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East Ilsley and the Ridgeway

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East Ilsley and the Ridgeway
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 24 Mar 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Berkshire, West Berkshire
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
East Ilsley and the Ridgeway
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 3 mile circular walk from the small Berkshire village of East Ilsley following wide farm tracks across the surrounding downland including one section of The Ridgeway, Britain’s oldest road. There are beautiful views throughout taking in the gentle rolling hills that surround this area.

The walk is very easy to navigate with only a handful of turns, and all the paths are wide tracks making it fairly easy walking. The tracks are mainly a mix of stone/dirt and so can get quite muddy in winter and after periods of rain. There are no stiles or gates and all the slopes are very gentle. The tracks are all fenced from the adjacent fields so you won’t come into contact with any livestock. Approximate time 1 to 1.5 hours.

The walk starts from Church Hill in East Ilsley, directly alongside the village pond. There is roadside parking available in the adjacent streets. Approximate post code RG20 7LP.

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Walk Sections

Start to Road
Start to Road

Start point: 51.5266 lat, -1.2897 long
End point: 51.5258 lat, -1.2761 long

Stand on Church Hill with the East Ilsley village pond on the left. Walk ahead for a few paces and then turn left into Haydon Lane, marked as a byway. You will pass the impressive Old Rectory on the left, with its white Georgian frontage, and then Hildesley Court on the right. Keep ahead on the byway, a stone and dirt track, ignoring any footpaths into the fields left and right.

Follow this stone track for some distance and eventually the track will rise to reach a T-junction with another byway. Turn left here and follow this track to reach a T-junction with the road ahead.

Road to Ridgeway
Road to Ridgeway

Start point: 51.5258 lat, -1.2761 long
End point: 51.5354 lat, -1.2697 long

Cross the road with care and take the farm track directly opposite. Follow this byway between fenced fields for some distance. Pass by a fenced area of woodland on the left hand side.

You will come to staggered crossroads of tracks – go straight on here. At the end of this track you’ll come to another crossroads, this time with the Ridgeway.

Ridgeway to End
Ridgeway to End

Start point: 51.5354 lat, -1.2697 long
End point: 51.527 lat, -1.2894 long

Turn left onto the Ridgeway, a concrete track signed as a restricted byway and marked with the acorn symbol.

The Ridgeway has been in use since at least 3,000 BC and is commonly regarded as the oldest road in Britain. The original route stretched for 250 miles between the Dorset coast and The Wash.

As the concrete track swings left into a fenced farm, keep ahead on the Ridgeway – now a stone and sand track. Follow the track as it swings left and then right and a few paces later you will see a bridleway signed to the left.

Turn left onto this bridleway and follow it all the way back to the village. You will pass allotments on the left, Summerdown stables on the right and then more allotments on the right. At the T-junction with the village road turn right. Follow the road (taking care of oncoming traffic) as it swings to the left and you’ll reach the pond where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "East Ilsley and the Ridgeway"

lovely walk - photos don't do it justice

By memi2006 on 2016-06-19 11:22:59

Lovely walk fabulous views

By camillacase on 2016-10-15 14:46:53

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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