Planning your Ridgeway walk

Last updated 10 April 2019

Resting near Nuffield

There can be few finer ways you can spend in the south of England than striding purposefully over downsland on a warm, sunny day. High up with wide views of the surrounding area, you can’t help but stand, look out and admire our green and pleasant land. All you need is a dog running excitedly around your feet, and you’re pretty much in the perfect world.

Following part of a historic drovers and traders route, the Ridgeway National Trail follows the line of the Chiltern hills and includes also includes white horses, ancient long barrows, remnants of old forts and a sense that you’re following a journey that thousands have followed before you.

And, of course, you don’t even need to do it on a sunny summers day – the Ridgeway is a great walk all year round.

In this guide

  1. What is the walk like?
  2. The route
  3. Planning an itinerary
  4. Finding and booking accommodation
  5. Getting to/from the Ridgeway
  6. Guide Books and Maps
  7. And finally, and any questions

Planning your own walk? If you find this guide helpful in planning your walk, please consider giving us £4 for a pint of beer to say thank you!

What is the walk like?

Haunted Forest and Witches Castle 1 mile

For the most part, the Ridgeway stays true to its name and is a relatively easy walk spent mostly walking along ridges. The paths often provide splendid views over the relatively flat local landscape. There are some gentle climbs, and often you’ll need to head down hill to get to accommodation. The Ridgeway’s good transport links mean it’s also an ideal walk if you live in London and wish to complete a walk in weekends.

The western section especially features a number of historical features such as white chalk horses and plenty of long barrows.

Much of the walk follows ancient tracks, that are often classed as byways which mean motor vehicles can use them, however in many area the local councils are restricting usage. Being closer to London, the eastern section features more roads and towns, however they are not too dominating.

You can, of course, read my own travels on the Ridgeway.

The route

You can see the route of the Ridgeway using the map above. Using the controls you can scroll around, zoom in and explore the route. Note that this map is a guide only, and should not be used for navigation.

You can also download the GPX file of the route.

Planning an itinerary

Approaching the M40

As ever, the first thing to do when planning a walk is exactly how you plan to do it. Given that much of the Ridgeway was an ancient trading route, you’d think it would visit more villages. Surprisingly it doesn’t, which means there’s not many ways to tweak the itineraries below.

Two itineraries are shown – a six day version and a seven day one. Unless otherwise noted, all locations have a shop and a pub. Locations with a railway station nearby are marked with a 🚂.

6 Day Itinerary
Section From To Distance Notes
Miles Km
1 Overton Hill Ogbourne St George 9 14½ [1] [2]
2 Ogbourne St George Sparsholt 15½ 25km [3]
3 Sparsholt Goring and Streatley 🚂 17½ 28
4 Goring and Streatley 🚂 Watlington 15 24
5 Watlington Wendover 🚂= 17 27
6 Wendover 🚂 Ivinghoe Beacon 11½ 18½
7 Day Itinerary
Section From To Distance Notes
Miles Km
1 Overton Hill Ogbourne St George 9 14½ [1] [2]
2 Ogbourne St George Sparsholt 15½ 25km [3]
3 Sparsholt Goring and Streatley 🚂 17½ 28
4 Goring and Streatley 🚂 Watlington 15 24
5 Watlington Princes Risborough 🚂 10½ 17
6 Princes Risborough 🚂 Wigginton 13 21 [4]
6 Wigginton Ivinghoe Beacon 9

Notes:

  1. Limited public transport to Overton Hill
  2. No shop in Ogbourne St George
  3. Sparsholt is a mile off route and there is no shop.
  4. No shop in Wigginton

With good tracks and easy navigation, the Ridgeway is a great walk to do all year round.

Breaking the walk up for several trips

The great thing about the Ridgeway is that it’s easily achievable over a single week and this is a lovely way to do it. However if you can’t spare that and you live in London or the South East, then the Ridgeway’s train and bus links mean it’s also relatively easy to do over several trips.

The western section between Overton Hill and Goring & Streatley has less provision and needs to be done as a three day block.

The eastern section to Ivinghoe Beacon can either be done in another three day block, or broken down further. Breaking at Princes Risborough results in two two-day chunks. Alternatively breaking at Wendover will result in two trips – one of 2 days, and one single day walk.

Extending your walk

If you look at the Ridgeway on a map you’ll notice something important. It starts and ends in the middle of nowhere. This means you’re liable to want to slightly extend the walk at both ends in order to reach public transport.

On the western side the best place to start is the village of Avebury (which has bus links) so you can admire the standing stones, long barrows and other ancient sights. From Avebury, head south to Waden Hill, then visit West Kennett Long Barrow, before heading to East Kennett, then Overton Hill. This is a section of a circular walk shown in the official Ridgeway guidebook.

At the eastern end there are a couple of options including the 7½ mile Ridgeway Link to Dunstable.

A far shorter version is to walk to nearby Tring railway station in a loop by visiting the Bridgewater Monument and the village of Aldbury.

Finding and booking accommodation

The Perch and Pike, South Stoke

As with all National Trails there is an extensive accommodation guide on the official Ridgeway website and is a fantastic resource for finding places to stay.

Whilst there’s plenty of accommodation on the eastern half of the Ridgeway, it is more sparse on the east as such it is advisable to always book in advance.

Accommodation Booking Services and Baggage Transfer

A number of companies will arrange your walk for you. Generally this includes baggage transfer as well. You can find a list of companies who will book accommodation on the official Ridgeway website.

The official website also has a list of companies who provide baggage transfer if you just want that service.

Hostels and Bunkbarns

There are two hostels en-route:

Some maps will show a YHA hostel at Ivinghoe, however this has closed.

Camping

The Ridgeway Accommodation Guide includes a full list of those offering camping on the Ridgeway. Sites are generally on the western section – there’s very limited camping beyond available east of Streatley.

There’s no legal right to wild camp in England, although the National Trail website does say that most landowners on the Ridgeway do not tend to object to people camping on the route as long as you tidy up after yourself, no damage is done and no campfires are lit. However if you choose to camp, do note that water sources are in short supply due to the Ridgeway being on a ridge..

Getting to/from the Ridgeway

Enthusiastic waving as we set off to finish the Ridgeway

Getting to either end of the Ridgeway is not the easiest thing to do.

Most people wanting to get to Overton Hill on the West, will want to do so from Swindon, where there is a railway station with excellent services to London, Wales and the South West. However there are no direct buses from Swindon to Overton Hill. From Swindon you need to catch the hourly 49 Stagecoach bus to Avebury. It runs seven days a week (although only every two hours on Sundays.)

At Avebury you have two options. You can catch the infrequent 42 bus route, that runs Monday to Saturday. Alternatively you can walk, taking in the local stone circles and burial mounds. This option is well worth doing.

At Ivinghoe Beacon you can choose to walk back three miles to Tring railway station either by the Ridgeway or by an alternative route. Tring is on the West Coast mainline with services and connections to London, Birmingham, the North and Scotland.

