Worth watching out for.
 — John Cleare

The Ridgeway: Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon

by: Nick Hill

UPDATES

Updated information

Thank you to the readers who sent in the following updates including: Trevor & Joan Lipscombe, Bob Crockford, Thomas Hope, Keith Rogers and Jonathan Billings, Nigel Kemp, Nigel Black, Sarah Morgan, Matthew Pires, Martin Cox, Nick Goodyer, Bob Royalty, Mike Pearson.

 

The information has not yet been checked by Trailblazer but it will be for the next edition.

Updates for 5th edition 

July 2021

p169 map 30. There is a reference to a sign which indicates that you should go over a stile, with a note attached saying not to do this.  This point now has a new National Trail post pointing in the correct direction, avoiding the stile. 

 

May 2021

p46  Rail services
Chiltern Railways also has a service from London Marylebone to Oxford; stops include High Wycombe and Princes Risborough. Monday to Friday approx 7/services a day mostly in the early morning and late afternoon/evening, Sat & Sun approx 1/hr.
 
p48 – Public transport map
There are no bus services between Ashbury and Wantage.
 
p51 and p105 - Public transport – bus services
The X5 bus stops hourly on the A346 but stops in Ogbourne St George itself once a day.
 
pp105-106 - Ogbourne St George
The Sanctuary is a grea B&B and if you book a two-night stay they will take you to Overton Hill, or Avebury, on the first morning. 
 
The Inn with the Well only has one vegetarian/vegan option
 
Map 2 p100
There are many more trees along the path than shown on the map which means the small enclosure of trees isn’t very clear.
 
p106 
Hallam is a hamlet not a village

p109 Map 7 
Note that if walking west the track from the road is not actually signed The Ridgeway; this is surprising as signing is generally very good.

p114  Ashbury
The route down to Ashbury from the Ridgeway doesn’t show the church where the path divides; take the path to the left which joins the road and then it is easy to find The Rose & Crown.

pp123-4 Letcombe St Regis 
There is a village shop (Mon-Sat 10am-4pm) with a café (not open when we went in) in a characterful building near the church. Limited range but they stock the essentials. 
 
The Greyhound Inn offers a dinner, bed and breakfast rate – an additional £30 per person for a three-course meal. This is only really worth having if you expect to eat three courses. The food is very good though and the portions are not huge.

p127 Wantage
There is an alleyway (Arbery Arcade) next to Greggs that provides a more direct route to the toilets and is worth exploring anyhow. There is also a taxi rank on the left side of Market Place (near Barclays) – a taxi to Letcombe Regis costs about £7-8.
 
p139 Map 19/Streatley
The path where The Ridgeway and Thames Path meet actually provides a much more direct route to reaching Chaddlesworth B&B from Streatley especially if you have eaten at the Coppa. Follow the signs for the Thames Path and recreation ground past St Mary’s Church; at the recreation ground head diagonally left towards a gate. Then turn right onto the private road called Cleeve Court.

p140  Chaddleworth is a fabulous house in a very peaceful setting. Cake, such as a delicious banana bread, is served on arrival and breakfast is cooked on an Aga. Overall they can sleep up to six people but due to COVID they are not letting the non en suite room. However, they will for a group as then they can share the facilities. 
 
B&B is no longer available at 3 Icknield Cottages.
 
p146 Map 21 North Stoke
The path cuts diagonally across the northern, not the southern, side of the church's graveyard.

p160 Watlington 
Fat Fox Inn – it can be very noisy in some rooms as people can continue to talk in the open air area of the pub after pub has closed.
Breakfast on Sunday is served from 8.30am so not good for those wanting an early start. However, it is a good meal.

p161  House of Spice is a good option for a break from pub food; there is a very extensive menu.

p163 Map 27
The large fallen tree across path is not obvious now

p175 Map 32
The path goes through Brush Hill Local Nature Reserve. After the second gate the path seems to go straight ahead - this is ok as at the road you can go through/over the fence but it would be far better to take the left path (which becomes more like a track) as that leads down to the road.

Map 38 p191
A path leading from the track – and the Hertfordshire Way to start with – provides a quieter and safer option for getting from Tring station to Aldbury. The path is in effect an inverse of the road route.

