Ashbury - Idstone - Ridgeway - Woolstone - Ashbury

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Starting in the pretty 'Ridgeway' village of Ashbury with its stone and thatched cottages, the walk heads out into open fields to visit the hamlet of Idstone on the border with Wiltshire. Idstone is associated with horses, as are many villages and towns in this area. Upon leaving Idstone, the walk gradually climbs up open fields to reach the famous Ridgeway National Trail which runs for 87 miles. The walk follows the Ridgeway before visiting Wayland's Smithy, which is an ancient and well-preserved Neolithic burial chamber.

The trail heads east on the Ridgeway and begins to climb before reaching the site of Uffington Castle and the famous White Horse. You have the opportunity to visit these landmarks as well as viewing Dragon Hill; folklore states it was the location where St George slayed the dragon.

After leaving these sites, the route heads down a steep hill before crossing a number of fields to reach the picturesque village of Woolstone, where there is a pub (The White Horse) to stop at for refreshment. From Woolstone, the route heads south-west across more fields before arriving in Compton Beauchamp, with its impressive country house and the pleasing St Swithun's Church.

More field-walking follows before reaching Kingstone Winslow. A gradual climb is required before returning to the village of Ashbury and the option of a stop at the Rose and Crown pub, just up the road from the start of the walk.

Other than the chore of wading through grassland (and the odd nettle) during the summer months, the only difficulty to be mentioned is at Waymark 22, where you will need to climb over a farm gate to access the D’Arcy Dalton Way. There is also some signage which wrongly points down a country lane, plus some low-hanging branches to be cut back. All of these things have been reported to Oxfordshire County Council and hopefully they will get these resolved sooner rather than later. If the problem has been rectified when you walk it, please let me know and I will update. The walk has a combination of kissing-gates and stiles. Some road-walking is required, but these are along country lanes and should not prove to be a problem. Although there is a significant height gain, there are few steep hills to worry about. There is quite a descent in Waymark 15 and the walker should take care, especially if the grass is wet or mud is present.

England - Central England - Oxfordshire - Ridgeway

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Castle, Church, Great Views, Hills or Fells, National Trust, Pub, Public Transport, Stately Home
30/01/2017 - Chris Pluthero

Beautiful walk with some stunning views and picturesque little villages, makes a good pair with walk 4670 which heads the other way along the ridgeway. The White Horse pub at Woolstone is recommended for food. Also Ashbury has a slightly hidden village shop/cafe which is good for the end of the walk.

26/02/2011 - Stephen Jordan

Well directed walk with some stunning views but we had to divert a couple of times because of horses in fields between 20 and 21 and between 23 and 24.

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