Following one of the oldest routes in Europe, the Ridgeway National Walking Trail is a must for walkers of all ages who love ancient history, big skies and wide landscapes!
Starting from Overthorpe Hill near the ancient stone circle at Avebury, the Ridgeway wends its way east along the ridge of the chalk hills of southern England to Ivinghoe Beacon in Hertfordshire. It passes through three amazing English landscapes and areas of outstanding natural beauty. The wide skies and open spaces high on the North Wessex Downs in the west are separated from the beech woodlands of the Chiltern Hills in the east by the Thames Valley with its majestic river and picturesque villages.
This ancient route, considered old in medieval times, passes close to some of England’s most impressive and well-preserved prehistoric monuments. Iron Age forts at Barbury Castle and Uffington Castle, the Neolithic burial a Waylands Smithy, and the Uffington White Horse that’s sculptured into the chalk high up on the ridge, to name but a few. However, perhaps the most impressive is the sacred landscape at Avebury near to Overton Hill at the western end of the trail, with Bronze Age round barrows overlooking the atmospheric and magical Avebury Stone Circle (the largest in Europe), Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow.
On our carefully planned self-guided tours you are free to explore the Ridgeway on your own or with a group of friends and at a pace that you choose. We will book hand-picked accommodation, organise luggage transfers and provide maps and guidebook, leaving you to relax and enjoy your holiday without any of the usual stresses and strains.
You too can follow the Ridgeway trail in the footsteps of fellow travellers dating from as far back as the Stone Age.
Distance: 87 miles (140 km) in full, from Overton Hill in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire.
Grade: Moderate to strenuous. There are many fairly long flat sections along the Ridgeway, but you will encounter a few steep ascents from the valley to the top of the ridge, near the eastern and western ends of the trail.
Average duration: Overthorpe Hill to Ivinghoe Beacon (full route): 6 to 9 walking days. Overthorpe Hill to Goring and Streatley (part route): 3 or 4 walking days, and Goring and Streatley to Ivinghoe Beacon (part route): 3 to 5 walking days.
Time of year: The Ridgeway can be walked at any time of the year. It is especially beautiful in the spring when the beech woodlands are carpeted in bluebells and the leaves on the trees are unfurling. It is also lovely in the autumn when the landscape is painted with the bright colours of autumn leaves. Winter can be more challenging, in bad weather there are strong prevailing winds from the south-west and sometimes snow and ice. So in winter it is best walked from west to east with the wind behind you.
Standard tours: Please click here for the prices of our standard tours and to see what’s included. If these don’t quite meet your requirements, we will be happy to provide a customised tour.
Here are some of the towns and villages along the route where you can enjoy a pub lunch or a relaxing overnight stay
|Ogbourne St George||9||15|
|Uffington White Horse||23||36|
|Goring and Streatley||43||68|
With accommodation and luggage transfers taken care of, you are free to relax and enjoy the walk at your own pace, leaving you to immerse yourself in the history and fine vistas that this ancient track offers.
With prices starting from as little as £80 per person per night, based on two people sharing in B&B accommodation, this historic trail surely delivers excellent value for money.
If the Ridgeway is the trail you would like to explore, please contact us here to discuss your individual requirements.