Skip to content
Free UK delivery if you spend £45 or more
Free UK delivery if you spend £45 or more
Walking Britain’s oldest road - a passage through time

Walking The Ridgeway

Ashdown House The Ridgeway National Trail
Field of poppies on The Ridgeway National Trail
Chequers Knap on The Ridgeway National Trail
Chiltern Woodland on The Ridgeway National Trail
A field of crops on The Ridgeway National Trail
Woodland on The Ridgeway National Trail
The Manger, Uffington on The Ridgeway National Trail
A river on The Ridgeway National Trail

About The Ridgeway National Trail

The Ridgeway National Trail is a walking route in a surprisingly remote part of southern central England. While walking The Ridgeway, you will travel in a northeasterly direction for 87 miles (139 km) from its start in the World Heritage Site of Avebury. As Britain’s oldest road, The Ridgeway still follows the same route over the high ground used since prehistoric times by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers.


West of the River Thames, The Ridgeway is a broad track passing through the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is often quite a distance from villages or towns. While walking The Ridgeway, you’ll experience wide, open views of rolling chalk downland and find many archaeological monuments close to the Trail including Stone Age long barrows, Bronze Age round barrows, Iron Age forts and the figures of white horses cut into the chalk. Don’t miss Barbury Castle, a strategically placed Iron Age hill fort, Wayland's Smithy, an atmospheric Early Neolithic chambered long barrow, Uffington Castle and the Uffington White Horse, the oldest chalk-cut hill figure in Britain.


East of the Thames, The Ridgeway travels through the more-wooded and intimate hills and valleys of the Chilterns AONB where, as well as further archaeological treasures, there are several nature reserves rich in wildlife. Enjoy the tranquil riverside wetlands at Cholsey Marsh Nature Reserve, the panoramic views and beautiful flowery chalk grassland at Warren Bank Nature Reserve and look out for red kites and kestrels at Chinnor Hill Nature Reserve. In the Chilterns. The Ridgeway goes close to or through several villages and small towns where refreshments and other facilities are easily available.


The final section of the trail passes through the Chiltern Hills, renowned for its wooded landscape which looks particularly spectacular at the end of October and early November when autumn colours are at their best. You emerge from the woodlands for the last couple of miles of the trail for the final climb to the top of Ivinghoe Beacon where you will savour the far-reaching views over several counties.  

Check Out Our Ridgeway Merchandise

If you are looking to treat a trail loving friend or celebrate your own success, try our range of the Ridgeway merchandise. You can find maps, guidebooks and more here:

How Long Does Walking The Ridgeway Take, End to End?  

As a guide, using roughly 15 miles (24 km) a day as an average daily walking distance, walking The Ridgeway can be completed in 6 days so it’s a perfect week’s break. If you have seven days spare it usually makes sense to start gently, with just half a day’s walk, and to have a short day in the middle, particularly if you’re not used to long distance walking.

You don’t have to do it all at one of course, you can dip in for half or a full day’s walk or enjoy the Trail in sections.  

How Hard is Walking The Ridgeway?  

The Ridgeway is a gentle Trail, suitable for people with a wide range of abilities, it is mainly flat, with just a few natural slopes. Many places along it can be accessed by people with limited mobility such as users of wheelchairs or mobility scooters, parents with pushchairs or those using a walking stick.  

Who Can Enjoy Walking The Ridgeway National Trail?  

Whilst only walkers can complete the entire National Trail, there are sections that are open to cyclists and horse riders.

The section between Overton Hill and Streatley on the River Thames gives cyclists and horse riders an almost continuous 43 miles (69 km) stretch of track with only a few short sections of road.

East of the River Thames there are less opportunities for cyclists and riders. However there is a lovely 9 miles (14 km) stretch through The Chilterns that can be used on a bike or horseback. This is from Britwell Hill just west of Watlington to Bledlow, west of Princes Risborough.  

Can I Bring my Dog While Walking The Ridgeway?

