This section is 16 miles (25.6km) long. A map of it, and a route profile that gives an indication of the amount of up and downhill, can be downloaded below.
Probably the most remote section of The Ridgeway, with some wonderful views and prehistoric monuments to enjoy.
There's an initial fairly steep climb out of the Og Valley on a narrow, sunken, tree-lined track after which The Ridgeway remains reasonably level until the M4 is crossed. From there the Trail undulates fairly regularly making this a relatively strenuous section along a mostly hedge-lined track.
This is a completely rural section, apart from the rather shocking, but thankfully brief, interruption of the M4. You'll find yourself mostly surrounded by large fields stretching into the distance planted with crops, but some with sheep, cattle and on occasions pigs.
Geology and Path Surface
There is frequently a clay cap on top of the chalk along this stretch, and because of this and the fact that The Ridgeway is a relatively narrow track here, you'll find that quite a lot of this section has been surfaced with limestone. However in many places where it's wide enough, the grass verge is mown and provides an alternative to the surfaced strip.
After the crossing of the M4 small villages are strung out below to the north of The Ridgeway at the spring line where water seeps between different geological layers. Many of these settlements are worth a visit to enjoy the local vernacular architecture which includes cottages built from chalk blocks quarried from the downs.