Please Note: this walk has already happened.

Many a poet and writer have tramped and roamed the Berkshire Downs, including some of the Nation’s favourites such as Sir John Betjeman.  Join us for a walk in their footsteps and immerse yourself in the Downs ‘among the highest, most spacious, and most divinely carved in rolling ridge and hollow flank…’ (Edward Thomas).  Our undulating 9 mile route mainly follows old green ways.  In addition to some literary discoveries along the way, this is a great walk for stunning panoramic views, wildflowers and butterflies.

We start our walk along the Ridgeway National Trail, passing the Lord Wantage Monument and soaking up the views. We then head off through the downs along Old Street to reach the sleepy village of Farnborough, the highest village in Berkshire!  Here we take time to explore All Saints Church and marvel at the beautiful stained glass window, designed by John Piper in memory of the Poet Laureate, John Betjeman (past resident and church warden). After a refreshment break (pay locally) at Saddleback Farm café, an ancient green lane leads us back up to the Ridgeway.

Walk Leader/organisation: Philippa Sanders, Pipsticks Walks

Walk Information

  • Booking: £12  – booking essential – 12 places
  • Distance & approximate duration: 9 miles – approx 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Accessibility: Not suitable for wheelchairs. Not suitable for young children. Paths and tracks rough in places and can be muddy. Total ascent 650ft / 200m.
  • Dogs: Dogs on leads welcome

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

  • Meeting point: Meet at the Ridgeway – B4494 (Chainhill Road) crossing.  Nearest postcode OX12 8PA. OS Map Exp 170.  Grid Ref: SU 418 841. What3Words: incurring.dignify.typical
  • Public Transport: No public transport
  • Parking: Park at the Ridgeway
  • Nearby Refreshments: Please bring drink and snacks for personal consumption during the walk.  Mid walk café stop at Saddleback Farm Shop.
  • Closest Toilets: At Saddleback Farm Shop

Further Information

For information about Pipsticks walks, please see

This walk is brought to you by our partner:

John Piper Window_Farnborough - credit Philippa Sanders