Trek Notes - England

The Ridgeway

General Information
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.

Total distance: 85 miles (137km)
Duration: 9 nights, 8 days walking
Minimum/maximum daily distances: 6½ miles (10.5km)/14.5 miles (23km)
Waymarking: The route is a waymarked National Trail and is very easy to follow.
Season: All year

Starting point of holiday: Avebury
End of holiday: Ivinghoe Beacon (accommodation in Tring)
Most convenient major city and International airport: London
Outward journey from London to Avebury: There is a fast and frequent rail service between London Paddington and Swindon. The journey takes approximately 1 hour 50 minutes. From Swindon railway station catch a bus or taxi to Avebury.
Return journey to London at the end of the holiday: There is a fast and frequent rail service from Tring to London Euston. The journey takes about 45 minutes.

Day 1: Travel to Avebury, where your first nights accommodation has been booked.

Day 2: Avebury to Ogbourne St George. 9 miles (14.5km)

Day 3: Ogbourne St George to Woolstone. 12 miles (19km)

Day 4: Woolstone to Wantage. 6½ miles (10.5km)

Day 5: Wantage to Goring. 14 ½ miles (23km)

Day 6: Goring to Watlington. 14½ miles (23km)

Day 7: Watlington to Princes Risborough. 11 miles (17.5km)

Day 8: Princes Risborough to Tring. 12 miles (19km)

Day 9: Tring to Ivinghoe Beacon (and return to Tring). 10 miles (16km)

Day 10: Depart from Tring after breakfast

Accommodation & Meals
9 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected hotels, inns and guesthouses.
Full English breakfast.

What’s Included
Door to door luggage transfer.
Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook describing the trail
An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, town plans, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
Emergency assistance.

Extra nights/rest days
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. The pleasant little market town Wantage is another good choice. Prices Risborough, an attractive small Chiltern town is also worth considering for an extra night.

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