Find out about the 15 National Trails providing over 4000km of well-managed paths which offer walking, riding and cycling experiences through some of the finest countryside in England and Wales, officially designated by Natural England (formerly the Countryside Agency).
Location: Southern/Central England.
Length:: 139km (87 miles)
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 Betjamin; Marianne Faithfull, George Michael; Prime Ministers at Chequers.
Trail Officer's 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 the 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).
Information available: National Trail Guide by Anthony Burton ISBN 978-1-84513-638-3; Public Transport leaflet, Guide to facilities and accommodation, Circular route packs and merchandise available from National Trail Officer.
Contact for all information and advice: Managers of The Ridgeway, National Trails Office, Countryside Service, Signal Court, Old Station Way, Eynsham, Oxford OX29 4TL. Telephone: 00 44 (0) 1865 810224. Email: email@example.com