Incredible Ancient Sites: From Stone Age and Bronze Age Barrows to Iron Age Forts
Panoramic Views Over the Thames Valley
Why Book With Us?
Fun and Hassle-Free Trips and Activities
All Navigation and Instructions Provided, Luggage Transfers Included
Join Like-minded Active People on a 5000 year old road!
Friendly customer care team on hand 365 days a year
“A walk to remember forever… Every aspect exceeded our expectations…We highly recommend Active England and this opportunity to see what I believe is some of the most beautiful country in the world.” D.E
Got a Question?
Please do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We are always on hand to answer any queries you have relating to your tour.
Return to nature on this 7 day long distance walk following the Ridgeway National Trail, Britain’s oldest road; a route used for at least 5,000 years, by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers. Walk along the Ridgeway National Trail, across nearly 90 miles of glorious countryside and spectacular views, returning you to nature, away from the crowds, through ancient landscapes, secluded valleys and woodland. The trail begins at Ivinghoe Beacon and finishes in West Kennet at Avebury, travelling down through the Chilterns AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and the North Wessex Downs AONB.
No Hassle Self-Guided Walking Tours
Journey on foot, at your own pace, in your own time. We take all the hassle out of walking by including all luggage transfers, organising and booking all accommodation, providing maps, GPS instructions, and recommending incredible iconic manors, waterside towns, ancient sites and more to visit along the way.
English Long-Distance Walking National Trails
Step back in time on one of our idyllic walks through the heart of the English countryside, along routes used since prehistoric times, winding through villages, tracing the Ridgeway down into woodlands, valleys, rivers and canals, with panoramic views around every corner. These linear journeys are the perfect way to discover England at its finest.
Ridgeway Self Guided Walking Itinerary
Day 1Ivinghoe Beacon and the Chiltern Hills
Arrive at Tring Railway Station, a short 45 minute journey out of London, where we will meet you and set you up for a great week of walking. We take you the 10 minute journey up to Ivinghoe Beacon, the starting point of the Ridgeway Trail. Ivinghoe Beacon stands 233m high above the Chiltern Hills and was an ancient signal point used in times of crisis to send messages across long distances. The walk begins through the windswept landscape, past an Iron Age hill fort and multiple Bronze Age burial mounds. Lunch in the Greyhound Pub in Wigginton along the way and continue on to Wendover where you stay for your first night.
Mileage: 10 miles
Day 2Woodlands, Nature Reserves, Rail to Trail Tracks
Today is the longest walk of the week, a beautiful 17 miles. Begin from your hotel in Wendover and look out for circling Red Kites, nearly extinct in the 1970s but reintroduced in the 1980s and now flourishing throughout the South. The morning’s walk leads you through beech woodlands and fields, nature reserves and dismantled railways. Have a well-earned pub lunch in Princes Risborough before continuing in the afternoon and to your hotel, the Fat Fox, in Watlington. We provide reliable taxi numbers for those wishing to finish their walk at lunch in Princes Risborough and explore the pretty town of Watlington in the afternoon.
Mileage: 17 miles
Day 3Chalk Grasslands, Nuffield Place, Grim’s Ditch
From Watlington the trail leads you through some ancient yew woodlands and up onto the chalk grassland, walking to the National Trust Café at Nuffield for lunch. Home to one of the most remarkable men of the 20th century, Nuffield Place was built by Lord Nuffield, who manufactured Morris Motor cars with the towering figure of the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris. After lunch, continue down the Old Drovers Path, to a series of Iron Age linear earthworks at Grim’s Ditch and down into Wallingford.
Mileage: 12 miles
Day 4Thames Footpath, Goring on Thames, Goring Gap
From Wallingford the Ridgeway continues along the Thames footpath with an option for a great coffee by the river, at the Perch and Pike in South Stoke. Lunch in the pretty town of Goring on Thames, with a wealth of cafes and pubs to choose from, before climbing back through the dramatic Goring Gap, the narrowest part of the Thames Valley, with the river and a railway nestled between the hills either side. Stay in the evening in the small pretty town of East Ilsley, with multiple dining out options in the evening.
Mileage: 12 miles
Day 5Neolithic Barrows, Views over the Thames Valley
Today we can provide a packed lunch for you to enjoy while staring out over the hills and valleys and looking out towards the Cotswolds with the landscape laid out like a patchwork quilt. You stay for the evening in the Court Hill Centre at Wantage, bunkhouse style accommodation with a kitchen and where you can purchase packed lunches for the next day also. The Greyhound in Letcombe Regis is a great dinner spot just down the hill from here.
Mileage: 12 miles
Day 6The White Horse – Over 3000 Years Old, and the Neolithic Wayland Smithy
Walk out towards the stunning White Horse Hill to see the beautiful ancient chalk carving atop the Ridgeway, 111 foot-long and thought to be over 3000 year old. Dropping off the Ridgeway, lunch in the White Horse Inn in Woolstone to Wayland’s Smithy and from here wander across to Wayland Smithy a Neolithic chambered long barrow, probably constructed in 3600 BC and shrouded in the myth of Wayland, the Germanic Smith God, before heading onto the quaint village of Ogbourne St George and the Inn on the Well, your hotel for the evening.
Mileage: 15 miles
Day 7Avebury, World Heritage Site and farewell
This morning’s walk takes you to the World Heritage Site at Avebury, where the National Trail finishes. The stone circles here are one of the greatest marvels of prehistoric Britain. Built and much altered during the Neolithic period, roughly between 2850 BC and 2200 BC, the henge survives as a huge circular bank and ditch, encircling an area that includes part of Avebury village. We transfer you from Avebury to Swindon station in the afternoon after lunch at the National Trust cafe or the Red Lion in Avebury. We will help you with all your ongoing travel from here, after a wonderful week of walking.
Mileage: 9 miles
Download Detailed Intinerary
For full information about this tour and to find out all you need to know, download your copy of the detailed itinerary by clicking the button below.
Maps, Route Instructions, Comprehensive GPS routes (Ride With GPS) to follow on your phones
International Flights and travel to and from the start / end of the tour
Items of a personal nature
Lunches, dinners and café stops
Gratuity for your local guide
Entry into all iconic points of interest, including: Huntercombe Manor, Avebury
Why choose a self-guided walking tour?
With exceptionally well-planned routes, our self-guided tours are designed to suit the independent traveler or groups of travelers; those who wish to travel at their own pace and speed. With GPS instructions and maps, we detail all of the points of interests, lunch stops, cafes – and of course pubs! Walk at your leisure, safe in the knowledge that a support team and emergency support vehicle is always on standby.
Where is the Ridgeway?
The Ridgeway is in Southern Central England, starting North of London then stretching down through the Chilterns AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and the North Wessex Downs AONB into Wiltshire. You can walk the trail in either direction, though on our tours we start at the Ivinghoe Beacon, finishing at Avebury.
How do I get to the Ridgeway, and the start of the walk, from London?
We start our tour from Tring Station, a short 45 minute journey out of London Euston on the train. From this station it is a quick 10 minute transfer in our support vehicle to our start point at Ivinghoe Beacon.
What are the hotels and accommodation like along the Ridgeway?
We have handpicked the best family run, independent and country hotels and pubs right on the Ridgeway. In perfect rural settings, you walk straight into and out of your hotels each and every day. Cosy and with informal dining, these country hotels are friendly and relaxed, with great menus with locally sourced food and ales.