The 61 and 61A buses operated by Red Eagle also stop at the Beacon. These will take you to Tring railway station, or alternatively to Ayelsbury or Dunstable, however only runs Monday to Saturday. Between both routes, there is a service roughly every 90 minutes. There is no Sunday service. Some leaflets and websites refer to the 327 Chiltern Rambler as providing a service on summer Sundays, however this bus no longer operates.

There are several train stations en-route with services to London, and other destinations. The Traveline South East website includes timetables for bus services across the whole route.

Guide Books and Maps

Tree near the Devil's Punchbowl

The Ridgeway is absolutely excellent in its signs and it will be very hard to get lost, however you’ll probably still want a guide book or map.

As with all National Trails there is a truly excellent guide book published by Aurum Press and I say that having bought two copies. True I bought the second because I managed to my first copy on a train, but hey…

The latest version of the guidebook was published in the summer of 2016. It contains Ordnance Survey mapping at the 1:25,000 scale, with a good amount of map on either side of the trail shown.

 

If you want help with planning your walk, then The Ridgeway Trailblazer Guide may be just what you’re looking for. They contain excellent lists of accommodation providers, as well as route information. They also include hand-drawn maps, although you’d be advised to take a proper one with you.

 

If you’d prefer just carrying a map then are two options. First is the A-Z Adventure Atlas for the Ridgeway. This is a book based format, although the size is similar to a standard map when folded, so it will fit in your map case without a problem.

The A-Z maps use Ordnance Survey mapping at the 1:25,000 scale, and covers a wide area around the route. It also includes a comprehensive index of places and locations, so finding what you’re looking for has never been easier.

 

Alternatively, if you prefer a traditional map, Harveys have a strip map for the whole route.

This uses Harvey’s own mapping at their 1:40,000 scale.

Finally for Ordnance Survey maps you will need the following:

And finally, and any questions

Chinnor Quarry

And finally, one extra thing worth knowing about the Ridgeway is that there are several water taps on the western half of the route which are especially handy given the route is often far from villages. Details of their locations are provided on the official Ridgeway website.

The most important thing to do though is to get out there and start walking and explore the south of England!

If you’ve any questions not answered here, please use the comments box below.

Your Comments

William Smith

12 September 2012 at 2:55 pm

Enjoyed reading your site. Wish I had read it before I set off from Overton Hill in June. I was unaware of the water taps, and missed the one at Ogbourne St George. But later that day found the one atop of Idstone Hill. Putting in the co-ordinates for the water taps might make a great addition to your site.

The stretch from Avebury to Streatley was magnificent.

Happy walking,

WS

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

12 September 2012 at 5:15 pm

If I can find out the coordinates for the water taps I’ll certainly add them in! Might take some hunting down unfortunately.

Lester Stoller

24 October 2013 at 11:01 pm

Thanks for the great website. The accomodation guide is particularly interesting as I like to select our own places to stop and sample the local food and hospitality.

I note that there are several services that offer a package which includes moving luggage as well as accomodations. Can you recommend any services that do only the transfer of luggage?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

25 October 2013 at 1:17 pm

Hi Lester. I’m afraid I don’t know of any companies that will cover the whole of the Ridgeway. Some accommodation providers may offer the service, however you’d need to arrange with each individually.

Alison

6 April 2014 at 1:18 pm

We have just completed the Wessex section and had a lovely walk.
We started the walk with a different option and it worked really well for us, so maybe it would be good for some of your readers.
We took the train to Pewsey and then walked to a b&b in East Kennett (7 miles, last part of which is along part of the ancient ridgeway). There is a pub in West Overton, only a mile from East Kennett.
We then walked to Bishopstone (20 miles) where there is a pub with rooms and on to East Ilsley (20 miles, pub with rooms) and finally to Goring & Streatley (9 miles) and you can take the train home from there.

Keith Macdonald

8 June 2014 at 9:54 am

Hi Andrew,

The National Trails website has a good list of water taps and public toilets on the Ridgeway.

See http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/sites/default/files/water_points_and_toilets.pdf

Here’s a list of recommended B&B’s and Pubs with accommodation on the Ridgeway.

http://www.the-sanctuary.biz/RidgewayBB.html

If anyone has recommendations for the Streatley and Goring area, I’d love to know, as we get asked but don’t know who to recommend. 🙂

Keith Macdonald

9 June 2014 at 1:08 pm

Andrew

Re your comment – “Given that much of the Ridgeway was an ancient trading route, you’d think it would visit more villages. ”

Probably most Ridgeway walkers would agree with you, especially on a hot summer’s day when walking is thirsty work. But it’s a historical and geological curiosity that the Greater Ridgeway (all the way from Dorset to Norfolk) follows the one and only path that sticks to the highest ground the whole way. Apart from where it crosses the Thames at Streatly/Goring, it was (and still is) the best bet for keeping your feet dry. That being a relative term of course.

Meanwhile, because the Ridgeway is a big fat layer of chalk, water drains away relatively quickly. That’s why so many villages on & near the route are Something-Bourne. (Bourne meaning a winter river). Being in a village in the valleys and not on the high ground made it easier for people to get water from wells in summer time.

Keith Macdonald

10 June 2014 at 8:05 am

Re the public transport, I’ve collated everything I’ve found on the subject on this page.

http://www.the-sanctuary.biz/RidgewayTransport.html

If anyone can correct or add to that, please let me know! 🙂

Ethan

24 July 2014 at 6:17 pm

are you allowed to camp along the ridgeway?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

24 July 2014 at 9:15 pm

Do you mean wild camping? If so, then legally you must ask the landowner first.

carl hamilton

24 August 2014 at 9:49 pm

sept 1st 2014
i will be walking from overton hill to ivanoe beacon,
carrying everything , rucksack, tent, sleeping bags, food ,water and everything else i think i need for the journey,, rough camping ,,
i aim to complete in four days,,
has any body else attemped to do this…..
if i complete it i will do it again for charity
wish me luck guys

brian

23 November 2014 at 8:23 pm

oops,I should have said when leaving Dalston for Carlisle don’t cross the river at Carlisle where indicated on the official way,stay on the west bank and follow the path.
You will avoid the recycling depot in Carlisle.

Phil Jones

1 December 2014 at 9:40 am

Carl Hamilton, how did it go?
I’m planning to do the same the weekend of March 1st, 2015, to raise money for the Reading Cancer Clinic. I also plan to take my border collie with me. One man and his dog (and a tent)!

David Wilson

12 January 2015 at 5:19 pm

Thankyou for your guide and advice. I was thinking about doing this route next month but in the opposite direction, finishing at Overton Hill. I will be getting the national trail guide but is the signposting adequate in both directions and do you foresee many problems route finding if I am just following a 1:25,000 map?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

12 January 2015 at 6:12 pm

Hi David. The signage is excellent regardless of the direction you are walking in, so you should have no problem. And you will be fine with a 1:25,000 map.

Simon Lodge

3 February 2015 at 6:07 pm

Andrew, thanks for the guide.

We are planning to do the western part of the Ridgeway in May time….we have decided to go east to west, as we want to finish in Avebury, but all the guides etc talk about a west to east route being taken. Is this just the commmon approach or are there any disadvantages to go going east to west?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

4 February 2015 at 8:59 am

As far as I know, there’s no real reason not to do it east to west. It’s signposted well in both directions.

