The Ridgeway National Trail stretches 87 miles (139km) across five counties, starting at Overton Hill near Avebury in Wiltshire and passing through Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire and ending at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire.
The Ridgeway is often described as ‘the oldest road in Britain’. It’s clear that parts of the route were in use 5000 years ago (or more). The Ridgeway, as we know it today, is in fact the middle section of the Greater Ridgeway, an ancient system of tracks that stretches from Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast up to Hunstanton on the Norfolk coast.
Day One: Overton Hill to Ogbourne St George – 9 1/4 miles.
This section of the walk has many interesting sights, including the historically rich village of Avebury.
Day Two: Ogbourne St George to Sparsholt Firs – 16 miles.
This stage provides easy walking along incredibly broad grassy tracks. There are some great views plus several interesting archaeological sites and natural phenomena worth investigating. This is the most remote section of the walk.
Day Three: Sparsholt Firs to Streatley – 17.5 miles.
An easy and uneventful section of the walk.
Day Four: Streatley to Watlington – 15 1/2 miles.
This stage of the walk is most enjoyable, especially after the previous sections. From the twin towns of Streatley and Goring the path follows the Thames for around 5 1/2 miles.
Day Five: Watlington to Wendover -17 1/4 miles.
Although this section is pleasant enough, it’s fairly uneventful. The walking is easy with only a few steep sections – so you can really slow down, relax and enjoy the scenery.
Day Six: Wendover to Ivinghoe Beacon – 11 1/2 miles.
Most of this last section winds its way through beautiful mature woods but it is a steady uphill slog for most of the way.