Walking Holiday around the coast of the Isle of Wight…
Duration: 3 - 7 Days
Available: March - October
Often described as Britain’s Oldest road, the Ridgeway follows ancient tracks and paths previously walked by herdsman and soldiers as long as 5000 years ago. Today the trail offers walkers a tranquil escape from day to day life, passing two distinct and different landscapes; the open and remote countryside of the Wessex Downs and the quaint villages and chalk grassland of the Chiltern Hills.
The Ridgeway stretches through 5 counties, starting in Wiltshire and passing thought Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hertforshire before ending in Buckinghamshire. Starting in Avebury where you can visit the largest Stone Circle in Europe, you follow the path across the North Wessex Downs where you can be sure of wild and remote landscapes with fantastic views over the rolling hills down to the south. From Goring, which is on the River Thames, the landscape changes and you follow woodland tracks with chalk grassland and meander through small villages and towns until you head up to Ivinghoe Beacon.
The Ridgeway walk features hand-picked overnight accommodation in high quality B&B’s, country inns, and guesthouses at each overnight stop. Each is unique and offers the highest levels of welcome, atmosphere and outstanding local cuisine. We also include daily door to door baggage transfers, a guide book, a detailed map and pre-departure information pack as well as emergency support, should you need it.
The official start of the Ridgeway is Overton Hill. However due to a lack availability here you will have your first night in Avebury; if you arrive early then you can take some time to visit the Standing Stones.
As you are staying in Avebury the night before, there are a number of alternative starts to the walk (detailed in the guidebook) which make for a more exiting start to this wonderful walk. The first section of this walk sees you climbing gradually to Barbury Castle Iron Age Fort where the views on a clear day are fantastic. The landscape is remote and walking is mainly on grassland until you head down to Ogbourne St George. This pretty village has many lovely cottages with thatched roofs and its two pubs are a welcome stop for many walkers. From here to Bishopstone is fairly tough but worth it when you reach the village located just off the Ridgeway path.
From Bishopstone you soon make your way up to White Horse Hill and Uffington Castle. This is quite a tough climb but its worth it when you reach the top and see these amazing horses cut into the hillside. Dating back to around 800bc the Uffington White Horse is over 100 metres long and its still a mystery how it was so well excavated from the hillside. The White Horse Hill area is one of the highlights of the Ridgeway so take time to relax and enjoy it. Soon you will take the turn off for Letcombe Regis which is just 2km from the path.
This section of the walk is fairly easy with most of the walking on flat broad, grassy paths. On a clear day you can see the Chiltern hills in the distance which the Ridgeway later travels. After the road crossing, more trees become apparent and the path starts to undulate slightly. You gradually descend into Streatly on the west bank of the River Thames before you cross over to the bustling town of Goring.
This stretch of the Ridgeway is very enjoyable and highlights the contrast from the previous days walking in the remote and open countryside. You follow the River Thames (England’s most famous river) for the first 5 or so miles and pass charming little villages. The walking is on narrow secluded paths and in the springtime these are covered with bluebells and wood anemones. When you reach Nuttfield the path heads north and you pass Swyncombe and then up to Watlington which officially is the smallest town in England.
This 11 mile section is a pleasant days walk. It is fairly short so you can take your time and enjoy the sights and possibly take a detour to Lewknor or Chinnor if you have time. The walking is mainly on sheltered beech woodland trails where the wildflowers dominate the surroundings. Unfortunately a short main road walk follows as you come into Princes Risborough which is the biggest town you will have seen so far on the walk.
This section is the most undulating section of the walk with several climbs in an out of valleys so even although it is a short day if can be quite tough. Wendover which was mentioned in the doomsday book, serves for a good halfway stop and has an attractive centre with old cosy pubs. From here to Wiggington you pass through woodlands and you will be surrounded by beech trees, your overnight is is Tring which is slightly off the path but will be your base for the next 2 nights.
From Tring this last section of the walk up to Ivinghoe Beacon is wonderful, it takes around 5 miles to reach the end but you have to come back to Tring for your overnight. The path up is fairly steep and you pass through Duchies Piece Nature Reserve before emerging onto Pitstone Hill where the views for the rest of the walk to Ivinghoe Beacon are outstanding. The last two miles are undulating but you will be rewarded with views over the Vale of Aylesbury and you can also look back from where you have followed the Ridgeway path. Take time to reflect at the journey you have taken along Britains Oldest Road. Onward Travel We base your last two nights in the large town of Tring as onward travel is easier from here. There is a train station in Tring and you can reach London Euston in 40 mins from here.
You can start your walking holiday on any date between March and October, subject to availability. To make a provisional reservation select "Book" for the itinerary you are interested in.
Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.