Phil

4 February 2015 at 9:25 am

The prevailing wind is from the south west. That’s the main reason I can think of.

Mitch

20 March 2015 at 8:31 am

Guys

How did the walks go? I am doing the whole thing plus a bit more in mid April (2015) interested in the water tap situation, also I to intend to be totally self sufficient and wild camp the entire walk.

Any spots, advice etc greatly received!!

Phil

20 March 2015 at 10:07 am

Mitch, my walk went well. I did the whole route in 4 days with my dog, and have raised about £2600 so far.

My big mistake was that I carried too much for the distance I was trying to cover, having to carry dog food etc as well as my own stuff, so abandoned the tent etc after two days, getting a family member to drive it to my next destination, then pick it up after picking me up on the fourth day.

I did Avebury to Uffington (about 24 miles) on Day 1, staying at the Fox & Hounds where they don’t mind people camping in their garden for free, by prior arrangement. They have an outside loo that isn’t locked at night too.

The hike back up White Horse Hill was a killer the next morning, but after that it was a nice stroll to Aldworth (where I live) via Compton (where I work). Probably about 20 miles.

I planned day 3 badly, and overslept too. Leaving Aldworth at 9.45am, and not getting to Lacey Green till 8pm, two hours after dark, 1 hour after the rain started. Luckily the landlady of Black Horse is an absolute legend, and treated me and my dog like royalty. At least 30 miles, given that we only stopped for about 45 minutes all day!

My legs have recovered now, but I may still lose a big toenail. The sense of elation on striding up to Ivinghoe Beacon was tremendous…..discovering that my lift was waiting in the car park up a hill half a mile back the way I’d just come led to the most psychologically difficult 10 minutes of the entire 4 days!

Day 4 was a lovely walk through to the end. About 18/20 miles. An exhausting climb out or Princes Risborough is my main memory of the day, plus a welcome beer 5 miles from the end in Wigginton.

On the subject of tap water, I didn’t notice any on the western half, but I noticed there is a tap on the outside of the church in Nuffield (5 miles east of Wallingford), and walkers are invited to go in and help themselves to tea and coffee! There is also drinking water signposted at Aston Rowant nature reserve (just north of the M40).

Presumably the toilets in the car park at Barbury Castle have drinking water?

Phil

20 March 2015 at 10:08 am

ooops, i got 2 paragraphs in the wrong order. It should be pretty obvious which ones 🙂

Sam

11 May 2015 at 9:07 pm

Regarding drinking water at Barbury Castle, yes there is a tap at the farm opposite the carpark and public toilets ( directions for the tap are noted in the Loo’s!!)
Good luck!

Carolyn CarhartQuezada

13 July 2015 at 11:46 pm

Can I stay in a hotel or hostel each night as I walk the ridgeway trail.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

15 July 2015 at 10:49 pm

Carolyn – you can stay in B&Bs and pubs. There aren’t many hostels on the route.

phill tait

22 September 2015 at 1:49 pm

Hi Andrew having just completed the South Downs Way we are looking for our next walk. Wanted to catch the beech trees turning golden, what is your advice and should we go EW or WE

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

22 September 2015 at 7:45 pm

Phill – I think West to East is better. There’s a bit more variety in the east so it’s nicer to end on.

Janet Lloyd

25 February 2016 at 8:51 pm

Love your website. One small hiccup in my plans to walk the Ridgeway. I planned based on information in leaflet :
http://ramblingman.org.uk/planningatrip/planning_a_trip_on_the_ridgeway#s5

..refers to Rambler bus from Ivinhoe Beacon which no longer runs. Looks like back to the drawing board.
I arrive on Sunday so no service bus either.

Phil Jones

26 February 2016 at 8:47 am

Having done the Ridgeway in 4 days with my dog last year (see my posts above 20th March 2015) , complete insanity has finally overcome me, and I’m now planning to do it again … in a weekend.
From Ivinghoe Beacon to Aldworth on Sat May 7th (c. 48 miles), and Overton Hill to Aldworth again the next day. (c.40 miles)
As I live in Aldworth, I don’t need to carry too much, and I’m not forcing my dog to go with me this time. Hoping to raise £3000 for Special Care Baby Unit at Reading hospital.

http://www.justgiving.com/2DayRidgeway explains why

Ian

5 March 2016 at 5:29 pm

Hi looks like a well trod path, a friend and I plus 2 dogs are planning the trip starting on May 8th 2016. We will be self sufficient but to keep weight down we will drive to places where the trail crosses the public highways and ‘stash’ water/food/ the old bottle of ale along the route the day before we leave and mark the spots using GPS. We have planned for 7 days so planning on a 12 mile bimble each day, any advice would be great especially regarding places to camp and any issues concerning the welfare of the dogs……and us!
We are raising money for the dogs trust
Excellent site, thank you for sharing all the information

Phil Jones

7 March 2016 at 2:00 pm

Hi Ian. There’s a handful of spots at the western end, between Barbury Castle and Ogbourne St George, if I remember rightly, where dogs must be kept on leads, due to passing through sheep grazing. Other than that, the dogs should be fine. With regard to water, I last walked it in February, and my dogs prefer puddles to tap water anyway, so that wasn’t a problem for us. There are a few water taps along the route, but almost no streams etc.
I doubt I’ll see you on the 8th May, as I plan to leave the Avebury end at 6am, but I presume you’ll be around the Aldworth area on the Tuesday afternoon/evening? That’s my local stamping ground, so I’d be happy to say “hi” and join you and your dogs for a pint if you fancy?

Joan FitzGerald

16 April 2016 at 8:46 pm

I am lined up to walk the Ridgeway, Ogbourne to Ivinghoe Beacon beginning May 10. A solo walker and not all that experienced but with a backup (baggage carrying service) to keep me moving light. Any advice greatly appreciated. My first UK hike! Has anyone discovered how to get public transport out of Ivinghoe Beacon/Tring?
Joan

Keith Macdonald

17 April 2016 at 2:31 pm

Hi Joan

Yes, there is a local bus from Dunstable. Have a look at this leaflet from the local council.

http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/media/951353/ridgewaylink.pdf

Have you found somewhere to stay in Ogbourne?

Regards
Keith

jackie mcall

10 May 2016 at 7:42 pm

Thank you for this wonderful site. It stood me in such good stead when I walked the Ridgeway last year and was the best thing I could find on the internet. Loved all of the walk . Walking it alone on days one and two when it was very quiet was quite a challenge. I personally would highly recommend the Court Hill Centre as an overnight stop near Wantage. They treated me so well. Joan , I carried my baggage and it was OK, so you will be fine. It is very well signposted and you will have a wonderful time. My journey is documented at “About the Journey” http://jackiemcall.co.uk . (Not nearly so much practical information as on this site, more an emotional journey).

