This section is 17.4 miles (27.9km) long. A map of it, and a route profile that gives an indication of the amount of up and downhill, can be downloaded below.
Rolling open downland to the south, punctuated in places by small woodlands, and fine views north into the Thames Valley are typical of this section.
On a clear day you can see the hills in the distance behind which nestles Oxford and, further east, the Chiltern Hills through which The Ridgeway later travels. Dominating the view from many places are the cooling towers of Didcot power station just 6 miles (10km) north, sometimes menacing and inappropriate but at other times strangely beautiful.
This is horse racing country and an early riser will encounter strings of racehorses exercising on the numerous gallops, long ribbons of well managed grass tracks, adjacent to The Ridgeway. The turf of the downland drains easily through the chalk just below creating excellent going for horses.
The Trail itself
The Ridgeway along this section is a broad track for a considerable distance, mostly with a natural surface and few hedges. Here the sky dominates but it can be particularly exposed in wet, cold or hot weather. Beyond Bury Down The Ridgeway negotiates the A34 north-south trunk road by an underpass. The noise of the traffic is counteracted to some extent by the colourful mural depicting local historical scenes painted on the walls of the underpass by people from nearby villages.
The final few miles of the Trail, as it starts to descend to the River Thames, change. The track narrows and loses it's grass surface and is edged with high hedges on one or both sides.