If you’re a walker The Ridgeway is a great place to spend as much or as little time as you have – from a short walk with the dog to a hike of its whole 87miles (139km) length.
If you’re a cyclist or horse rider there are also lots of opportunities for you as can use the whole of the western half of the Trail. These pages will provide you with all the information you need to plan your visit.
The Ridgeway is rarely crowded once you get away from a car park and the best times to visit are April through to November when the path surface, the wildlife and the views are at their best. Be prepared for the elements: even in summer warm and waterproof clothing should be carried to cater for wind and rain. In the summer, especially on the western half which is exposed and a distance from the nearest settlement, wear protection from the sun and carry water since water points are relatively infrequent. For Met Office weather forecast please follow link.
Walking the whole Trail
For those planning on walking the whole of the Trail, you’ll probably take 6 full days to do it, an average of 14 miles a day, so it’s a good way to spend a week’s holiday. If you have seven days spare, it usually makes sense to start gently, say just half a day’s walk, and to have a short day in the middle, particularly if you’re not used to long distance walking. And, please, if you complete most or all of The Ridgeway, do complete and return a feedback form and we'll send you a certificate and/or a cloth badge as a thank you.
Advice about dogs
A word of advice for those taking dogs with them; make sure they’re fit before you start. On occasions people have had to abandon their trip because their dogs can’t keep up!
Where there is livestock in fields, keep to the right of way where possible, however do your best to avoid walking through herds of cattle or other livestock. Farm animals, particularly cattle, can behave unpredictably if you get too close, especially if they’re with their young – so give them plenty of space.
By law you must control your dog so that it does not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife. The National Farmers Union advises you to keep your dogs on a lead around livestock, but to let go if you are chased by cattle.
Make sure you’re familiar with what’s expected of dogs in the countryside - see our FAQs
Accommodation and services
If you want to find accommodation close to The Ridgeway have a look at our accommodation map. For walkers, if you would like someone else to do the planning for you or you would like to walk without carrying your pack then look at the Services pages.