Joan

12 May 2016 at 5:51 pm

Thank you, Jackie for this. I am in Woolston at the end of my 2nd day, blisters blossoming and muscles aching. I knew I wasn’t prepared… But the landscape is beautiful, full of bird song and wildflowers and the way is, as you say, well marked. I am relying on Anthony Burton guidance when confused.
JF

Phil Jones

13 May 2016 at 9:48 am

Further to my previous comments, I did walk (almost) all the Ridgeway in two days last weekend (7th & 8th May). On Saturday, two of us went from Ivinghoe as far as Nuffield, at which point it was stupidly dark, and we’d done 36 miles in 15 hours.
On Sunday, I went on my own, from the Avebury end as far as Aldworth (just short of Streatley). About 36/37 miles, in 13.5 hours. It was stupidly hot (24C), and sticking my head under the water tap near Sparsholt Firs was one of the best moments of the whole weekend! That and seeing my wife, daughter and grandson coming up the road to walk the last half mile with me to the Bell Inn, Aldworth.
Plus, I’ve raised over £1500 so far for the SCBU where my grandson was treated last year. It was the thought of his smiling face that kept me motivated, especially in the last 5 miles east of the A34 when every part of me was sore.

Helen Gardner

13 May 2016 at 9:22 pm

Fascinating and useful site, thanks. I’m planning to walk this in June/July and haven’t been able to find any accommodation for the journey between Streatley and Lewknor. If people have recommendations for places to stay along the route it could be very helpful, and not just for me. I may be rough/wild camping at this rate!

Alison

14 May 2016 at 8:16 am

Have you tried Watlington? It is nice town. When we did the Ridgeway, we stayed at the Fat Fox. We walked part of the way with English Stu and he stayed at the White Marks campsite, on the Ridgeway outside Watlington.

Helen Gardner

14 May 2016 at 6:21 pm

Thanks for those ideas; I thought the Fat Fox looked nice. I’ve also discovered AirBnB since last night, which increases the number of accommodation options. Apparently my walk clashes with the Henley Regatta, which is why so many places have been fully booked for months.

jackie mcall

15 May 2016 at 1:30 pm

Hi Joan, Thanks for your comment. How is it going? Must be nearing the end by now. I have to say, I am quite jealous. Wish I was walking it again!
I have also heard good reports of the Fat Fox. I live not far from Dunstable, so I was lucky for the last few days by hubby picked me up and drove me home each night and back each morning! Did rather spoil the ambience of being away alone for that time though. Good luck to anyone you will LOVE it. Such an achievement.

Joan

15 May 2016 at 9:18 pm

Tonight the Fat Fox: a delicious dinner and bed after the hardest day of them all (Goring to Watlington) I forgot the first rule of hiking: drink water even if you don’t think you need it. Despite aches and a surprising assortment of blisters, I am so enjoying this walk, charmed by the countryside, the route itself and the accommodations that I can’t wait to set up another walk. (Suggestions welcome.) From the launch at Beckhampton to Watlington, I have had only friendly, accommodating places to stay, all arranged by Contours Walking Holidays. They put it all together for me. Only 3 walking days left!

Helen Gardner

15 May 2016 at 10:09 pm

My accommodation is now sorted thanks to Airbnb, and for the last couple of days my husband is going to collect and deliver me (luckily we too live close to Dunstable). Looking forward to this.

Jackie mcall

16 May 2016 at 8:58 pm

Great to see all the ladies walking ! (Apologies to the chaps !) Thanks again for this great site. Lovely reading everyone’s hints and experiences too

Tracey

20 May 2016 at 10:08 am

Hi are there any dog friendly stopping places for overnight as we are planning on this route but want to take our dog with us.

Jackie McAll

21 May 2016 at 11:29 am

Hi, pets are welcome on the ground floor of the Inn on the Well in Ogborne St George where I stayed at the end of the first day. It is a great little pub/hotel. they make a lovely packed lunch too. Let us know how you get on.

Helen Gardner

28 May 2016 at 6:30 pm

Just a quick note about leaving the eastern end of the trail. I had planned to walk on from Ivinghoe Beacon to the Chilterns Gateway Centre and then catch the bus down to Dunstable, but that bus has apparently stopped running. As it happened we worked out that I’d already walked the route from home to Ivinghoe Beacon in different chunks, so I’ll stop my walk there and get a lift home.

Richard Cooke

23 June 2016 at 12:42 pm

First of all, thank you for sharing all this super information.

Has anyone cracked where to stay in Wendover, the only option I can find is AirBnB, but I’d prefer to camp.

Helen Gardner

23 June 2016 at 5:27 pm

I gave up on Wendover and have arranged to be collected and driven back the next day. Starting my walk next Monday, expecting it to be soggy.

Richard Cooke

23 June 2016 at 5:33 pm

Thanks… I’m hoping to do it in the next month

Kim Carr

2 July 2016 at 3:53 pm

I had planned to walk the Ridgeway in 2004, but heard that it was badly rutted from 4 wheel vehicle traffic, and had unpleasant/dangerous conditions. So I walked the Thames Path, instead. I’m still curious about the walk, though, and am wondering if the conditions have improved in the following 12 years?

ANDREW CHOFFIN

2 July 2016 at 5:26 pm

Excellent write up ramblingman. I will definitely check out more of your walks as I’m half way through walking all the National Trails.
As I’m walking it week after next with a little westie I am naturally concerned about both of us getting sufficient water (3ltr bladder in rucksack), as I want to stay on the ridge/route biviing under a tarp every night (possible YHA and/or more luxurious accommodation). Secondly, I know you recommend the aurum press guide book, is the cicerone press one as good, or is a map (providing water points) sufficient? Hopefully I’ve not given you overload 😴

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

2 July 2016 at 10:54 pm

Hi Kim

It’s been a few years since I walked it, but from memory much of the western half of the route is now closed to motorised vehicles over the winter for a few years now, precisely because of damage to it. We walked the route a few years after the part-ban had been introduced and found no problems.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

2 July 2016 at 10:57 pm

Hi Andrew – I haven’t seen the Cicerone Ridgeway book. My big problem historically with Cicerone guides is that the maps are not sufficiently detailed. Recently they’ve started re-printing their books with higher scale maps, however as far as I know their Ridgeway guide has yet to be updated.

You can use just maps without problems. Just to add, most of the water points are on the west of the route.

Rdc

5 July 2016 at 5:31 pm

I’ve just done the first 40 miles from Avebury, it certainly is pretty rutted by the 4 wheel drives, the main issues is finding a flat surface to walk on, especially if you use poles. The first water tap near Barbury Castle says it is in the bungalow outside the car park. I couldn’t even find the bungalow, it now seems to be a new build.

Helen Gardner

5 July 2016 at 8:52 pm

I walked that bit last week and don’t remember the bungalow at Barbury but I wasn’t looking for it. However the track was, as Rdc says, very rutted and even the average 4wd would have problems getting through.
The downside is that it is much harder on the knees, the upside is that it created a lot of very deep puddles, which were brilliant for my dog to cool down, and also provided him with drinking water.
I’m taking an unplanned two days off before finishing the walk from Wendover laster this week.

Keith MacDonald

6 July 2016 at 3:57 pm

If you phone The Sanctuary B&B in Ogbourne St.George, they will let you fill your water bottle with fresh water. 01672 841473

Kathy

9 July 2016 at 5:29 pm

I am a female and I am looking for someone to walk the ridgeway maybe next week must be female

Helen Gardner

10 July 2016 at 9:40 pm

I completed this on Saturday morning. It was a gem of a walk and I really enjoyed it. And as a lone female walker I only met nice people 🙂 Thanks for the hints on this page.

