June Walks Giveaway: West Ilsley, The Ridgeway

June Walks Giveaway: West Ilsley, The Ridgeway

This walk is reproduced from our popular walking book 'The Ridgeway - A Dog Walker's Guide'. A dog isn't required, but if you do have one, they will LOVE this walk. 

📥 To download this walk and take it with you, click here!


Distance: 5 miles 


The remoteness may be less marked today, with the nearby A34 giving easy access to West Ilsley, but high on the Ridgeway above the village, that sense of seclusion and remoteness can still be felt. And with the Harrow Inn overlooking the village cricket square, references to sportsmen and publicans are still very apt. Scattered around the hilltops are an assortment of horse gallops, this being prime racehorse country. This is an excellent dog walk that features minimal road-walking and maximum off-lead running.


Leave the A34 ten miles north of Newbury to follow the road signposted to West Ilsley – this is also the junction for East Ilsley so take the right road! In 1½ miles, the Harrow Inn will be found at the far end of the village. Postcode RG20 7AR.

Parking: The roadside in the vicinity of the Harrow Inn at West Ilsley (GR 470826). OS map: Explorer 170 Vale of White Horse.


1. With your back to the pub, follow the road to the right for 75 yards before turning right onto a public bridleway. Follow this for 350 yards.

2. At a junction, follow the middle path ahead and continue for one mile to reach the Ridgeway on the hilltop.

3. Follow the Ridgeway to the right, ignoring an early restricted byway on the left, to reach a parking area and road in 1¼ miles.

4. Cross the road and continue following the Ridgeway for ½ mile to a restricted byway on the right, ignoring an earlier bridleway.

5. Follow this byway for one mile to its junction with a bridleway by some thatched cottages on the fringe of West Ilsley.

6. Turn sharp right along this bridleway and, in 100 yards, turn left onto a footpath. Follow this enclosed path for ¼ mile to a barn and a road.

7. Cross this road and follow the footpath opposite, keeping left in 150 yards to drop down to West Ilsley’s ‘Main Street’. Turn right, back to the pub and your parking spot.

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  • Alex Batho
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