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National Trail AcornRidgeway National Trail

136 km / 85 miles

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


Path Type
National Trails (England & Wales)
Waymark: National Trail Acorn
National Trail Acorn
National Trail (England and Wales); Average Gradients; Downland/Wolds; World Heritage Site
SU118681 - Overton Hill, Wiltshire
View on StreetMap
SP959169 - Ivinghoe Beacon, Buckinghamshire
View on StreetMap
Open Date
User Group
Friends of Ridgeway
c/o Anthony Burdall, 2 Fernham Road, FARINGDON, Oxfordshire, SN7 7JY
01367 240713

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

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

Click to show 15 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)

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National Trails (England & Wales)
Paths Marked on OS mapping
Other Paths
Anytime Challenges

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Hostel Accommodation
Bunk House
B & B Accommodation

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
OS Landranger Active
OS Explorer
OS Explorer Active
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 (Walking Holiday Company)
Support Providers
Baggage Handling & Passenger Transfer (Ridgeway Luggage Transfers)

Click to show 10 more Walking Support Providers

Accommodation within 5 Km of this Path:

From Path
Along 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

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