Helen Gardner

10 July 2016 at 9:52 pm

On the wall of the public toilets in Wendover (Library car park) there is a list of B&B and hotels and camp sites. I haven’t found the same list online yet but wondered if it is worth ringing the library to find out (library is closed on Mondays)?

jackie mcall

11 July 2016 at 9:51 am

I’d agree with Helen’s comments, Kathy. I walked it as a lone woman and was fine. It was great! Also, referring to Barbury Castle there was no “café” there, as one of the guidebooks says and the public toilets were locked. I found those first couple of days walking very long it was cool when I went, but if the weather is hot, I would definitely recommend taking more water than you think you need.

Godfrey Moorhead

29 July 2016 at 7:07 pm

Just finished the trail from Ivinghoe Beacon to Avebury (and on to Stonehenge). Had a great time wild camped 3 nights and stayed in the YHA in Streatley (£25)
All the taps are operational ( was told one wasn’t working). Although I wasn’t aware that there wasn’t one at Barbury Castle, so didn’t look for it.
The toilets at Barbury Castle were open (Sunday 14:30).

Royce Fitts

6 August 2016 at 4:46 pm

In 2009 I read an article in the NY Times about The Ridgeway. I was enchanted. I decided then that I will someday hike this beautiful path and road. “Then” is now. I have some questions to ask and information to seek, if the readers are willing and able to do so. I have not yet purchased tickets to fly to the UK, however, my plan is to do so soon with the expectation to do the hike in mid September. I have never been to England. I have hiked a lot in the U.S., especially rigorous day hikes in the Rocky Mountains and prairies of the west. I am from western Nebraska/eastern Wyoming. I am hoping, pending the logistics are worked out, that I can bring my 6 year old grandson along on a portion ( perhaps several days?) of the hike. I mostly want to walk, experience this ancient land, write/journal about the experience, touching some of my ancient heritage, write my other stories and meditations and work on nighttime dreams ( I am a psychotherapist, spiritual counselor and business consultant in the States. Now, I am taking an extended sabbatical to write and travel). My primary questions, since I am unfamiliar with the UK in general and The Ridgeway in particular is accommodations, food and lodging. I want to do only day hiking, not camping on this trip. Is this easily done? And what recommendations would you have? I expect to start out on the west and work east. Is the west the best starting route? What other advice would you give? Thank you for any feedback, in advance.

Keith Macdonald

8 August 2016 at 10:18 pm

Hello Royce

You can get a guide to the Ridgeway Trail from Amazon. If you want the best of the ancient heritage, I recommend starting at Avebury and Silbury Hill.

Here’s a list of the best B&Bs on the Ridgeway, with distances between them:
http://www.the-anctuary.biz/RidgewayBB.html

How far can your grandson walk? Does he like Dr Who or steam trains? Both are nearby this part of Wiltshire.

Hope that helps
Keith

Keith

Keith Macdonald

8 August 2016 at 10:19 pm

Sorry, my typing mistake.

http://www.the-sanctuary.biz/RidgewayBB.html

Keith

Ryk

12 August 2016 at 6:11 am

I walked the Ridgeway in the summer of 2013 and used a luggage service. The operator’s name was Anthony Ewen and his email was anthonyewen@hotmail.co.uk. I am not sure if he still operates though.

Also, I walked from East to West, choosing to end at Avebury where there was so many historical sites to see. Truly a magnificent way to end the walk (Ivinghoe Beacon would have been a let-down by comparison).

Marekcz

18 August 2016 at 1:26 pm

Hello, first of all, thank you for this site and helpful discussion!
I am walking Ridgeway in the midle of October and I have few questions. It would be awesome if any of you could answer these:

1) I am starting at Luton airport. Could this be a problem due to bad connection to Invinghoe Beacon (by foot)?
2) Is the trail well signed from both sides?
3) I know it is not allowed to wild camp in UK, but is it big problem when I camp every night somewhere near trail? Just me, my little tent and thats it 🙂 No fire or garbage ofcourse.
4) When I am done with my journey, I need to get to the Sherbourne. Any suggestions how to get there (on saturday)? Buses or train?

I am doing thorough research on those, but I am not from UK (or other english speaking country) and it is always easier for native people 🙂

Big thanks again!

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

19 August 2016 at 8:44 pm

Hello Marekcz

I don’t know the specifics but you can get a bus from the airport to Dunstable, and then pick up the 61 bus. Best bet is to look at Traveline for public transport information – it will search for any journey you need to do.

The signposting on the Ridgeway is excellent in both directions.

As for wild camping, you can always try it but if the landowner asks you to move on, you must do so.

Helen Gardner

20 August 2016 at 12:39 am

Mareckcz
Bus A from the airport to Dunstable Asda, then Bus 61 to Ivinghoe Beacon. Search for the arriva bus journey planner to get specific bus timetables and connections.

Philip Rotherham

21 October 2016 at 9:07 am

Hi. Just finished the Ridgeway with my 2 brothers took us about 30 years! Yes that’s right, we walked Overton to Wantage in single day back in 1986 or 87 with little or no prep and not surprisingly gave. Now all in our 50’s completed in 2 chunks of 2.5 and 3 days. The Goring to Ivinghoe was done staying in Streatly YHA and shuttling ours to Watlington and the Wendover. Very do able but slow driving. Well worth having the os maps with you particularly when you go off route in search of a pub etc. thanks for the advice from all other walkers.

Anne Goodman

10 January 2017 at 7:48 am

I loved reading about the walk and planning my itinerary. Then I started looking at the price of accommodation. Wow! Certainly not a walk for anyone on an average wage, certainly not a New Zealand average wage. And definitely not if they are single.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

10 January 2017 at 9:16 am

Hi Anne – accommodation prices are, from a British perspective, pretty much inline with what I’d expect given the area it goes through, but one thing is for sure. It’s much cheaper when there’s two of you.

Keith Macdonald

10 January 2017 at 9:49 am

Hi Anne

There is a shortage of accommodation on The Ridgeway, and most places do not have rooms for single people, they have to use a room designed for two people. As Andrew says, its cheaper when there are two of you. Can you find someone to walk with you and split the room prices?

Jen Johnson

12 January 2017 at 9:57 pm

Hello Keith! We stayed at the Sanctuary last year over the May Bank Holiday and had the best time. Hoping to do the Sparsholt Firs to Goring and Streatley then Streatley to Watlington sections over a weekend later this year but really need someone to drop us at the beginning on the first morning and pick us up at the end of the second day. Wonder if there is anyone who would do this at one of the accommodations in Goring/Streatley? As you say hard to pinpoint good accommodation there.

