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The Ridgeway

The Ridgeway

A self-guided walking holiday along Britain's oldest road, travelling from Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon.

7 to 9 nights
93 miles
Moderate to Demanding

From £720 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

An ancient track established by prehistoric man once stretched across the country from Dorset to Norfolk, and the Ridgeway follows it from Avebury 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 is a well-signposted and manageable route.

© 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.

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.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
RIDG1 From East Kennett(T) to Ivinghoe Beacon 7 nights, 6 days walking Demanding£720
RIDG2 From East Kennett(T) to Ivinghoe Beacon 8 nights, 7 days walking Moderate / Demanding£820
RIDG3 From East Kennett(T) to Ivinghoe Beacon 9 nights, 8 days walking Moderate£925

The Ridgeway 7 nights, 6 days walking

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

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.


Travel to East Kennett(T) where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

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

Day 2

Liddington 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. 15 miles (24km) / 1414 ft (431 m) ascent

Day 5

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

Day 6

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


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; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.

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
£55.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£45.00 per person / per night

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

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

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

An extra night is the perfect way to extend your holiday, whether you spend it exploring the sights and sounds along the trail, or simply resting your weary feet.

Avebury is the most obvious choice for an extra night, so that you can explore the many superb prehistoric sites around the village including the Avebury Circles, Silbury Hill, the Sanctuary, Seven Barrows, the West Kennet Long Barrow, the East Kennet Long Barrow, the Devil's Den and Windmill Hill, a fascinating Neolithic causewayed enclosure.

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 11.5 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. Various bus services run from Tring/Aldbury/Wigginton (for Ivinghoe Beacon).

From London - Trains run from London Paddington station to Pewsey. From there a taxi will be required to East Kennett.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to catch the Train from Tring to Pewsey and then from here take a taxi to East Kennett.

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.

Routes on this trail

The Ridgeway - West Section
4 to 5 nights
45 miles
Dog friendly
From £420 per person
A walk along the historically rich landscape of the Wessex Downs, from Avebury to Goring.Find Out More
The Ridgeway - East Section
4 to 5 nights
48 miles
Dog friendly
From £420 per person
A walk from Goring to Ivinghoe Beacon through the pretty villages and woodland of the Chiltern Hills.Find Out More

Customer reviews from the The Ridgeway

“I particularly liked the contrast between the downland west and the wooded Chiltern east.”
Dr Bailey, 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
“A wonderful holiday. I enjoyed every step of the way. Absolutely faultless. Thank you very much indeed. Now thinking of next holiday.”
Mr Ames, UK
“Enjoyed traversing the landscape day by day. The variety of accommodation was fun and all comfortable and welcoming.”
Ms Germain, UK
“The signage along the way was brilliant.”
Mr Mackenzie, Scotland
“Very well organised like always.”
Mr Graber, Switzerland
“The Ridgeway is a beautiful and for us, relatively easy walk. All the instructions provided were helpful and the luggage service worked very well. As usual we met a range of interesting people and had a good range of the British weather!”
Mr Cribb, UK
“An excellent hike, especially the first 3 days to Goring. We were lucky with the weather so got to see all the views and had time to look around some of the Neolithic sites nearby too. Almost all the accommodation was of a very high standard.”
Miss Steggall, UK
“We achieved what we wanted to in walking the Ridgeway and thought the accommodation and organisation very good. The quality of food was excellent, which is important to hungry walkers.”
Mr Goddard, UK
"Poppies in Avebury" by Brian Rutherford (2019) "Poppies in Avebury" by Brian Rutherford (2019)
"Coombe Hill" by Stuart Inglis (2017) "Coombe Hill" by Stuart Inglis (2017)
"Ivinghoe" by Stuart Inglis (2017) "Ivinghoe" by Stuart Inglis (2017)
"Thames at Streatley" by Stuart Inglis (2017) "Thames at Streatley" by Stuart Inglis (2017)
"Ridgeway Footpath" by Stuart Inglis (2017) "Ridgeway Footpath" by Stuart Inglis (2017)
"Wendover" by Stuart Inglis (2017) "Wendover" by Stuart Inglis (2017)