Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The Ancient Ridgeway Hike - April 2011

Hiking a route I undertook 7 years ago, the Ancient Ridgeway is one of the oldest pathways in Europe. From Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire, to Avebury in Wiltshire, we travelled along a 50 mile section from Streetley on the River Thames, to Avebury. This time I was accompanied by Dale Smith, an Old travelling friend, and Kate my other half, who walked it for charity, and would be her first time out 'wild camping'!

 Dale (left), Kate and me.
 A spring in her step at the start!

 A few miles in and were all going strong!

A lizard on the trail!

 Spring in full bloom, a Horse Chestnut.

 Time for tea and biscuits!
A defaced Murial on an underpass of battling Celts! 

 A classic stretch of the wild Ridgeway path!

Unusual Beatles.

 An old mound called Scutchamer Knob!

A towering monument at Wantage!

 Cool chick Kate finding the walk very easy!

 Bluebells in bloom!

Day one's camping spot!

 The discovery of a nearby Youth Hostel was a welcoming break.. A £5 full English breakfast was had by all!

A beautiful building to rest and chat!

Day two brought more delights from nature. A walk around the ramparts of Segsbury Camp Hillfort!

A Kite on the thermals!

Approaching lunchtime on day two! Time for a breather!

One last push before lunch.. now we know there's an ice cream van waiting just 1 mile ahead!!

Hardly feeling the burn from the sun and the shoes!

Feeling the pain.. shoes off after discovering four blisters.. and only half way through!

Beautiful Beach trees.

Wayland Smithy Neolithic burial mound!

Chilling at the end of day two near Liddington Castle Hillfort!

Kate cooking up supper!

Day two camping spot!

Setting off on day three, spirits high with not far to go until the pub stop at mid-day!

Hairy caterpillar.

A magical section of footpath out in full spring bloom.

A huge variety of wild flowers on the trail.

Broom in flower.

Long open stretches of 'The Ridaway' path.

Coming down off of 'The Ridgeway', we stop for a lovely pub lunch at Ogbourne St. George.

Back up onto 'The Ridgeway' after our pub lunch at Ogbourne St. George, huge views behind us, and the last section of 'The Ridgeway' not far ahead. Onto Barbury Castle Hillfort.

Dale chilling out at Barbury Castle Hillfort. Sitting on top of the ramparts, he is like a warrior surveying all he has conquered!

Me and Kate chilling on the ramparts, pleased that the last corner has been reached. Just a short walk to our overnight camping spot, than a morning walk to Avebury!

Reading up on the ancient history of the Celts at Barbury Castle.

Our overnight spot in a spinney!

Sunset on our last night!


A brew for breakfast.

The last day we head South, while overlooking the valley of Avebury.

Trudging on, only a few more miles to go!

Avebury in sight! Whoooo!!

The final decent down to 'The Sanctuary'.. the end of 'The Ridgeway'.

A map showing a section of 'The Ridgeway' path.
'The Sanctuary' and the end point!

Pointing out the end point. 'The Sanctuary' is a neolithic wood henge within the Avebury world heritage site.

Kate at West Kennet burial mound, a neolithic chambered tomb.

Huge monolithic stones guard the entrance to the tomb.

Silbury hill, the largest man made ancient monument in Europe is also part of the world heritage site.

'The Avenue' runs for over a km from 'The Sanctuary' to Avebury stone circles.

The final destination of Avebury and their huge standing stones.

Avebury stone circles.