We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience

By clicking the Accept button, you agree to us doing so. More info on our cookie policy

Ridgeway day 4 - Wallingford to near Watlington - 10 miles

Published: Apr 9, 2024 by

Walking the ridgeway national trail

Read all about my adventures walking the ridgeway in April 2024

We had set up camp in Crowmarsh Gifford the night before and walked into Wallingford to explore. As we crossed over the river Thames, we saw it was in flood, flowing quite fast. A barge had got stuck on the bank when the river was higher and was half in the water and half on the river bank. On the other side, the riverside footpath looked very wet.

The river being in flood and combined with the small road being closed where we had planned on parking, we made a decision to skip that section and instead walk south from the campsite and rejoin the ridgeway near North Stoke. We discussed coming back to walk the missing section in the summer.

The footpath was right next to the campsite so it was easy to find. It crossed a road and was supposed to cross a field, but it had just been ploughed so we diverted around the ploughed field using a track, which turned onto a piece of disused road, before emerging near a roundabout. We crossed over the road and found the ridgeway.

This section went along an embankment between two fields, before going alongside Grim’s Ditch, a long man made boundary. The path was much narrower and more wooded here. It felt very different than the wide open path along a ridge on the west of the Thames. It was nice to have a change of scenery and there were some wonderful scenes of Bluebells in the woods. It was also good to have some shelter away from the wind. It was not as strong as previous days, but the temperature had dropped slightly and it felt fresher.

We followed the Grim’s Ditch to Nuffield, where the ridgeway crossed a golf course. We stopped for a bit whilst some players tee’d off, seeing one of their balls go into a bunker, before continuing through the other side. My book said there was a pub, The Crown, that had closed, but we were pleasantly surprised that it was now a cafe and crafting place. We popped in for some lovely coffee and cakes.

We felt the cold when we emerged so put on another layer. The ridgeway continued across the road from the old pub and down a steep muddy track before it opened into a field. This section was more undulating, up and down across hills rather than along the top of a ridge. There followed a long uphill section through some woods with some cut logs at the top, which we sat on for a bit to have a drinks break.

The path followed a track around farm buildings and a small house before heading towards the outskirts of Watlington where our car was parked.

By this point my left foot was really hurting. I was concerned that I may not be able to join in the walk the next day. Back at the campsite I took my boots off and inspected the damage. The blister under my left toe had grown bigger underneath and around to the side of my foot. The top of my toe was not much better. I changed the blister plasters and wrapped my foot in bandage, put on my trainers and decided to do what any sensible person would do and head to the pub in Wallingford for a couple of beers.


Latest Posts

Ridgeway day 7 - Wendover woods to Ivinghoe Beacon - 9 miles
Ridgeway day 7 - Wendover woods to Ivinghoe Beacon - 9 miles

Wow, we were almost there! One last day of walking to reach Ivinghoe Beacon and the sun had come out too!

Ridgeway day 6 - Whiteleaf Hill, near Princess Risborough to Hill Farm camp site - 10 miles
Ridgeway day 6 - Whiteleaf Hill, near Princess Risborough to Hill Farm camp site - 10 miles

Despite the windy conditions I slept very well that night, obviously needing the rest, and woke up feeling much better. My brother-in-law offered me his spare pair of walking shoes. I looked at my own boots and shuddered at the thought of putting them back on again and said yes to the loaned shoes. They were so much more comfortable straight away.

Ridgeway day 5 - Near Watlington to Princess Risborough - 12.5 miles
Ridgeway day 5 - Near Watlington to Princess Risborough - 12.5 miles

Watlington was quite a charming little village the first time we drove through it, but after driving back and forth doing the car shuffle we realised it would probably be better if there was a bypass of some sort. The streets were very narrow and couldn’t really cope with the large 4x4’s driving through it.