Your dog is welcome to join while walking The Ridgeway but make sure it’s fit enough to do as much walking as you. When on the Trail, your dog must always be under close control to prevent it from disturbing livestock or wildlife.  

What is the Best Time of Year for Walking The Ridgeway?  

The Ridgeway can be enjoyed all year round, but spring through to autumn (March to November) probably provides the best views, the most wildlife and better surface conditions underfoot. Much of the surface of the Trail remains natural so that it can get a little wet and muddy during and after wet weather and in places some rutting will be encountered.

Early May is the best time to enjoy the bluebells that carpet many of the Chiltern woodlands, one of the treats for visitors to The Ridgeway. This time of year also sees the return of many migrant birds to England to breed such as warblers, cuckoos, swallows, etc. Bird song is at its best in the second half of April and May whilst birds are establishing territories and attracting mates; the song of the corn bunting, skylark and yellow hammer are still characteristic of The Ridgeway, despite a national decline in numbers.

The large number of chalk grassland wildflowers found in patches along the western half of the Trail, and in several nature reserves east of the River Thames, flower mostly from June to August and include several species of orchids. Chalk grassland is also rich in insects and a warm summer’s day can bring forth many colourful, and sometimes relatively rare, butterflies.

A walk in the Chilterns in November can be a memorable experience with the beech woods so typical of the area taking on a red/gold glow as their leaves change colour combined with the earthy autumnal smell of gently decomposing vegetation.  

Can I buy The Ridgeway Merchandise?

We sell a range of merchandise for The Ridgway National Trail including sew on badges, enamel badges, mugs and other merchandise.

Can I get a Ridgeway National Trail Completion Certificate?

Our personalised Ridgeway certificate is a great momento for anyone that has completed the trail.

Guidebooks & Maps for the Thames Path

The Ridgeway The Ridgeway loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 524): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway The Ridgeway loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 524): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway: Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon - Trailblazer The Ridgeway: Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon - Trailblazer loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 524): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
Walking The Ridgeway - guidebook with map booklet Walking The Ridgeway - guidebook with map booklet loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 524): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway A-Z Adventure Atlas The Ridgeway A-Z Adventure Atlas loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 524): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
Walking The Ridgeway map booklet Walking The Ridgeway map booklet loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 524): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
Ridgeway Harvey map Ridgeway Harvey map loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 524): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway visitor map The Ridgeway visitor map loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 524): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway Zigzag map - 1 - Overton Hill to Segsbury Castle The Ridgeway Zigzag map - 1 - Overton Hill to Segsbury Castle loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 524): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway Zigzag map - 2 - Segsbury Castle to Watlington Hill The Ridgeway Zigzag map - 2 - Segsbury Castle to Watlington Hill loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 524): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway Zigzag map - 3 - Watlington Hill to Ivinghoe Beacon The Ridgeway Zigzag map - 3 - Watlington Hill to Ivinghoe Beacon loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 524): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view

Thames Path Merchandise

The Ridgeway visitor map The Ridgeway visitor map loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway woven sew-on badge - circular The Ridgeway woven sew-on badge - circular loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway woven patch badge The Ridgeway woven patch badge loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway enamel badge The Ridgeway enamel badge loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway Completion Certificate The Ridgeway Completion Certificate loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
National Trail Mug National Trail Mug loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway signs The Ridgeway signs loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
National Trail souvenir signs National Trail souvenir signs loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
Mini National Trail Fingerpost Mini National Trail Fingerpost loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
National Trails boot jack National Trails boot jack loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
The Ridgeway Art Print The Ridgeway Art Print loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
'Follow the acorn' National Trail Men's Compass Hoody 'Follow the acorn' National Trail Men's Compass Hoody loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view
National Trails 'Follow the acorn' Compass T-Shirt National Trails 'Follow the acorn' Compass T-Shirt loading
Sold out -Liquid error (sections/layouthub-6193cc5131ab497b3d114542 line 745): divided by 0%
Wishlist
Quick view

Map of The Ridgeway National Trail