The Ridgeway National Trail

The Ridgeway National Trail

At a glance


  • Animals / wildlife
  • Arts
  • Environment
  • Gardens and parks
  • Local / community
  • Museums / heritage
  • Sports

Other details

Geographical remit: 


The Ridgeway is one of 16 National Trails in England and Wales championed as some of the best recreational routes in the world. The Ridgeway is a signposted off-road route established in 1972 for walkers, cyclists and horseriders stretching for 87 miles over the chalk hills to the west of London through the Chilterns AONB and North Wessex Downs AONB. The Trail is open to the public 365 days a year for free and attracts visitors from the UK and abroad.

The Ridgeway Partnership is a group of stakeholders including the highway authorities, Ramblers, British Horse Society and Friends of the Ridgeway, steering the management of the Trail so that it is safe and enjoyable for the public to use. The Trail Officer, partners and many volunteers carry out practical maintenance of the surface and signage, support event organisers, produce visitor interpretation and more.


Through collaborative work with landowners and others, the Trail surface and signage is maintained and projects to engage the public in the Trail's natural and historic heritage are delivered. The Ridgeway Partnership steers the management of the Trail, with the Trail Officer leading on implementation on the ground. Volunteers are critical to ensuring the Trail is well maintained, with specialist volunteers also involved in project work. Most of the funding comes from UK central government but this has reduced in recent years and an increasing proportion is secured through fundraising and working with the charity Friends of the Ridgeway.

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