Happy to try and help anyone with advice, May was a gorgeous time to go with all the Hawthorn blossom out and not too hot. Wonderful place to walk, am enchanted with the Ridgeway! Went back and did Race to the Stones in July which was 100km over two days, that was hard going but one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done 🙂

Phil Jones

13 January 2017 at 10:25 am

You could contact Murdocks Taxi service in Goring. Not the biggest company by a long stretch, but very dependable.

http://services.goring-on-thames.co.uk/html/murdock-s_taxis.html

There’s some more information on accommodation here too: http://www.goring-gap.co.uk/accom.htm

Jenny Johnson

13 January 2017 at 3:57 pm

Thank you very much Phil!

Chez M

30 January 2017 at 5:09 am

I walked Avebury to Ogbourne St George last Friday, lovely day but very heavy feet from wet chalk! Toilets (Ladies) were open at Barbury Castle!

Steve

27 February 2017 at 11:23 pm

Planning to start the ridgeway soon, but walking east to west so starting at Irving home beacon. All the guides go west to east. Can anyone tell me please if the way is well signed and easily followed either way? Thanks for your help.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

28 February 2017 at 2:11 pm

Hello Steve – the Ridgeway is well signposted in both directions so you shouldn’t have any problems.

Helen Gardner

28 February 2017 at 2:39 pm

It is well signposted and is lovely, the views from Ivinghoe are wonderful in all directions, but a map is always useful. I’ve discovered people heading to the car park (left up hill) before now even when a signpost is right in front of them (right up the hill). The ‘most used’ path isn’t always the right one 🙂

Guido

5 March 2017 at 12:59 pm

Hello! I just wondered if there was a particularly nice section that could be walked over two days with an overnight stop in the middle. I live in London so starting and ending near a train station would be ideal!

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

5 March 2017 at 9:50 pm

Guido – as it happens, there is only one section of the Ridgeway that can be walked in two days, with a station at the end. That’s walking from Goring and Streatley to Princess Risborough, stopping at Watlington. It is nice though!

Dan Jackson

17 April 2017 at 8:55 pm

Hi,

Thanks for all the really useful info! I have a question. I’d like to spend a couple of days walking on the Ridgeway; can you recommend somewhere that’d be a good base for circular/linear walks, preferably with a decent & pub(s)!? Thanks for your help.

Matthew Moorcroft

30 April 2017 at 8:29 pm

I’m looking at walking the ridgeway with a co walker but we are thinking of using two cars, dropping one at the planned end point and one at the start. Has anyone tried this

Dan Beckett

5 May 2017 at 10:15 am

Three friends and I completed the Ridgeway last Monday evening, just in time for sunset. We started Saturday at 7am. 29 miles a day for three days was really tough but very enjoyable. Sunset at Ivinghoe Beacon gazing west towards Overton Hill with a cuppa made it all worthwhile!
Thank you for all the information on this site, and the helpful comments.Pint donation on the way!

Andrew

2 June 2017 at 8:34 pm

Just finished doing the Ridgeway today. West to east direction. Really enjoyed it. Variety of landscapes, historical interest, very little navigation skills needed, good fast trail walking. Would recommend it others. The weather was hot at 18 to 22 degrees C at midday and rain on only one afternoon.
Staying in B and Bs and pubs which varied between excellent to just OK.
Carried all my own gear and did not use the baggage taxis that are available.
Drinking water planning does need some care if hot weather. One of the taps in a walking guide book is no longer there. The Harvey’s map seemed to be correct for taps. On only two occasions did I see a cattle trough that maybe could have been used for water if treated first, but both in places I did not need it.

So few others out there on the trail which I found very surprising.

Longest day for me was just under 20 miles, other days around 13 miles. Recommend walkers need to prepared and practiced so feet and footware/socks do not cause any issues whether it be wet or baking hot. Not a single blister for me!

Highlights: fast pace, no stiles only Kissing Gates, Liddington and Uffington forts for the views, Avebury stones, walking along the Thames north of Goring then Grims Ditch, the welcome at Nuffield Church, Lodge Hill, The Red Lion pub in Whiteleaf, The Sanctuary B and B, so many Red Kites, Chocolate in Wendover,

Jo

15 June 2017 at 1:27 pm

Hi,

This is a great site and i am planning to do this route as a lone female with my dog. I have seen on the national trail website that it is dog friendly but as you have walked it how would you determine the route for dogs? Also as i will be planning on camping during this walk would it be easy enough to find camping for us aswell?

David Rushton

23 July 2017 at 1:49 pm

Thanks Andrew,

At Goring station having done the first 3 days west to east.

Have a couple of beers on me by way of thanks.

Peter Saunders

23 July 2017 at 6:39 pm

We hope to get to Avebury from North Bedfordshire on 3 public buses.
We would love our dog to accompany us but are dogs allowed on public buses.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

24 July 2017 at 9:24 am

Hello Peter – I’ve seen dogs on buses many a time, but you’d be best checking with the bus companies operating the service to be sure.

Helen Gardner

24 July 2017 at 9:42 am

Jo, I walked this as a lone female and my dog was with me for much of the time. He loved it. Camping is another issue though – there are very few sites available. I wasn’t comfortable about wild-camping, especially when I saw that the suitable places were also used by vehicles at night, and as stated above, water supplies have to be planned carefully.

Mike Day

8 November 2017 at 7:31 pm

Thank You Thank You Thank You. For this site and all the great advice on it.

Planning Goring to Avebury and beyond March 2018

Keith

20 January 2018 at 5:04 pm

Anybody know if you can leave a car at Goring Station for a couple of days while walking, or does it fill up with commuters cars early every day?

By the way, I walked a bit of the western extension, the socalled “Wessex Ridgeway” last autumn and found it was rather neglected i.e. no clear path or signs.

Phil Jones

21 January 2018 at 9:48 pm

The station car park currently charges £4.90 per day, but the one by the Catharine Wheel pub is only £3.40 per day (and free from Sat 2pm to Monday 8am) as far as I remember.
There is also on street parking in Goring further away from the station, but please be sensitive to local residents.

Martin

28 January 2018 at 6:45 pm

Hi – congratulations on a really useful site. My wife and I (and our dog) are interested in walking sections of the Ridgeway west of Streatley, however my wife has some restricted mobility and we are looking for access points onto the trail where we can park and access the trail.
Walking reasonable distance is not a problem (we tend at the moment to walk stretches of the Thames or Kennet and Avon, but want to try out the Ridgeway) but for instance the climb up from the car park at Streatley would be a problem).

Just wonder if there is “easier” access points??

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

30 January 2018 at 1:29 pm

Hello Martin
The Ridgeway does meet up with roads at several points and some of them will have suitable parking. But I am afraid I didn’t really take note of that when I walked it.

Phil Jones

30 January 2018 at 1:32 pm

There is good parking at Bury Down. Just north of West Ilsley. The section west from there is not to hilly and crosses/meets quite a few roads.

Alison

30 January 2018 at 1:38 pm

There is a National Trust car park at the White Horse, Uffington, which is a nice stretch.
Not many roads cross the western half and I recall that there are reasonable parking spaces whenever a B road crosses it.
I don’t know the eastern side so well but there is a car park in Watlington.
Enjoy!

Martin

30 January 2018 at 3:07 pm

Many thanks for comments – will give suggestions a go.

