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Introduction to the Ridgeway

The Ridgeway National Trail runs for about 85 miles from Overton Hill (near Avebury, Wiltshire) to Ivinghoe Beacon (near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire). It passes over rolling, open down-land to the west of the River Thames, and through secluded valleys and woods in The Chilterns to the east, following the same route used since prehistoric times by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers.

In the Summer of 2006 Hil and Richard decided to walk the Ridgeway from start to finish. Richard's parents live in Aylesbury, so it made sense to walk from Overton and finish at Ivinghoe Beacon.

We decided to book our holiday with Freedom Holidays. They managed all the baggage for us, and booked our accommodation near the path. All we had to do in the morning was walk to the next B&B, our main baggage was transported for us. The only thing we had to carry was a day-sack.

The walk took us 6 days, and though the weather was not great, we had a fantastic time, and would recommend the walk to anyone.

Getting to Overton Hill

We caught the train from Hove to Swindon on Saturday morning. We managed to get 1½ hours spare in Reading, so enjoyed a couple of pints in the sun outside the station. Time enough for Richard to reflect on his Reading days.

From Swindon we got the bus to Avebury. We spent a while looking around the stones. There were a few interesting people there, dressed up after a day's festivities, enjoying a drink at the Red Lion PH (apparently one of Britain's most haunted). We phoned the B&B from the pub for a lift to our evening's accommodation.

The Old Forge B&B was excellent. Our room was in the roof space with sky lights, and the entire end gable was a huge window as well.

In the evening we walked (the long way… ok we got a bit lost!) to the Bell PH for some food; Richard - Chicken Tarragon. Hil - Fisherman's Platter. We had a bottle of wine with our food. It rained on the walk back, but we had our coats with us so we were OK.