This section is 15.3 miles (24.6km) long. A map of it, and a route profile that gives an indication of the amount of up and downhill, can be downloaded below.
Water, woodlands and small villages are features of this part of The Ridgeway, contrasting considerably with the open and more remote countryside west of the River Thames.
The River Thames
England's most famous river, the River Thames, is your companion for the first few miles when you'll pass through water meadows grazed by cattle and the two lovely villages of South and North Stoke. On the opposite bank, another National Trail runs, the Thames Path which The Ridgeway crossed at the bridge separating Streatley and Goring-on-Thames. Then as you strike east you'll walk on a narrow secluded path alongside an ancient Grim's Ditch for a considerable distance, much of it surrounded by woodland bright with bluebells and wood anemones during spring.
From the village of Nuffield you turn north and soon reach the small hamlet of Swyncombe, an area which is probably one of the remotest and loveliest parts of the Chilterns. Here, the small flint church of St Botolph's has been beautifully restored. If you happen here at the right time in February you're in for a real treat as the churchyard displays a magnificent carpet of snowdrops and aconites each year.
Upper Icknield Way
Descending from Swyncombe to near the base of the scarp, The Ridgeway picks up the Upper Icknield Way and follows this broad hedge-lined track for the remaining couple of miles to Watlington.
Agriculture along this section is varied and includes a variety of crops and grazing stock. Many of the woodlands in the area, too, are managed for timber.