The Ridgeway

The Ridgeway National Trail follows a historic trading route that has been used by travellers, herdsmen and the military for thousands of years. Almost entirely off road this walk starts at Overton Hill, close to Avebury and the largest Stone Circle in Europe. From here you walk broadly north east through some of Southern England's finest countryside as you cross the Wessex Downs of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire before ending your journey at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire.

We have carefully planned itineraries that give you time to visit the many sites of interest and explore the attractive English villages found along the trail. Accommodation each night is in beautiful hotels and traditional country inns.

If you prefer to cycle the trail see our Extreme MTB cycling holiday for the group support we provide.

Most people walk from west to east, starting at Avebury and finishing at Ivinghoe Beacon, as the wind is usually behind you. However you can of course start at Ivinghoe and walk west through Oxfordshire and Wiltshire to Avebury.

The walking distances each day will vary depending on the accommodation you choose each night. Large groups may need to use hotels and inns in towns and villages nearby. We can provide transport for the group between the trail and your accommodation.

On all days there are country pubs to stop for lunch although a small diversion from the trail is usually needed. Alternatively the hotels and inns you stay with can provide a packed lunch, which you collect on departure. Our itineraries have overnight stops at good quality hotels and inns.

Avebury Stone Circle, Avebury, Wiltshire, England

Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon

Day 1 - Avebury to Ogbourne St George - 12 miles / 19 kms
Day 2 - Ogbourne St George to Sparsholt - 14.5 miles / 23 kms
Day 3 - Sparsholt to Compton - 15.5 miles / 25 kms
Day 4 - Compton to Wallingford - 13.5 miles / 22 kms
Day 5 - Wallingford to Aston Rowant - 14 miles / 22.5 kms
Day 6 - Aston Rowant to Wendover - 13 miles / 21 kms
Day 7 - Wendover to Ivinghoe Beacon - 12.5 / 20 kms

The Ridgeway National Trail, Wiltshire, England

Part 1: Avebury to Goring

Day 1 - Avebury to Ogbourne St George - 12 miles / 19 kms
Day 2 - Ogbourne St George to Sparsholt - 14.5 miles / 23 kms
Day 3 - Sparsholt to Compton - 15.5 miles / 25 kms
Day 4 - Compton to Goring - 8.5 miles / 13.5 kms

Goring and Streatley train station has regular train connections to Oxford, Reading and London Paddington.

Oxford skyline, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England

Part 2: Goring to Ivinghoe Beacon

Day 1 - Goring to Wallingford - 7 miles / 11.5 kms
Day 2 - Wallingford to Aston Rowant - 14 miles / 22.5 kms
Day 3 - Aston Rowant to Wendover - 13 miles / 21 kms
Day 4 - Wendover to Ivinghoe Beacon - 12.5 / 20 kms

From the Beacon there is a 20 minute road walk to Ivinghoe village pub for a celebratory drink or a 3.5 mile walk back along the trail to Tring train station.

The walking distances are within the ability of most regular walkers. However should members of the group decide to skip a day we will provide transport to your next hotel. All our holidays include luggage transfers each day so you can enjoy your walk without having to carry a heavy pack.

Booking accommodation is by far the biggest challenge when organising a walking holiday. We have listed some of the better hotels and inns with links to TripAdvisor where you can read customer reviews and check prices and availability.

If you like an early start, when booking accommodation check the time breakfast is served in the morning. All should be able to provide packed lunches. For those finishing late, check when evening meals end.

Marlborough is a compact, pretty town with a good range of restaurants and pubs. It is worth considering spending the night here before starting your walk. Using our minibuses we can drop you at the start of the Ridgeway or you can walk along a bridleway but that adds 2.5 miles to your first day and purists will be upset as you miss the first 2 miles of the trail.

When you arrive at Ivinghoe Beacon the closest hotels and inns are in Aldbury and Tring, which are a 3.5 mile walk or short minibus transfer back along the trail.

For groups of 6 or more people we can help organise your holiday and provide support services during your walk. These include group transport, luggage and group transfers each day, first aid support and an accommodation booking service.

Luggage Transfers

Your bags are collected each morning and moved between hotels and inns leaving you to enjoy each day without having to carry a heavy pack.

Group Transport

With our minibuses and trailers we can transport your group and luggage from your home or airport to the start and back again at the end.

Hotel Reservations

Due to the shortage of accommodation, especially during the summer months, finding rooms for a group can be difficult. Our accommodation booking service can help.

Trail Support

For groups we can provide trail support. A driver and minibus will provide assistance when needed. Your luggage, hot and cold drinks and food will be available in the vehicle.

Guiding

Navigation along the footpath is straightforward but some groups enjoy having a local guide walk with them to provide help, encouragement and local information.

Local Transfers

On long days walking distances can be reduced by descending to a road. We will then meet you and provide minibus transport to your accommodation.

There is parking at the start of the trail near Avebury although it is a little isolated. There is also a car park in Marlborough. We can meet you at your parked car to collect your luggage and transfer you to the start of the Ridgeway.

At the end of your walk we can collect you from Ivinghoe Beacon and drop you back at your car. The journey time between the Beacon and Avebury is approximately 2 hours 15 minutes although this varies depending on the time of day. At weekends and on public holidays the journey time can be longer.

For groups travelling to Avebury by train there are stations at Swindon, with connections to Bristol and London Paddington, and Pewsey with services from Plymouth, Taunton, Newbury, Reading and London Paddington.

The half way point is Goring. There are services from Goring & Streatley train station to Oxford, Reading and London Paddington.

At the eastern end of the trail there are train stations at Wendover, with services to Aylesbury and London Marylebone, and Tring with connections to Milton Keynes, Northampton, Watford Junction and London Euston.

Tell us about the trip you are planning and the services that you would like us to provide. We will then confirm availability of accommodation and vehicles and provide prices.

The Trail

  • Distance: 85 miles / 136 kms
  • Ascent: 6965 feet / 2123 metres
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Start point: Overton Hill, Avebury
  • End point: Ivinghoe Beacon

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