Favourite hiking trail in England and Wales turns 50.

The Ridgeway Trail, a national trail of England and Wales that partially follows a prehistoric path, is 50 years old this year.

The trail, possibly one of the oldest routes in Britain, runs for 140 kilometres from Avebury in Wiltshire through the North Wessex Downs and Chilterns to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire.

‘…oldest in Britain…’

There is a path that links to Wayland’s Smithy, a Stone Age tomb more than 5,500 years old, and the mystical Uffington White Horse. Other stretches run across chalk downs to Avebury, home to the largest stone circle in Europe, all following the old ways of ancestors who shaped this landscape.

‘…tomb more than 5,500 years old…’

The Ridgeway Trail is also a sanctuary for wildlife, from rare moths to birds of prey and skylarks. The name ‘Ridgeway’ is a term that originated in Anglo-Saxon times, to refer to ancient tracks that run along the high ridges of hills. They are unpaved, relying simply on the hard ground to provide a suitable surface for travelling on.

‘…sanctuary for wildlife…’

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