Gary Armstrong

3 March 2018 at 1:05 pm

Me and a friend and our two dogs are planning to do this in May , some camping some B&B , how many of them accommodate Dogs ?
Thanks
Gary &Nick

Helen

13 March 2018 at 2:39 pm

Hi there I am planning to walk from Avebury to Goring in 2 days with my son (who’s 16) in May staying at Woolstone en route. Does that seem ambitious as most seem to take 3 days for that stretch? Don’t want to come to a grinding halt in the middle of nowhere unable to go on!! Thanks.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

13 March 2018 at 4:14 pm

Hello Helen. Assuming there’s a way to split it equally, you’d be looking at 21 miles for each day. Generally I tell people that if they’ve walked that kind of mileage before, and feel comfortable they can do it, go ahead and do it if you would like to. But if you’ve not walked that kind of distance before, better not to.

I don’t know how accommodation would work – this is the more remote part of the route. But there are local buses and taxis.

Keith Macdonald

13 March 2018 at 8:09 pm

Hi Helen

The main problem with staying in Woolstone is you would have to come down off the Ridgeway (about 1 mile) to get to the White Horse Pub. And then the next day you’ve got the same mile but uphill to get back to where you started.

Can I suggest you look at Hill Barn? It’s much closer to the Ridgeway, and it’s on the high ground (38 Km from Avebury), Sparsholt Firs, Wantage OX12 9XB
Contact Joanna Whittington
T: 01235 751236
E: jmw@hillbarn.plus.com

Andrew Heller

27 March 2018 at 1:24 pm

Hi.
Any advice and help will be gratefully received here. I’m looking at doing the whole of the Ridgeway 87 miles in 5 weeks time and I’m looking for advice on food to take as this will be a self-sufficient journey. Also any water stops water availability taps etc basically anything that will assist me to make this as enjoyable as possible. I’m doing it for the charity Bloodwise and I want to be able to do this in 3 days, Fri, Sat & Sunday.
Also can I wild camp along the route obviously taking any rubbish with me and leaving no sign I’ve been there.
What are the markings like route wise? Would this be navigational or a well trodden and sign posted one? Obviously I’d like to take a map & Ridgeway guide with me. Which would be the best suggestions?
Thanks in advance.
Andrew

Phil Jones

27 March 2018 at 2:37 pm

Hi Andrew,
I’ve done the whole route in 4 days, and 2 days.
Firstly, the route is VERY well signposted, so don’t worry too much about that. There’s a couple of bits on your last day that can be a little tricky to navigate, but a moment’s thought should see you through. I’d advise going west to east for two reasons.
1. Prevailing wind should be behind you.
2. The finishing point has a cracking view, and is a bit of a landmark, whereas the western end is rather a disappointment.
Presuming you’re going to try to do about 30 miles per day, the middle of the second day will bring you into Goring, where there is now a Tesco Express about half a mile off the route. There are other shops in Goring, but not so well stocked (or priced) as Tesco. Hence, you only need to carry food for 36 hours at most.
I’ll leave others to advise on rough camping. As far as I know you’re ‘technically’ supposed to get the landowner’s permission, but it has been said before that so long as you’re tidy and careful, you should be fine.
Water sources: there’s apparently tap somewhere around Barbury Castle, but I’ve not found it. But you’re only a couple of hours in at that point, so it’s not a major issue.
Next tap is somewhere around the Wantage area, I can’t remember exactly where, but it’s on the right with an animal trough under it. That’s probably going to be about the end of day one, I’d imagine.
Day two includes Goring and Streatley, where I’d imagine you can refill your bottle(s) at any of the pubs/cafes there.
Also on day two will be Nuffield church, which has a tap on the outside wall. They also have tea/coffee/biscuits inside for a charitable donation.
Day three, there’s a tap at Aston Rowant Nature Reserve, not long after you go under the M40.
I’m insanely jealous of you, btw, as I don’t have time to walk it again this year. Possibly next year I might do it again, my next goal being a non-stop 30 hour slog. I feel I need to do that before I get too old !
Best wishes,
Phil

Andrew Heller

29 March 2018 at 9:21 am

Thanks very much for your advice Phil. Hope to sort it all out within the next 5 wks. Looking at the dates of 11-13 May. The water advice will help as that was one thing mainly on my mind…..and any extra food I may need.
If you or anyone else thinks of anything I’d accept the advice.
Cheers
Andrew.

Lizzie

6 May 2018 at 6:57 pm

Hey,

This is amazingly helpful! I was just wondering whether anyone has done this non-stop (or at least, without stopping to sleep)? I’m planning on doing it this year, but am not sure about the safety of walking through the night on my own.

Best wishes,
Lizzie

Keith Macdonald

6 May 2018 at 8:31 pm

Hi Lizzie

There is a regular handful of serious dedicated ultra-distance runners who run it non-stop (or attempt to do so). Usually mid-June when the nights are shortest.

So walking it is definitely achievable. Walking through the night is fine, just make sure you have a good long-life LED torch.

Good luck
Keith

Peter

13 May 2018 at 4:09 pm

Thanks for this site, Andrew. If you were to do bits of the ridgeway, which would you pick out as the most scenic / most enjoyable?

Dino Devine

18 July 2018 at 8:18 pm

Thanks to The Rambling man
I walked the Ridgeway on my own end of June 2018 it took me 4.5 days to do it as I was sleeping in the woods as I went along. I don’t carry a tent, just groundsheet and sleeping bag, carried my food as well. Surprising how little you need. The second night at Goring the mozzies ate me up so I moved to a field just outside the village; however it was at 10:30pm. Third night was the best in a pine forest near Watlington, pine needles make an excellent mattress. Last night was in Wendover woods.
Biggest problem is water from Uffington castle to Goring, there is one water tap near a riding stable but after that nothing ended up going into West Ilsley then back on the track. The tap and toilets are out of action at Barbury castle.
The walk from Goring was the best for me as I love woods and hills.
Very few walkers, however some going in the opposite direction to the Summer solstice.
This is my first hike alone, and I loved it. Got up at the crack of dawn, about 4:30 walking 15 minutes later. Stopped ever 3 hours for 30 minutes. The best distance I did was 24.5 miles on the second day, easy walking.
The route is well signposted but I did have a really good app OutSide just to check what was coming up next. Mobile signal was great all the way and I used a solar powered battery as my wife want to check up if I was doing ok.
Try this walk but don’t rush it, take plenty of water for the first stage then you can reduce to 2 x 500ml bottles afterwards to keep the weight down.
I am 65 and weighed in at 17.12 stone and ended at 17 stone at the end. Anybody can do this, especially try without a tent, the thought of being alone (if you are) is such a good feeling, just you and the wind.

