m) ascent

Day 2

Liddington(L) to Letcombe Regis(L). 13 miles (21km) / 863 ft (263 m) ascent

Day 3

Letcombe Regis(L) to Goring. 15 miles (24km) / 659 ft (201 m) ascent

Day 4

Goring to Watlington(L). 15 miles (24km) / 1414 ft (431 m) ascent

Day 5

Watlington(L) to Wendover(L). 17 miles (27km) / 1726 ft (526 m) ascent

Day 6

Wendover(L) to Ivinghoe Beacon. 16 miles (26km) / 1234 ft (376 m) ascent

Finish

Depart from Ivinghoe Beacon after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£70.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£55.00 per person / per night


You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Standard
Interactive
© Contours Walking Holidays The Ridgeway map
East Kennett to Ivinghoe Beacon
93 miles (148 km)
2nd January to 24th December

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.

Spotting the iconic White Horse emblazoned on the hillside in Uffington.

Admiring the beautiful wildflowers, hedgerows and villages of the Chilterns.

What's included?

  • 7 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

Adding an extra night's stay into your walking holiday along the Ridgeway gives you additional time to discover the amazing locations you pass through in greater detail (plus it allows you to rest up before the next leg of your journey!)

The village of Goring sits on the banks of the River Thames in South Oxfordshire and hosts a modest high street with shops, pubs and restaurants, along with two historic churches. Goring is perhaps most well-known for Goring Gap, the dramatic river valley said to have formed during the last Ice Age, which today offers exceptional views across the countryside. Also connected to Goring by a bridge is the bustling village of Streatley, so there is plenty to explore should you choose to spend a rest day here.

After reaching Ivinghoe Beacon and completing your Ridgeway adventure, you may wish to spend an extra night in Aldbury to extend your holiday a little more. This little village and the surrounding area is picturesque and deeply historic, with plenty of local stories to share.Be sure to pay a visit to the nearby National Trust Ashridge Estate, containing 5,000 acres of wildlife-rich woodland, parkland and chalk downland ripe for exploration.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 92.5 miles (148 km)
Duration: 7 nights, 6 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 13 miles (21 km)
Maximum daily distance: 17 miles (27 km)
Code: RIDG1 Grade: Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: East Kennett(T)
End of holiday: Ivinghoe Beacon

Route Profile

The Ridgeway Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major cities and international airports are Bristol, Southampton, London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

By Rail - The nearest rail station to the start of the trail (East Kennett) is at Pewsey (about 9 miles away). However, your accommodation will not be at East Kennett (as there is no suitable accommodation there), so will be at a selection of locations nearby.
For Avebury, the nearest rail stations are at Swindon or Pewsey, (both about 11 miles away).
For Marlborough, Pewsey is the nearest station (about 7 miles away).
For Ogbourne St George, both Swindon and Pewsey are the nearest stations (both about 10.5 miles away).
There is a rail station at the end of the trail (Tring).

By Bus - There is no bus service between Pewsey & East Kennett, so a taxi will be required.
There is no direct bus service from Pewsey to Avebury, so a taxi would be required, but there is a bus service from Swindon to Avebury.
There is a bus from Pewsey to Ogbourne St George Monday to Saturday only, so a taxi will be required on a Sunday. There is also a bus from Swindon to Ogbourne St George, although the Sunday service is very lengthy, so a taxi would be the best option on Sundays.
For other locations, please see www.traveline.info for details of public transport options available.
Various bus services run from Tring/Aldbury/Wigginton (for Ivinghoe Beacon).

