The Ridgeway: Walking Britain’s Oldest Road
- The Thames Valley landscape – a mixture of ancient woodlands and well-kept country villages
- The chalky Chiltern Hills – an undulating path of woodland and wide chalk downs
- Ivinghoe Beacon – a prominent landmark standing 233m high in the Chiltern Hills
- The world-famous Avebury Stone Circle – a designated World Heritage Site dating from 2800BC
- Wayland’s Smithy – a Neolithic tomb site with a fantastic legend attached to it
- Silbury Hill –the largest man-made mound in Europe
- Liddington Castle (Hillfort) – an Iron Age hill fort and the site where King Arthur defeated the Saxon army
- Uffington White Horse – a huge 370ft long white horse dating from the Bronze Age
- Various fascinating hill forts including Grim’s Ditch, Barbury and Pulpit Hill
Walking the Ridgeway
The 87 mile (139 km) Ridgeway National Trail begins at Overton Hill, near Avebury, and heads east on a long and particularly beautiful stretch of downland path along the North Wessex Downs - with wide, exhilarating views over the rolling countryside of Wiltshire.
In the Dark Ages, The Ridgeway was the main route for the Saxons and Vikings during their advances into Wessex.
The Ridgeway passes through a great number of Neolitic, Bronze age and Iron age sites such as the famous Uffington White Horse. Many observers have noted the proximity of the Ridgeway with the rash of crop circles that have emerged in the countryside alongside the route. The concentric shapes are
The National Trail is well signposted, and fairly easy to follow with plenty of small village and towns on the way to rest, recuperate and stock up any supplies you may need while walking. Our itineraries work with the prevailing wind, meaning that although long, open sections are exposed to strong winds at times, progress along this direction is a bit easier.
The Ridgeway features many long stretches through field, woodland and rights of way through farmland - mainly gentle walking along ridges and chalk valleys. The route is not without its share of short steep sections, however the majority of the route is fairly gentle and workable. Towards the end of the trail, where the route meets the North Wessex Downs you'll find steep sections are more prevalent. However, walking through this designated Area of Outstanding Beauty, the views you get from a steep climb up the hills are definitely worthwhile.
Our The Ridgeway Itineraries
Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon
Distance: 87 miles (140km)
TR1 ~ Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon ~ 8 / 7 classic
|Day 1:||Arrive East Kennet/Avebury|
|Day 2:||Avebury/Overton Hill to Liddlington Hill||15.5 miles/25 km|
|Day 3:||Liddlington Hill to Wantage exit||12 miles/19 km|
|Day 4:||Wantage exit to Goring||14.5 miles/23.2 km|
|Day 5:||Goring to Watlington exit||14.5 miles/23.2 km|
|Day 6:||Watlington exit to Lower Cadsden||12.5 miles/20 km|
|Day 7:||Lower Cadsden to Aldbury||13.5 miles/21.6 km|
|Day 8:||Aldbury to Ivinghoe Beacon and return to Aldbury||8 miles/12.8 km|
|Day 9:||Depart Aldbury|
TR2 ~ Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon ~ 9 / 8 classic
|Day 1:||Arrive East KennettAvebury|
|Day 2:||East Kennett/Avebury to Ogbourne St George||9.5 miles/15 km|
|Day 3:||Ogbourne St George to Woolstone||12 miles/19 km|
|Day 4:||Woolstone to Wantage exit||6.5 miles/10.5km|
|Day 5:||Wantage exit to Goring Gap||14.5 miles/23.2 km|
|Day 6:||Goring Gap to Watlington exit||14.5 miles/23.2 km|
|Day 7:||Watlington exit to Lower Cadsden||12.5 miles/20 km|
|Day 8:||Lower Cadsden to Aldbury||13.5 miles/11.6 km|
|Day 9:||Aldbury to Ivinghoe Beacon and return to Aldbury||8 miles/12.8 km|
|Day 10:||Depart Aldbury|
- Good standard accommodation at a mixture of Guesthouses, Farmhouses, local Inns and B&B’s with en-suite or private facilities wherever possible
- Luggage transfers
- Personal transfer between accommodation and path that form a part of our standard package
- Route planning
- Walk pack including Trail Guide and mapping, itinerary, accommodation directions and route notes, lunch and dinner information, restaurant recommendations and holiday planning details
You choose which day you would like your holiday to start on. We will book your holiday in accordance with your requirements.
Our The Ridgeway holidays are available to walk March to October.
The climate of Wiltshire county area is generally mild, but where you're walking along wide open fields, exposed to the elements you may find quite strong winds.
If you're arriving by public transport, you'll want to get the train to Swindon (regular services from the south, east and west) and from there catch the bus to Avebury (No. 49, runs hourly).
If you're driving down to the start of the route, car parking can be arranged at your first night’s accommodation at a rate of £5 per night (you do not pay for the night you are staying there).
Nearest railway stations are located in Swindon (for East Kennett/Avebury) and Tring.