 

 

Updates for 4th edition

July 2020

p176, Wendover. Hale House B&B, 56 Hale Road, Wendover, Buckinghamshire  HP22 6NF
Tel: 01296 625742 www.halehousebnb.co.uk

 

October 2019

p169, Princes Risborough.   The George & Dragon has closed.
p172, Cadsden. The Plough
is closed Monday-Tuesday but will accept guests on Tuesday evening.  A walker recommended a meal at The Red Lion, Whiteleaf, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire HP27 0LL. Tel:

p167, Map 38.  At Ridgeway Lodge a walker walking from east to west had difficulty where there are two paths across the field and the one that appears “straight” to follow the map, takes you across many fields all the way to A4010!  and feels it could be more clearly marked for east/westers and perhaps other spots as well so please take note. 

 

July 2019

A walker sent in a couple of suggestions from a recent trip:

p110-111, Charlbury Hill, near Foxhill, Map 10.  "Is a nice detour and a great spot for a packed lunch, roughly halfway between Ogbourne St George and Down Barn Farm. Not far from Down Barn is Kingston Lisle. The Blowing Stone Inn, Kingston Lisle Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 9QL does food and rooms. www.theblowingstone.co.uk. Admittedly, it's a bit of a trek from the trail, but there are few accommodation options on that section."

May 2019

pp142 &143 South StokeSouth Stoke Community Shop and Cafe, The Recreation Ground, Cross Keys Road, South Stoke, Oxfordshire RG8 0JT.You turn right just before the Perch & Pike public house as illustrated on map 26. It is around 300-400 yards from that turning. You walk under the railway bridge and the road to the recreation ground, shop and café is some 200 yards further on the left. There are notice boards that state there is a children's play area there that is "probably the best in the U.K."  The community shop/café is alongside. It is a small building and has some plastic chairs and tables outside. Sells fresh fruit & veg, meat, beer, stamps, and more and the coffee shop offers takeaway coffees, teas, hot chocolate and snacks.  www.southstokeshop.co.uk. Tel: 01491 871633. 

December 2018

p111 Bishopstone The Royal Oak seems to have an even closer relationship with the organic farm which is good for all. It's now called Helen Browning's Royal Oak (www.helenbrowningsorganic.co.uk), the hotel annexe is now open and offeirng comfortable accommodation. The food in the busy pub/restaurant is still excellent.

August 2017

p51 No. 47 bus. West Berkshire Council (tel 01635 503248) now operates the 47 bus. It runs Mon-Sat 5/day and goes from Swindon to Lambourn.   

 July 2017

p138. Streatley. Chaddleworth B&B, Streatley, Reading, RG8 9PR. Two double rooms which can be set up as twins. Mobile: 07711 420 586. 

May 2017

p173 Map 41. Butlers Cross, near Chequers Estate. Buckmoorend Farm Shop, Butlers Cross, Aylesbury HP17 0UT. Going right after exiting the Chequers estate, as you cross the road to join the woodland path this farm shop  is located 50 metres from The Ridgeway. It serves snacks and refreshments, ice creams and has an outdoor seating area. Tel: 01296 622472.

p176 Wendover.  Istanbul, a Turkish restaurant, at 31 High St,  HP22 6DU recommended by  reader. Tel: 01296 709276

Updates for 3rd edition

September 2016

p100 Map 9. There are bus stops for the 46/48 called Foxhill Turn close to GPS#016, so it is not necessary to walk down to Liddington to catch the bus  or walk up from Liddington.
p137 Map 28. There are bus stops for the X39/X40 called CABI on the A4130 about 150 yards from GPS#052 so it is not necessary to walk into Crowmarsh Gifford or to Wallingford, or to walk back again from Wallingford.
 
June 2016

p97 and Map 6.  Foxlynch campsite as from May 2016 is closed.  One reader suggests it is better to wild camp on Smeathes Ridge late in the day then walk through Southend and back onto the Ridgeway,

p109 and Map 13. Uffington White Horse.  To see the White Horse cross White Horse Hill to the trig point and go downhill. Uffington White Horse  is not signposted here. Go down to Britchcombe Farm. Good camp site with water and good showers/toilets.

