Our walk starts out from Letcombe Regis along the brook to Thomas Hardy’s ‘Cresscombe’. We then climb up onto the Ridgeway (Britain’s oldest road) to continue our ramblings along the crest of the downs to the Court Hill Centre. After some welcome refreshments (if you wish to indulge), we have time to explore Segsbury Castle before descending a grassy combe to return to Letcombe Regis.

Along the way, we will learn how this ancient downland landscape has captured the imagination of many writers and poets, including Hardy and Betjeman. There are also a few intriguing stories and discoveries to be made, including a Maori chieftain, the Devil and a plough boy, a skull and woolsack, a chalk stream, and an Iron Age hillfort!

Your guide on this walk will be Philippa, an experienced, qualified outdoor leader who is passionate about the downs. Philippa will always share her wealth of knowledge to give you a unique and rewarding walk experience – more than just a walk!

Our route follows well-defined paths and tracks, but they may be uneven, rough or muddy in parts. There is one significant climb of approx. 325ft (the total ascent/descent is 680ft). There are four stiles at Segsbury Castle, which are avoidable if you don’t wish to explore here. Please dress appropriately for a walk in the countryside and with regards to the British weather – much of the route takes in an exposed landscape. A small rucksack is useful for personal items, such as water, snacks, suncream, etc. We advise walkers to carry personal first aid. Dogs on leads are welcome, but note that livestock may be present.

Walk leader/organisation: Philippa Sanders, Pipsticks Walks

Walk Information

  • Booking: £15 per person – Booking essential – 10 places
  • Distance & approximate duration: 8.5 miles (14 km) – 5.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Strenuous (long/challenging walk for fit/experienced walkers).
  • Accessibility: Suitable for older children (12+). Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult (see useful information). Steps/stiles on the route. Not suitable for wheelchairs.
  • Dogs: Dogs on leads welcome
  • Refreshments: Bring food, snacks and drinks as needed. There will be a stop for optional refreshments at the Court Hill Centre café (pay locally), approx. 5 miles into the walk. 
  • Toilets: There are public toilets at the Court Hill Centre, approx. 5 miles into the walk.
  • Meeting point: Letcombe Regis Village Hall, Bassett Road, Letcombe Regis, OX12 9JU. What3Words: different.bedding.backup. OS grid reference: SU 378 865.
  • Public transport: There are buses to/from Wantage, which is approx. 1.5 miles (35 mins) walk to the meeting point. See Stagecoach.
  • Parking: Free parking at Letcombe Regis Village Hall, OX12 9JU (by kind permission of the Village Hall Trust).

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

Further Information

There will be a break along the walk for optional refreshments and toilets at the Court Hill Centre.

For more information about the Letcombe Brook, and the project and people who protect and conserve it, see Letcombe Brook.

This walk passes through Letcombe Valley nature reserve, which is managed by the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust.

The Ridgeway is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a National Trail this year. There’s a Ridgeway Top 50 and other special events planned. For more information, see Ridgeway Anniversary and National Trails.

As Pipsticks Walks, Philippa offers guided walking, navigation skills training, and Nordic walking activities To find out more, see Pipsticks Walks.

This walk is brought to you by our partner:

Stile on the Ridgeway © Philippa Sanders/Pipsticks Walks