Also designated 50 years ago in 1972, the Ridgeway was opened as a National Trail in 1973 and celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2023

Starting in the World Heritage Site of Avebury, the Ridgeway follows a ridge of chalk hills in a north-easterly direction for 87 miles to reach Ivinghoe Beacon lying to the northwest of London.

Popularly known 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. Today it is popular with walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders.  The section which passes through the North Wessex Downs is a broad track and often quite a distance from villages or towns; travel along its length and you will 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 Uffington White Horse cut into the chalk downland.

Image: Ridgeway Trail towards Whitehorse Hill. Credit: Steve Davison