It’s been a while since I last put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard) to share my ramblings with you. I’ve been busy working, hitting the gym (yes, that’s new!) and improving my nutrition with loads of yummy, mostly-veggie food. I’ve been a bit quiet on the hiking front, but that’s about to change. I’ve got a new adventure brewing, and I’m itching to lace up my boots and hit the trail again.
So, where am I off to this time?
In three weeks’ time, I’m heading to the ancient Ridgeway, one of Britain’s oldest roads. It’s a path that’s been trodden by countless feet over thousands of years, from prehistoric man to Roman soldiers (here’s a link to my last through-hike), from medieval pilgrims to modern-day hikers like me.
I started planning this the very day I was back from hiking Hadrian’s Wall Path. Long distance hiking can be so addictive!
I’ve walked much of the Ridgeway before as it’s local to me, but never the whole distance. I’ve often walked the westward path to Avebury, and I always find this last part quite challenging. So, I’m planning to tackle that bit first and reverse the route from my usual direction of travel.
Here’s a link to my hike in 2022 on the first day of my Walk Across Wiltshire in support of Prospect Hospice which involved part of the Ridgeway – that day was very tough!!
So what’s the plan?
My journey will begin on the 16th of August, when I’ll travel to Avebury, a place steeped in history and mystery. From there, I’ll make my way to Overton Hill, the official start of the Ridgeway. The first day will see me hiking 13 miles to Ogbourne St George, a charming village that’s a perfect end to the first leg of the journey.
The following days will be filled with more miles, more sights, and undoubtedly more stories to tell. I’ll be walking through Letcombe Regis, Streatley, Watlington, and Wendover, before finally reaching the end of my journey at Ivinghoe Beacon. Each day will bring its own challenges and rewards, but I’m ready for whatever the trail has in store for me.
Now, some of you might remember my last ‘little’ hiking adventure, where I camped along the way. This time, however, I’ve decided to forgo the tent and sleeping bag. Why, you ask? Well, finding a campsite along the Ridgeway in August is like finding a needle in a haystack. I did toy with the idea of wild camping, but it’s not exactly on the right side of the law. Plus, after my super hot hike along Hadrian’s Wall in June, the thought of lugging a heavy pack filled with camping gear for miles on end in August (which could be in torrential rain or in the heat) seemed like a Herculean task.
So, I’ll be staying in quaint B&Bs and indulging in a bit of glamping along the way. It might not be as adventurous as camping, but it does mean I’ll have a comfy bed to rest my weary body each night and a much lighter backpack! And who knows, I might even get the occasional cooked breakfast to fuel me for the day’s hike!
As you may know, this Ridgeway through-hike is also part of my training for an even bigger adventure next year: a trek in Iceland! I’m raising funds for the amazing work that Prospect Hospice does, and any donation, big or small, is very welcome. You can find more information and make a donation on my JustGiving page: Aurelie’s Iceland Trek 2024.
I’m really excited about this trip, and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you. I’ll be posting updates along the way, so make sure to check back regularly. And if you have any tips or questions, if any of my friends want to join for part of the way, or if there’s anything specific you’d like me to write about, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
Until then, happy trails!