The Ridgeway Youth Hostel is set high above the town of Wantage, Oxon, on the road to Letcombe Regis. We arrived on Friday night and planned to do a circular walk of 12 miles [19 km] on Saturday.
Ridgeway Weekend - March 2003
But first we had to join the Ridgeway, a long distance footpath which runs from Overton Hill near Avebury in the west to Ivinghoe Beacon in the east. The Ridgeway is one of the oldest 'roads' in Europe, dating from at least the Bronze Age 4,000 years ago.
Along the way we passed Segsbury Castle, a late Iron age hill fort covering around 26 acres. From the fort we walked across country to the small village of Letcombe Bassett and its picturesque barns and cottages and the church of St. Michael and All Saints.
The next stretch of the walk was a big cross country section which took us over farmlands and into the village of Childrey. Thankfully the Post Office and Shop was open and we could replenish our stock of sweets!
After the visit to West Challow we followed the towpath along the now disused and rather dilapidated Wilts and Berks canal until we reached Wantage. This picture was taken in the market square alongside the statue of King Alfred who was born here in 849.
We returned to the Youth Hostel just after 17:00 hours, tired and hungry. We were certainly ready for the big plates of Spaghetti Bolagnese that our duty patrol cooked for us.