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National Trail AcornRidgeway National Trail

Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Swindon, W Berkshire, Wiltshire

136 km / 85 miles
One of the links in a prehistoric route, often called the Greater Ridgeway, from The Wash to the South Devon Coast, comprising the Wessex Ridgeway (Lyme Regis to Overton), Ridgeway National Trail (Overton to Ivinghoe), Icknield Way (Ivinghoe to Thetford) and Peddars Way (Knettishall to Hunstanton).

The Ridgeway is a trail of two contrasting halves, separated by the Thames. The western part of this National Trail largely follows the route of a prehistoric ridge track along the crest of the North Wessex Downs and passes many historic sites, including Barbury, Liddington, Uffington and Segsbury Castles (hill forts), Wayland's Smithy (long barrow) and Uffington White Horse. The Oldest Road publication explores this ancient heritage in words and pictures and the BBC weblink has video clips. Much of the Trail here is along a broad track which used to be rutted, but it has been resurfaced and protected against motorised traffic by regulations. Near the start of the route, that is at the Sanctuary, is the Avebury World Heritage Site (a joint Site with Stonehenge).

The eastern part at Streatley crosses and then follows the River Thames for five miles before heading east into the Chiltern Hills, mainly along the north-western escarpment. The walking on the eastern half is more varied, along tracks and paths, across open downland, and through farm and woodland, passing Nuffield, Watlington, Chinnor, Princes Risborough (see Swan's Way), Wendover and Tring.

The waymarked Ridgeway Link (7.5 miles and coincident with the Icknield Way Path on OS mapping) is a linking route from the Chilterns Gateway Visitor Centre near Dunstable to the finish of Ridgeway National Trail at Ivinghoe Beacon where there are no visitor facilites. The Link uses the route of the existing Icknield Way Path that has been upgraded to make it stile-free and steps have been added on a steep section.

At Wendover the waymarked Chiltern Link (8 miles and on OS mapping) leads to Chesham (see Colne Valley Way, Colne Valley Trail & Ebury Way). The Ridgeway is linked at Ivinghoe Beacon with the Greensand Ridge Walk by the Two Ridges Link (8 miles and included on OS mapping) that in turn also connects with the Icknield Way Path. The Ashridge Estate Boundary Trail (16 miles) is a waymarked circular route coincident in part with the east end of the Ridgeway. The Beacon View Walk (5 miles) provides a link between the Ridgeway and the Grand Union Canal Walk.

The LDWA National Trails Register offers certificates for completers of several British National Trails.


Waymark: National Trail Acorn
Path Type: National Trails (England & Wales)
Waymark: National Trail Acorn
Attributes: National Trail (England and Wales)
Average Gradients
World Heritage Site
Start: SU118681 - Overton Hill, Wiltshire View on StreetMap
Finish: SP959169 - Ivinghoe Beacon, Buckinghamshire View on StreetMap
Open Date: 1973
User Group: Friends of the Ridgeway Friends of the Ridgeway
Web Sites: Chiltern Society - Ridgeway National Trail National Trails - Ridgeway Rambling Man - Planning your Ridgeway Walk Southern Walks - Ridgeway Pete's Trip Reports - Ridgeway Jason McDonald's Walking Pages - Ridgeway National Trail Annierak - Ridgeway National Trail Griffmonster - Ridgeway: Ivinghoe Beacon to Great Kimble Stephen and Lucy Dawson - Ridgeway Friends of the Ridgeway

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Paperback Ridgeway : Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon  (Trailblazer Publications  - 2016 )
Paperback Ridgeway : National Trail Guide  (Aurum Press (an imprint of Quarto)  - 2016 )
Paperback Ridgeway  (Rucksack Readers  - 2015 )
Certificate Certificate for National Trails  (Long Distance Walkers Association  - 2009 )
Guidebook Walking the Ridgeway National Trail : Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon  (Cicerone Press  - 2016 )
Guidebook Walkers' Britain  (AA Publishing  - 2011 )
Guidebook Discovering the Ridgeway  (Shire (an imprint of Bloomsbury)  - 2002 )
Guidebook Oldest road : the Ridgeway  (Whittet Books  - 1987 )
Badge Badge for National Trails  (Walk Unlimited )
General Interest Book Big walks of Great Britain  (Summersdale Publishers  - 2007 )
Guidebook Exploring the Ridgeway  (Countryside Books  - 2000 )
Guidebook Pub walks along the Ridgeway  (Countryside Books  - 2004 )
Paperback Big Walks of the South  (Summersdale Publishers  - 2010 )
Certificate Certificate for National Trails  (Walk Unlimited )
Guidebook Ridgeway : a dog walker's guide  (Countryside Books  - 2017 )
Other Ridgeway video guide  (TV walks )
Guidebook National trails : complete guide to Britain's National Trails  (Cicerone Press  - 2015 )

Click to showhide 13 more Publications, Badges and Certificates


You can use the interactive controls to zoom in and out and to move around the map, or click on a path or a marker for more info.(interactive map help)

Show Connected Path Outlines
E Routes
National Trails (England & Wales)
Paths Marked on OS mapping
Other Paths
Anytime Challenges

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Hostel Accommodation
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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps (path is named on OS maps):
OS Landranger 164, 165, 173, 174, 175
OS Landranger Active 164, 165, 173, 174, 175
OS Explorer 157, 169, 170, 171, 181
OS Explorer Active 157, 169, 170, 171, 181
Other Paper Maps:
A-Z Adventure Atlas
Ridgeway Adventure Atlas (Geographers' A-Z Map Company - 2013)
Harvey Map (Stripmap)
Ridgeway (Harvey Maps - 2015)
Digital Maps:
Digital Mapping (25k Scale)
Downloadable Digital Mapping
Ridgeway National Trail (Anquet Technology Ltd)

Walking Support Providers:

Support Providers
Self-Guided Walking Holidays (Contours Walking Holidays)
Support Providers
Support Providers
Baggage Handling (Move My Bags)
Support Providers
Support Providers
Support Providers
Self-Guided Walking Holidays (Absolute Escapes Ltd)
Support Providers
Baggage Handling and Self Guided Walks (Celtic Trails Walking Holidays)
Support Providers
Guided Walking Holidays (Footpath Holidays)
Support Providers
Support Providers
Baggage Handling and Self-Guided Walks (Walk & Cycle Britain Limited)
Support Providers
Support Providers
Baggage Handling and Self-Guided Walks (Great British Walks Limited)
Support Providers
Baggage Handling & Passenger Transfer (Ridgeway Luggage Transfers)

Click to show 10 more Walking Support Providers

Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

B & B Accommodation
The Fox and Hounds  (bookable online)
3 km
36 km
Brambly Thatch Cottage  (bookable online)
3 km
68 km
B & B Accommodation
Marsh House  (bookable online)
4 km
76 km
The Lambert Arms  (bookable online)
< 1 km
96 km
Bunk House
2 km
131 km

Click to show 4 more Accommodations

Connected Paths:


Route Profile:

138.0 km (85.7 miles)
2,258 m (7,408 ft) ascent
275 m (902 ft)  maximum height

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