Buses from Swindon to Avebury (approximately 30 minutes journey)
Taxi transfer can be arranged from Swindon to Avebury - prices available upon request.
The Ridgeway Client Reviews
4.9/5 based on 24 reviews
Very well organised. This holiday had a terrific impact on our health and well-being. The Ridgeway has history that we love and the views were amazing. Out B&B or pub at the end of the daily walk was a mystery we enjoyed too.
S. Crowley, Ipswich - July 2021
A well organised walk, good service. Planning West Highland Way and Great Glen Way next.
Sonia - June 2021
Celtic Trails were well organised, good clear instructions. The Ridgeway is a lovely walk of 2 distinct halves - the first half is down walking along the ridge, with fantastic views. The second half more hilly in shady woods. All easy walking.
Ric & Claire BELFIELD - June 2021
Well organised, B&Bs high standard - did recommend to other walkers were keen to use you in the future. Cam back very relaxed.
Anon. - September 2019
The best this is that we always knew where to sleep and eat and where to find food for the next day and ... no search for rooms by myself. Fresh air all day long, good sleep, no thoughts about everyday life or work. My legs hurt, but I feel so refreshed :-)
Bettina - September 2019
Celtic Trails took care of all the details - all we had to do was walk. This walk gave us increased confidence in our abilities.
K & T Thedell - September 2019
A great walk - the accommodation seems to be of a better standard. An excellent company.
D. Joyce - September 2019
Prior to this holiday, we had only ever done walks independently but the smoothness of your organisation has convinced me of using you again. Well worth the extra cost, because you can relax and enjoy the walk.
D. Stephens - August 2019
Previously, we have organised accommodations ourselves and carried our belongings. We have and will recommend Celtic Trails to others - excellent organisation and service, helpful above and beyond the call. The organisation , accommodation, food were all so good, it made the walk totally relaxing and enjoyable.
Thompson - July 2019
We chose this walk for its history and archaeology, links to Richard Jeffries, Edward Thomas, following footsteps going back 1000s of years. Also, a chance to see some flowers and birds we don't see at home. The hedgerows, full of elderflower and honeysuckle smelt wonderful. Loved seeing the line of the Ridgeway stretching across the landscape. We have only ever walked with Celtic Trails - they can be relied on to give you all the information and help you need to have an excellent time - no worries!
K. Gibbs - June 2019
Celtic Trails provided a better standard of accommodation than other companies we've walked with. I would recommend them to a friend.
Anon. - June 2019
Celtic Trails are a friendly company with excellent information and first class B&Bs.
S.W. - April 2019
Celtic Trails were very helpful.
Timoney & Kencole - September 2018
Everything went smoothly booking the trip. All trip directions and info was very good. Also, the arrangements you made for out cab at the end of the walk was much appreciated. We most enjoyed being able to move along a route with details handled in advance for s, knowing that our evening accommodations were already secured and would be varied, but always very nice.
Anon - August 2018
We have now returned home after a very enjoyable walk in the English countryside. We enjoyed our tour brilliantly. Clearly, your ability to organize tours like ours is working like clockwork and there is nothing much to point a finger at. I will not hesitate to let you organize our next adventure.
M.O. - June 2018
The best thing was having everything arranged for us. We were also surprised at the amount of wildlife we saw.
Chambers - June 2018
Heard of you via word of mouth and you didn't disappoint. You compared very well with another company we have used previously. We most enjoyed the exceptional weather, good walking conditions and beautiful countryside.
C.T. - May 2018
Very well organised - we would choose you again. The accommodation was all good/excellent, with good service.
M&S Hobhouse - May 2018
All we can say is THANK YOU!
D&C Thomas - May 2018
Just as promised. Excellent.
J&K Ludders - May 2018
"Impeccable logistics, we always trust Celtic Trails to select first-rate accommodation - our first choice for walks in the UK."
H - April 2018
"Celtic Trails' organisation was excellent."
Law - May 2017
"A brilliant holiday well organised."
Rastall - April 2017
"Celtic Trails exceeds expectations. [I enjoyed] taking the walk in the knowledge that everything else was organised for us. I have to admit we did not believe everything would go so smoothly, but everything worked according to your very detailed plans. Thank you for making this such an excellent walk."
Rider - July 2016
Booking Request - The Ridgeway
We will check your details and come back to you within two working days with a personalised estimate based on your requirements. We will then formally request a deposit of £150 per person (£100 per person for a single centre break) and book all your arrangements - find out about our full booking process here.
Please note this does not constitute a booking confirmation, we kindly ask you to refrain from booking any travel until we have confirmed all your arrangements.Still Have Questions?
If you are still unsure on any of your requirements, please do enquire with us first and one of our friendly team will be happy to help you with any queries you have.
Enquire About The Ridgeway
Our lines are open: 9am to 5pm (GMT), Monday to Friday
Please note: exact accommodation booked will depend on availability.