Draw, notice, stroll, write, relax, learn! This art journalling workshop and walk will enable you to explore some of the fascinating history and nature of the Ridgeway National Trail with Jo Beal, Wiltshire-based artist, and Sarah Wright, Ridgeway Officer.

We will spend the morning at Berrycroft Hub in Ashbury, our base for the day. Sarah will introduce you to some of the Ridgeway’s history and artefacts, and Jo will help you to capture them in your journals with easy and accessible drawing techniques that will help you build confidence. Some of the Trail’s myths and legends will also provide inspiration for your journals, and you’ll learn some creative lettering techniques to use in them.

In the afternoon, we will take a gentle stroll along the Ridgeway to the Neolithic long barrow of Wayland’s Smithy, stopping en route to enjoy nature and the landscape. The Smithy is the oldest monument along the Trail and a very atmospheric site; some say the barrow is the home of Wayland, the Saxon god of metal working! We will spend some time looking, listening and journalling our experience of this ancient place, before heading back to Ashbury.

We will walk at a gentle pace and there is a route option avoiding stiles and slopes. Surfaces are not suitable for wheelchairs, but off-road mobility vehicles are welcome along the route avoiding stiles and slopes. Please contact us to discuss before booking: ridgeway@oxfordshire.gov.uk.

A full materials list will be provided on booking, but you are encouraged to use what you have to hand at home!

Walk leader/organisation: Jo Beal, Artist

Walk Information

  • Booking: £50 per person – Booking essential – 12 places
  • Distance & approximate duration: 1.6 miles (2.6 km) – 6 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy (pretty flat, good paths).
  • Accessibility: Suitable for older children (13+). Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult (see useful information). Suitable for off-road mobility vehicles.
  • Dogs: No dogs
  • Refreshments: Tea, coffee, squash and cake provided. Please bring a packed lunch.
  • Toilets: There are toilets at Berrycroft Hub.
  • Meeting point: Berrycroft Hub, Berrycroft Farm, Ashbury, Swindon, SN6 8LX. What3Words: rotate.magpie.brilliant. OS grid reference: SU 262 851.
  • Public transport: There are buses to Ashbury from Swindon, see Connecting Wiltshire. It is a short walk to Berrycroft Hub from the bus stop near the Rose and Crown pub.
  • Parking: Free parking at Berrycroft Hub, SN6 8LX.

For general booking information, health and safety advice, terms and conditions please see our useful information page.

Further Information

This workshop is on Friday 9th June 2023. We are running a further art journalling workshop on Saturday 10th June 2023 at Uffington. This workshop explores the famous White Horse and hillfort along the Ridgeway. If you wish to do both workshops and stay locally, you can find details of accommodation and places to eat on the Ridgeway website.

2023 is the year to discover The Ridgeway’s famous people and places and influence its future as it celebrates its 50th anniversary as a National Trail. There’s a Ridgeway Top 50 and other special events planned. For more information, see Ridgeway Anniversary and National Trails.

Purchasing a ticket for this event will help support work to protect, restore and promote the ancient Ridgeway National Trail.

Jo Beal is a Wiltshire-based artist inspired by the countryside, people and places. She loves to draw from observation and to reflect on and capture her daily life through her Drawing Diaries. Jo runs workshops to help others to draw through building confidence, teaching new skills, and encouraging a personal exploration and enjoyment of drawing. Jo trained at Chelsea School of Art. Find out more about Jo Beal.

This walk is brought to you by our partner:

Wayland's Smithy © Msemmett/Wikicommons