From London - Trains run from London Paddington station to both Pewsey and Swindon. From there, see the options above for various locations.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to catch the Train from Tring to Pewsey or Swindon. To complete your journey, please see the options above, depending upon exactly where you started from.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.
Walking accross Whiteleaf Cross 2 - Walking accross Whiteleaf Cross 2
Walking accross Whiteleaf Cross 2 Walking accross Whiteleaf Cross 2
Ridgeway Signpost near Hackpen White Horse - Ridgeway Signpost near Hackpen White Horse
Ridgeway Signpost near Hackpen White Horse Ridgeway Signpost near Hackpen White Horse
Goring Lock - Goring Lock
Goring Lock Goring Lock
Looking toward East Kennett - Looking toward East Kennett
Looking toward East Kennett Looking toward East Kennett
Avebury Henge and Stone Circles - Avebury Henge and Stone Circles
Avebury Henge and Stone Circles Avebury Henge and Stone Circles
Pitstone Hill - Pitstone Hill
Pitstone Hill Pitstone Hill
Avebury Henge and Stone Circles - Avebury Henge and Stone Circles
Avebury Henge and Stone Circles Avebury Henge and Stone Circles
Ivinghoe Beacon - Ivinghoe Beacon
Ivinghoe Beacon Ivinghoe Beacon
Ivinghoe Beacon - Ivinghoe Beacon
Ivinghoe Beacon Ivinghoe Beacon
Hackpen White Horses - Hackpen White Horses
Hackpen White Horses Hackpen White Horses
Resting on the top of White Horse Hill - Resting on the top of White Horse Hill
Resting on the top of White Horse Hill Resting on the top of White Horse Hill
Coombe Hill Monument - Coombe Hill Monument
Coombe Hill Monument Coombe Hill Monument
Hackpen White Horse - Hackpen White Horse
Hackpen White Horse Hackpen White Horse
Coombe Hill Forest - Coombe Hill Forest
Coombe Hill Forest Coombe Hill Forest
Coombe Hill Forest - Coombe Hill Forest
Coombe Hill Forest Coombe Hill Forest
Streatley Bridge in Goring - Streatley Bridge in Goring
Streatley Bridge in Goring Streatley Bridge in Goring
Chilterns Nature Reserve - Chilterns Nature Reserve
Chilterns Nature Reserve Chilterns Nature Reserve
Chilterns Nature Reserve - Chilterns Nature Reserve
Chilterns Nature Reserve Chilterns Nature Reserve
Toward White Horse Hill 2 - Toward White Horse Hill 2
Toward White Horse Hill 2 Toward White Horse Hill 2
Storm Clouds over White Horse Hill - Storm Clouds over White Horse Hill
Storm Clouds over White Horse Hill Storm Clouds over White Horse Hill
"Coombe Hill" by Stuart Inglis (2017) "Coombe Hill" by Stuart Inglis (2017)
Uffington Castle - Uffington Castle
Uffington Castle Uffington Castle
"Ivinghoe" by Stuart Inglis (2017) "Ivinghoe" by Stuart Inglis (2017)
"Ridgeway Footpath" by Stuart Inglis (2017) "Ridgeway Footpath" by Stuart Inglis (2017)
View on Coombe Hill - View on Coombe Hill
View on Coombe Hill View on Coombe Hill
White Horse Hill 2 - White Horse Hill 2
White Horse Hill 2 White Horse Hill 2
"Thames at Streatley" by Stuart Inglis (2017) "Thames at Streatley" by Stuart Inglis (2017)
View on top of Ivinghoe Beacon - View on top of Ivinghoe Beacon
View on top of Ivinghoe Beacon View on top of Ivinghoe Beacon
View at the top of Whiteleaf Cross - View at the top of Whiteleaf Cross
View at the top of Whiteleaf Cross View at the top of Whiteleaf Cross
Toward Ivinghoe Beacon - Toward Ivinghoe Beacon
Toward Ivinghoe Beacon Toward Ivinghoe Beacon
View at the top of White Horse Hill - View at the top of White Horse Hill
View at the top of White Horse Hill View at the top of White Horse Hill
Walking toward Ivinghoe Beacon - Walking toward Ivinghoe Beacon
Walking toward Ivinghoe Beacon Walking toward Ivinghoe Beacon
Walking toward Ivinghoe Beacon 2 - Walking toward Ivinghoe Beacon 2
Walking toward Ivinghoe Beacon 2 Walking toward Ivinghoe Beacon 2
View on Coombe Hill - View on Coombe Hill
View on Coombe Hill View on Coombe Hill
Top of Ivinghoe Beacon - Top of Ivinghoe Beacon
Top of Ivinghoe Beacon Top of Ivinghoe Beacon
View on Pitstone Hill - View on Pitstone Hill
View on Pitstone Hill View on Pitstone Hill
Walking on Hackpen White Horse Hill - Walking on Hackpen White Horse Hill
Walking on Hackpen White Horse Hill Walking on Hackpen White Horse Hill
Avebury Henge and Stone Circles - Avebury Henge and Stone Circles
Avebury Henge and Stone Circles Avebury Henge and Stone Circles
Walking accross Whiteleaf Cross - Walking accross Whiteleaf Cross
Walking accross Whiteleaf Cross Walking accross Whiteleaf Cross
Walking on the White Horse Hill - Walking on the White Horse Hill
Walking on the White Horse Hill Walking on the White Horse Hill
"Wendover" by Stuart Inglis (2017) "Wendover" by Stuart Inglis (2017)
Toward White Horse Hill - Toward White Horse Hill
Toward White Horse Hill Toward White Horse Hill
Walking on Ivinghoe Beacon 2 - Walking on Ivinghoe Beacon 2
Walking on Ivinghoe Beacon 2 Walking on Ivinghoe Beacon 2
Walking on Ivinghoe Beacon - Walking on Ivinghoe Beacon
Walking on Ivinghoe Beacon Walking on Ivinghoe Beacon
White Horse Hill - White Horse Hill
White Horse Hill White Horse Hill
View of River Thames - View of River Thames
View of River Thames View of River Thames
"Poppies in Avebury" by Brian Rutherford (2019) "Poppies in Avebury" by Brian Rutherford (2019)
View from White Horse Hill - View from White Horse Hill
View from White Horse Hill View from White Horse Hill
Signpost on Pitstone Hill - Signpost on Pitstone Hill
Signpost on Pitstone Hill Signpost on Pitstone Hill

Customer reviews from the The Ridgeway

“Very well organised like always.”
Mr Graber, Switzerland
“It was a joy to be out in the fresh air and apart from the occasional cyclist, to be alone on the trail. The route was well signposted throughout and we rarely had to resort to the text of the guide book to find the way. We discovered parts of the country we had not really visited or explored at all and the whole walk was varied, not too strenuous and peaceful. Service was excellent as usual.”
Mr Gill, UK
“Fantastic, everything worked like clockwork.”
Mr Wigglesworth, UK
“Great walk, wonderful scenery, history and interesting people met not to mention 100's of dogs patted! As usual with Contours the overnight accommodation was excellent. I am now wanting to continue along the greater Ridgeway to Norfolk!”
Mrs Lovatt, Belgium
“Absolutely fabulous - well organised and detailed information pack and itinerary”
Miss Harding, UK
“All beds were comfortable and all breakfast good.”
Mr Clingan, UK
“We absolutely enjoyed the holiday that we had.”
Mrs Curtis, UK
“All the accommodation was very good and to a high standard. Thanks again.”
Mrs Robinson, UK
“Enjoyed traversing the landscape day by day. The variety of accommodation was fun and all comfortable and welcoming.”
Ms Germain, UK
Find your holiday