Because every walking holiday we book is unique, availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:
|WESRW2||The Ridgeway||10 Days & 9 Nights||£655||Book|
|WESRW4||The Ridgeway (Wessex Downs)||6 Days & 5 Nights||£375||Book|
|WESRW1||The Ridgeway||8 Days & 7 Nights||£505||Book|
|WESRW5||The Ridgeway (Chiltern Hills)||5 Days & 4 Nights||£305||Book|
|WESRW6||The Ridgeway (Chiltern Hills)||6 Days & 5 Nights||£375||Book|
|WESRW3||The Ridgeway (Wessex Downs)||5 Days & 4 Nights||£305||Book|
|Accommodation||Single Room Supplement||The single room supplement is per person, per night.||£25|
|Accommodation||Extra Night's Accommodation||Additional night's accommodation at any point along the route. Specify location in Special Requests on the next page. Price is per person, per night.||£40|
The Ridgeway is a National Trail and is fully way marked and easy to follow. Wooden Posts are usually at every interesetion so you shouldnt get lost. A comprehensive guidebook and map are supplied with your holiday.
The way is on well maintained footpaths, bridleways, across fields and on some minor roads. It does involve some steep ascent and descent from the escarpment but in general the walking is fairly easy.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 3 or 4 star B&B’s, guesthouses, country pubs and small hotels. Your room will always have an ensuite or private bathroom. A delicious breakfast is always included.
If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.
This walking holiday is available to solo walkers but as we incur additional baggage transfer costs their is a solo walker supplement payable.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included. Most of your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants.
Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the cost of your holiday. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.
We supply a detailed guidebook and map but you may find room for a few titles in your pack. I suggest you visit The Ridgeway National Trail Website for publications and any other information you need. The website is a great way to keep up to date with any diversions on the path.
The Old Forge is a charming 4 star, Gold Award, bed and breakfast in East Kennett. Formerly a smithy dating back to the 1860’s, it has been extensively renovated and restored.
Manor Farm is a wonderful 3 story listed building providing comfortable B&B accommodation.
Lavender House Bed and Breakfast is situated in the tranquil and picturesque village of Ogbourne St George.
Built in 1863 Prebendal Farm is a working arable farm nestled in the village of Bishopstone.
The White Horse is one of the most enchanting buildings in Woolstone, the pub provides accommodation for walkers, local ales and great food.
Very popular with walkers on The Ridgeway, this friendly B&B provides a warm and relaxed welcome.
This country Inn has a cosy feel with open log fires.
A warm welcome is assured at Ridgeway Lodge which is located in The Buckinghamshire Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Red Lion is a traditional 16th Century coaching inn steeped in history and tradition which gracefully combines ‘olde world’ charms with a modern look and feel.
Very popular with walkers, The Greyhound offers great pub dinners and local ales and have comfortable en-suite rooms.
The Ridgeway is well served by public transport and we encourage this for Ridgeway walkers. The closest railway station to Avebury is Swindon (12 miles away) and from here you can catch a bus (30mins) to Avebury. You can reach Swindon from London Paddington in 1 hour. There is no secure parking, limited on street unsecure parking is available.
On the Chiltern Hills section of the walk you start from Goring which can be reached easily by train from London in 1 hour. Again there is no private parking but on street unsecure parking is available.
If you are walking the full Ridgeway path then you will finish in Ivinghoe Beacon, we use accommodation in Tring for your last night as it is easier for onward travel. There is a train station in Tring and you can reach London Euston in 40 mins. If you are looking to return to Avebury to get your car then you need to go via London to get back to Swindon and then take the bus to Avebury (3 hrs) and many changes.
If you are walking the first section of The Ridgeway from Avebury to Goring you can take the train back from Goring to London in 1 hour. Alternatively if you need to head back to Avebury for your car you can take the train to Swindon (1 change) and then the bus to Avebury.
For your travel plans the best advice can be found on the Traveline Website
We are often asked the following questions by walkers planning The Ridgeway and I hope that you will find the following information useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.
We offer a range of itineraries so you can choose your preferred daily distance so hopefully you will find an itinerary that suits your preferred level of activity. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
As far in advance as possible! We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the walk can get very booked up in the summer months. If booking at short notice we will always try and accommodate your plans.
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. You can download a full equipment list from the downloads page of our website.
The Ridgeway is very enjoyable at any time between March and October although the most popular favourite time of year for walking is in the Spring and the Autumn.
We recommend you travel by train as this is the most efficinet way of reaching the start and finish point of the walk. There is no secure parking in Avebury and it is very hard to get back to your car from the finish point. Further travel information is available on the Essential Info page.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
You can use local bus services or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
Walking Holiday around the coast of the Isle of Wight…
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