Feb 2016

p146: The B&B 4 Bradley Rd in Nuffield has closed.

 

Jully 2015

p11, GPS section.  There is good coverage along all the route so smart phones can be used. Google and Viewranger (free app) can provide locations – a useful check while walking using the guidebook.

 

7 November 2014

p74 Avebury.   No 6 Beckhampton Road B&B has closed.  An alternative is the Beckhampton B&B, Isobel Cottage,Beckhampton, Near Avebury, Wiltshire SN8 1QJ. tel: 01672 539534.  A reader stayed there and reported even though it's on A4 it was quiet.  No meals but 15% off at the pub opposite.  Can do packed lunch.  Good alternative starting point for walk along Beckhampton Ave to Avebury.
p104 Map 11. The bridleway to Bishopston down the coombe is a great approach to the village according to a reader and superb examples of field systems and he was lucky enough to have 6 kites flying low overhead beautifully lit by late afternoon sun.
p114 Letcombe Regis.  The Greyhound is closed and says it will reopen in 2015 but check.

p131 Streatley.  The Bull is closed and says it will reopen in 2015 but check.

 

19 May 2014

Map 27.  The path crosses a farmer's field just north of the railway bridge to the north of Goring,  just before Little Stoke House. This can have cows and calves and sometimes a bull which can make the situation uncomfortable for walkers so some walkers have recommended walking inland to reach a FP and detour around.
 
Map 43. The left turn in Barn Wood above Wendover can be obscured by the numerous forestry working tracks and lack of signpost. Be careful to check this turning.
 
Map 48.  Coming down off Ivinghoe Beacon, if staying at Town Farm, there is a FP not shown in the book which avoids having to use the (dangerous) road - it goes approx SW from the crossing with the lane (Beacon Road) and then turns 90 degrees to go NW to the farm. From the farm entrance there is also a pavement all the way into the village, so potentially anyone wanting to go to the village and avoid the dangerous road could find this helpful as well. For those camping at the farm, the owner allows people to take a short cut over the fields into the village.

 

11 July 2013

p 118. Wantage. Regis Guest House. Rooms are 3D/2T, all en-suite, and rates are £75-90 and £60-65 single occupancy. No jacuzzi.

 

27 June 2013

Page 90, Map 2. New 'Berwick Bassett Dewpond' with interpretation panel to left of track and N of side path to left at 'Kink in path here'.
 
Page 95, Map 6.  Tap at Elm Tree Cottage working and marked 'Drinking Water'.
 
Page 98, Map 7.  ' Very rutted and very muddy' section is now a very good stony track.
 
Page 99, Map 8.  'Great walking along here' no longer applies.  Grassy bit has been ploughed up leaving a fairly narrow grassy and rutted section.
 
Page 111, Map 14. :  'Water tap not working April 2011' - Now a new trough and tap with a plaque reading 'Tap placed here in memory of Peter Wren, age 14'.

Page 145, Map 30. The Crown pub is open for drinks and food, but has a 'For Sale' sign up.
 
Page 167, Map 42.  Track up to farm deserves an uphill arrow - steeper than many earlier ones thus marked!
 
Page 170, Map 43.  'Can be very muddy' section now a good all weather track.
 
Page 171, Map 44.  Ditch section before Hengrove Cottage merits a double arrow as it is a steep climb.
 
Page 181, Map 48. Climb at Steps Hill merits a single arrow at least.

 

June 2013

p 100. Liddington. Meadowbank House is a new Bed and Breakfast in the village of Liddington, half a mile from The Ridgeway, specifically geared up for walkers with drying facilites,evening meals, luggage transport to next destination etc.  Meadowbank House, Medbourne Lane, Lddington, Wiltshire SN4 0EY. Tel: 01793 791401    www.meadowbankhouse.com

 

May 2013

p112 Sparsholt Firs. Hill Barn B&B, Sparsholt Firs, Wantage, Oxon OX12 9XB. Tel:  01235 751236


 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

The Ridgeway: Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon