Circular and Linear Walks

Poppy fields on The Ridgeway

Circular and Linear Walks

This 12 mile circular route in the north Wiltshire Downs, just 5½ miles (9km) southeast of the centre of Swindon, is suitable for walkers, horse riders and cyclists. The route mainly follows broad tracks through rolling downland countryside rich in history from prehistoric to recent times.

The route is waymarked with ‘Ridgeway Circular Route’ waymarks. Please keep to the paths and keep dogs under control to prevent them disturbing wildlife or stock.

We hope you'll enjoy this walk. If you do please consider making a small donation to help us continue to care for the Ridgeway National Trail and provide information about it.



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The Ashbury Circular Main walk is 7¾ miles (12½ km) with a shortcut reducing it to 6 miles (9½ km) - allow 4 hours (3 hours for shortcut route). The Ashbury Circular Short Walk is 2½ miles (4 km) – allow 1¼ hours

These walks are within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They start on The Ridgeway and take you through classic chalk countryside with wonderful views of rolling downland and the Thames Valley. They include the attractive spring line village of Ashbury at the foot of the scarp and provide some fascinating historical and natural features to explore.

Terrain and conditions
• Tracks, field paths through arable and pasture, and minor village lanes and footpaths.
• The walk is fairly strenuous with one relatively steep hill up and another down.
• One stile only in a temporary fence. 9 gates. The short walk has no stiles.
• Some paths can be muddy and slippery after rain.
• There may be seasonal vegetation on the route.

We hope you'll enjoy this walk. If you do please consider making a small donation to help us continue to care for the Ridgeway National Trail and provide information about it.

 



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This walk was developed by Aston Rowant Parish Council. The Trail is stile-free and fully way-marked.
The circular route is 5.3 miles but with the extension to a pub and hotel is 6.2 miles.
The walk begins by Aston Rowant 11th Century Church with its two Romanesque Windows.Church Lane is thought to be part of the London Weye - a route to Oxford used in the Middle Ages. The future Queen Elizabeth 1 passed this way in 1554 when released from the Tower of London and banished to country confinement in Woodstock.The walk then passes along National Trust Juniper Bank and through National Trust Aston Wood. Watch out for Red Kites, Buzzards, Fallow Deer, Muntjac and Bluebells in the Spring; Beech woods planted for the local furniture trade and firewood.
Materials were used for house and roadbuilding from the flint and chalk pits.Natural England Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve with Juniper
Trees, more Red Kites, Buzzards,Nuthatches, Common Spotted Orchid,Chiltern Gentian and many butterflies including the Chalkhill Blue.The extended Trail takes in Lewknor where refreshment may be had at the Leathern Bottle or further along en route back to Aston Rowant, at The Lambert Arms.

We hope you'll enjoy this walk. If you do please consider making a small donation to help us continue to care for the Ridgeway National Trail and provide information about it.

 



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This circular walk is 4½ miles (7¼ km) long - allow 2 hours.  The walk is within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and starts from the small, picturesque, spring line village of Bishopstone at the foot of the downs in Wiltshire about 5½ miles (9km) east of Swindon.  It takes you through a lovely coombe up onto the downs, and along a stretch of The Ridgeway before descending the scarp slope and returning to the start via the hamlet of Idstone.

We hope you'll enjoy this walk. If you do please consider making a small donation to help us continue to care for the Ridgeway National Trail and provide information about it.



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Discover a hill fort, chalk grassland, twisting old box trees on this 3 mile (4.8 kms) circular walk through the largest native box woodland in the country. You'll find beech woodland, boxwood objects and historic routeways and enjoy far-reaching, attractive views of the Chiltern hills and adjacent vales.

For a longer walk you can combine the Souther Circular walk with the Northern Circular walk.

Access information:

  • Mainly un-made paths that can be muddy.
  • Several steep ascents and descents and several stiles.
  • Start/finish: Pulpit Hill, near Monks Risborough.

www.chilternsaonb.org/explore-enjoy

We hope you'll enjoy this walk. If you do please consider making a small donation to help us continue to care for the Ridgeway National Trail and provide information about it.

 



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This 3.5 miles (5.6 km) circular walk takes you across chalk grassland, past twisting old box trees in the largest native box woodland in the country. You'll see extensive views, village churches, streams and boxwood objects.

For a longer walk you can combine this walk with the Southern Circular walk.

Access information:

  • The path surfaces are mainly un-made paths which can be muddy.
  • There is one steep ascent and descent, several stiles and steps.
  • Start/finish: Great Kimble A4010 parking layby or bus stop.

http://www.chilternsaonb.org/

We hope you'll enjoy this walk. If you do please consider making a small donation to help us continue to care for the Ridgeway National Trail and provide information about it.



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This 5¾ miles (9¼ km) long route can be enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and horse riders. It is within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and starts from the village of Compton in the heart of the downs in Berkshire, about 5 miles (8km) west of the River Thames at Goring-on-Thames. It follows lovely rolling downland tracks and a stretch of The Ridgeway.

Terrain and conditions
• Mostly on downland tracks.
• This route is moderately strenuous for walkers but with no steep sections.
• No stiles or gates.
• Some paths can be muddy and slippery after rain.
• There may be seasonal vegetation on the route.

We hope you'll enjoy this walk. If you do please consider making a small donation to help us continue to care for the Ridgeway National Trail and provide information about it.



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Within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this walk takes you through some classic undulating downland west of Wantage, a wonderful stretch of The Ridgeway, and includes a visit to the ancient Iron Age fort of Segsbury Camp.One of the iconic landforms along The Ridgeway called the Devil’s Punchbowl, near Wantage, can be found along this walk.

There are areas of Open Access Land which allow walkers to enjoy the scenery of this unique place and the landowners have kindly provided permissive access routes in this area too. Changes have been made to the permissive routes at the Devil’s Punchbowl recently, but there is still plenty to discover and notices have been put up on gates to guide walkers.



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Follow in the footsteps of great writers who found inspiration in this landscape …...

Download details from our walks page or buy the full booklet of four walks from 'Walking the North Wessex Downs, through art, history and literature from Wiltshire Museum, Devizes

Liddington Hill circular walk
4.5 miles – allow at least 2.5hours
Terrain: No stiles, can get muddy, one steep descent

Discover Shipley Bottom, a fine example of an enclosed coombe or short valley once described by the writer and poet Edward Thomas (1878-1917) as ‘walled on every side by down and sky’. Thomas is among 16 Great War poets commemorated on a stone in Westminster Abbey's Poet's Corner.His writing has influenced the works of nature writer Robert Macfarlane who wrote ‘The Old Ways’ first published in 2012.

Follow a route used by seemingly forgotten poet Charles Hamilton Sorley (1895-1915). He studied at Marlborough College from 1908 to 1913 and his experiences on the downs inspired poems such as Barbury Castle. (Sorley’s memorial stone lies further west along The Ridgeway, near Ogbourne St George).
Visit Liddington Hill, the site of a memorial to Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) and Alfred Williams (1877-1930), both of whom wrote about the hill. Williams was a self-taught writer who described Swindon railway life and Wiltshire villages. Jefferies wanderings across the Wiltshire downlands are thought to have inspired his mystical rapport with nature, as expressed most fully in his autobiography ‘The Story of My Heart’. When Jefferies stood on the Liddington Hill, he enjoyed a view ‘over broad plain, beautiful with wheat and enclosed by a perfect amphitheatre of green hills’. The view today is different and unfortunately motorway noise can be a feature! See Jefferies’ family memorabilia, archive material and more at the Richard Jefferies Museum in Coate, near Swindon.



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A 7 miles/ 11km circular walk following sections of The Ridgeway National Trail and the Chiltern Way, through beautiful Chilterns scenery including wooded hills and nature reserves. You will pass some great rural pubs, a windmill and some far-reaching views.
Terrain:A moderate walk on easy but sometimes muddy tracks and along quiet lanes. One easy climb. Total ascent 220m / 720ft

Start & finish:Princes Risborough Library, Bell St, Princes Risborough HP27 0AA
Food & drink:The Whip Inn, Lacey Green and Pink and Lily, Pink Road. Cafés and pubs in Princes Risborough
Maps:OS Explorer 181, Chiltern Society 3 and 7
Parking:Horns Lane Pay & Display Car Park, Horns lane, Princes Risborough HP27 0AW
Local transport:There are various bus services to Princes Risborough including Bus 300 which runs between High Wycombe and Aylesbury all week.
Princes Risborough is also served by mainline trains to London Marylebone, the Midlands and Aylesbury.



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