Mikey C

16 August 2018 at 10:37 am

Having recently completed this walk, I though I’d share a few public transport tips!
I did it as a series of day walks (with one airbnb overnight stay in Watlington) effectively taking 7 days, enabling me to spend time in Avebury at one end (to explore the monuments) and Ivinghoe at the other (Ashridge Park and Aldbury are very nice)
Using public transport this is still doable, but you have to keep an eye on the time and not miss the last bus!
49 bus from Avebury to Swindon station
80/X5 from Ogbourne St George to Swindon
46/48 from Foxhill to Swindon (I didn’t use this)
X32/32A from Wantage to Didcot Parkway (nb the long walk from the trail to Wantage)
The Eastern section is easier as there are more train routes on the trail, but it’s worth noting
The Oxford Tube coach (very regular London to Oxford coach) stops at Lewknor near where the trail crosses the M40
The 500 bus from Hemel to Aylesbury crosses the trail near Wigginton, going to Aylesbury might be helpful in avoiding single rail tickets as Tring is on a different line (and company) to Princes Risborough, Wendover and Aylesbury
Finally if it’s your first time I would recommend not trying to cover too many miles in one day, as you need time to explore the historical monuments on the route.

Ishani

13 November 2018 at 5:49 pm

Thank you for all the information, seems very much useful.
Those of you who have walked this already and/or live around Ridgeway, would you recommend walking this thru in the end of December? I really want to walk all the national trails (eventually) but struggling to plan them in and really just starting them. I am just thinking about walking this in this Christmas holidays. I will look into booking accommodation for this first trail, will aim to complete it in 6 days. I am an experienced long distance hiker but not very experienced in navigation or thru hiking. Any suggestions or things that I should factor in for decision making?

Dino Devine

13 November 2018 at 9:23 pm

Hi Ishani,
I live near Swindon with easy access to the Ridge and walked it in late June, good weather, plenty daylight.
I was planning on doing it again starting on Thursday 15th however I’m a wild sleeper (no tent) or open fire and because the daylight has gone by 4:30 and only light around 7:30 in the morning means a long time in darkness.
As for navigation the route is well signposted and easy to follow.

Ishani

14 November 2018 at 8:23 am

Thank you for your response Dino. Given the time of the year and the total distance, I will use proper accommodation so can also should be OK to focus on miles in the short day. My biggest concern is regarding mud/marsh land. It’s not a problem if it is just muddy on the surface. But I am not keen on knee deep mud!

Helena Scott

27 February 2019 at 12:44 pm

Update:
The Arriva 61 no longer operates … sadly

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

27 February 2019 at 1:33 pm

Helena – thank you for the update. It looks like another operator is running buses on the route, so that’s something. I have updated the text accordingly.

Keith Macdonald

27 February 2019 at 2:17 pm

Re “On the West, there is absolutely no public transport to Overton Hill.”

Err, not quite true.

Route 42 : Calne – Marlborough, via Avebury
Mondays to Fridays (except Public Holidays) from 5th November 2018
and Saturdays from 10th November 2018
but not Sundays

http://www.swindonbus.co.uk/service.shtml?serviceid=5364

Get off at the West Kennett Telephone Box stop, then walk 600m east alongside the A4 to Overton Hill, then turn north onto the official “Ridgeway”. Or cross the A4, walk 2Km south and join the eastern-end of the Wessex Ridgeway, and walk west all the way to Lyme Regis 🙂

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

1 March 2019 at 9:59 pm

Thanks Keith. I have updated accordingly, although looking at the timetables I’d say walking from Avebury remains the best option!

Andy Bown

14 April 2019 at 10:05 pm

Planning to walk the western section in 3 days but struggling on accomodation. There seems to be nothing around Ogbourne St George except an expensivs pub or hotel. Any ideas?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

14 April 2019 at 10:27 pm

Hi Andy – afraid I can’t. We stayed in the pub at Ogbourne St George.

Ishani Naik

14 April 2019 at 10:46 pm

Hi Andy – I struggled to find accommodation around there as well. So I booked an Airbnb room in Chiseldon and took the bus from Ogbourne St George. Next morning, missed few miles in-between and walked towards Liddington Castle to connect back to the trail.

Keith Macdonald

15 April 2019 at 1:07 pm

Hi Andy

You could try The Sanctuary B&B in Ogbourne St.George.
Or try the National Trail’s accommodation section.

Keith

Mikey C

16 April 2019 at 4:19 pm

Hello Andy
An option is to take the Stagecoach 80 bus to Swindon where presumably accommodation will be cheaper and more plentiful!
The buses aren’t that frequent, but the timetable is quite suitable for a walker as buses run quite late and start fairly early on, though the Sunday service is poor
https://tiscon-maps-stagecoachbus.s3.amazonaws.com/Timetables/West/80_81_82_Swindon_2_September_2018_WEB.pdf

Andy Bown

17 April 2019 at 7:41 pm

Thanks for your suggestions. I have booked us all in at YHA Streatley and have a very nice chap ferrying us to our start each day and then collecting us! Looking forward to a splendid three days walking.

Jo

5 June 2019 at 4:55 am

Thanks for a great site and suggestions. I am currently doing the Ridgeway as a solo walker booked through Contours Walking Holidays and loving it. Does anyone have any ideas of the easiest way to get myself and my luggage back to Swindon from Tring?
The best I can come up with is :
500 from Tring to Aylesbury
280 from Ayelsbury to Oxford Park End Street, then
Stagecoach S6 from Oxford Frideswide Square to Swindon bus station.
This takes about 3 hours.
Has anyone got a better idea?
Jo

Phil Jones

5 June 2019 at 9:42 am

To be honest, it’s about a 2 hour drive, so 3 hours by public transport is not bad at all!
Google maps doesn’t come up with any combination of buses and/or trains that beats 2hr 51m. Their best alternative was taking the train from Oxford to Swindon, changing at Didcot Parkway, instead of the Stagecoach.
If I were to be very tongue-in-cheek, I might suggest walking – just follow the Ridgeway signs till you get to Ogbourne St George, then catch a bus to Swindon. 🙂

Dino Devine

5 June 2019 at 8:31 pm

I walked to Ivanhoe which is just down from the beacon and then Tring, L Buzzard, Oxford and Swindon where we live. It was a no brainer for me 65 with a bus pass, but it was still a long ride home

Jo

6 June 2019 at 5:39 am

Thanks Dino and Phil
It wasn’t the time factor that concerns me about this transfer, it is the management of my heavy luggage.
Do you know if the Arriva buses 500 and 280 have a luggage hold ? I would struggle to get my suitcase on and off the buses. I expect the Stagecoach one does.
I can’t get through to the Arriva helpline to ask this.
Jo

Abby

11 June 2019 at 6:40 pm

Hello,
We’re walking the ridgeway and our next stage is the B4494 junction to Streatley. We’ve got time constraints on the day we wish to do it… do you think that a trio of medium-paced walkers would manage that in about 6 hours on a normal weather day? It’s hard to tell the exact distance in my guidebook and we don’t want to find ourselves caught short!!! Is it about 12.5 miles in your experience?
Thanks.

Phil Jones

12 June 2019 at 8:50 am

I make it 8.6 miles to the Aldworth turning (where I would have to turn off to make a pilgrimage to the Bell Inn), but carrying on to the centre of Streatley is 3.5 more miles, making a total of 12.1
So, yes, I think you’ll be fine.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

12 June 2019 at 8:51 am

Hi Abby
It looks to be about 12-13 miles. It’s not a particularly difficult. 6 hours could be doable if you get your skates on.

Abby

13 June 2019 at 7:32 pm

Thanks so much – very helpful! Stopping off at Aldworth it is then!

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