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Jay Walking

Icknield Way

The Icknield Way is an ancient path and quite a confusing one as there are 3 paths that seem to share the name. The actual Icknield Way Trail starts somewhere near Chinnor in Hampshire and generally follows the route of The Ridgeway. From Ivanhoe Beacon the walkers route called The Icknield Way Path starts. It is quite confusing as most the signs just say Ickneild Way and at some places there are multiple directions indicated depending on whether you are walking or riding. The Icknield Way Trail is the organisation that maintains the various routes and the Long Distance Walkers Association page is worth looking at. I have used the term Icknield Way through out this blog for ease of use. I was following the walkers route but occasionally strayed off it. The walkers route can be used to link The Ridgeway and another national trail The Peddars Way all of which are part of the Greater Ridgeway Trail. The route starts at Ivanhoe Beacon and finishes at Knettishall Heath, crossing six counties on the way.

The route itself is very pleasant and generally well way marked with excellent signage, though a map or some digital assistance is required. The walking is generally on good paths and bridleways, going through classic British countryside and also passing though many small villages and some larger towns. The route is often on the chalk escarpment but there are few steep ascents and descents, in fact a lot of the route is off the escarpment and on level ground. There are often pubs in the smaller villages but not all of these have shops so stock up on food before you go. I have not seen any water supply points on the walk so carrying a good supply of water is a necessity, though filling up in pubs or asking at houses is always an option.

I did the walk a series of day trips (at least for the first four walks) and getting to the start or back from the end was fairly easy, using buses and trains. Later in the walk the route moves away from the railway lines and there is less in the way of transport so a multi-day trip might be required. There are no campsite located on the route (as far as I can tell), wild camping seems to be hard in place, though it is possible to book accommodation in pubs and though other means though I have not tried. Below are some links to some of the few blogs I have been able to find by people who have done the route, they are a good source of further information. Tom Outdoors has a Youtube channel where he details his experiences of wild camping the route and Griffmonster has a blog detailing his walk

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