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May 2018: The Somerset Levels

The Somerset Levels are one of Britainís less well-known jewels. Delineated by the Mendips to the north, Bridgwater Bay to the west, and the Quantocks ...More
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The Ridgeway, Wiltshire | Berkshire | Oxfordshire | Buckinghamshire | Hertfordshire

Length: 85 miles (136 km).
Average number of days to complete: 6 for walkers.
Users: 100% for walkers; the whole of the western half (50% of the Trail) is available for cyclists and horse riders too.
Highest point: Uffington Castle 261m (857ft).
Start point: Overton Hill, 3km(2miles) from Avebury .
Finish point: Ivinghoe Beacon , 2km (1.25 miles) from Ivinghoe north of Tring .
Landscape: The western half is a broad ancient track along the edge of open rolling chalk downland. In the east it is a narrower path through more intimate woods and valleys. 100% within two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Highlights: Avebury World Heritage Site; Iron Age Forts and historic chalk hill features along the whole length; beech woodlands in the Chiltern Hills with carpets of bluebells in Spring; extensive views of rolling downs and the Thames Valley ; chalkland flowers, butterflies and birds.
Famous Associations: King Alfred , Saxon King born at Wantage ; 20th century poet laureate John Betjeman ; Marianne Faithfull, George Michael ; Prime Ministers at Chequers.
Trail Officers favourite part: Uffington Castle to Letcombe Bassett - grew up there, so perhaps biased, but wonderful history and views. Swyncombe, a secret place in the Chilterns.
Nearest towns: From west to east: Marlborough - 6.5km (4 miles) east of start of Trail, Wantage - 3 km (2 miles) to the north, Goring on Thames on the Trail, Wallingford - 1.5 km (1 mile) to the north, Princes Risborough and Wendover are on the Trail, Tring - 2km (1.25 miles) to the west.
Access: To western end: London is 50 minutes away from Swindon by train from Paddington station and Swindon is 1 hour from Bristol . Buses go to Avebury from Swindon (30 minutes). To mid point: Goring is 60 minutes by Train from London. To eastern end: Tring is 40 minutes from London Euston by train and is on the Trail 7km/4.5miles from the eastern end).

More British Natural features?

Other Wiltshire Naturals

River Avon
Salisbury Plain
Cranborne Chase
Cotswold Hills
River Kennet
Silbury Hill
Vale of Pewsey

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On this day:
The Last public hanging - 1868, Prince of Wales Opens Vauxhall Bridge - 1906, British Find Oil in Persia - 1908, First Female Magistrate Appointed - 1913, First ever Glyndebourne - 1934
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