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Icknield Way

Icknield WayThe Icknield Way is unique among long distance tracks because it can claim to be 'the oldest road in Britain'. It consists of prehistoric pathways, ancient when the Romans came and is dotted with archaeological remains. It survives today in splendid tracks and green lanes along the chalk spine of southern England. The route begins at Ivinghoe Beacon, where it links with the Ridgeway National Trail and ends at Knettishall Heath where it connects to the Peddars Way National Trail.

The path is a skein of parallel trackways, following a line of communication made easy since ancient times by the trend of the countryside. This trend is provided by the geology of southern England; a band of chalk runs south from the Norfolk coast and the southwest to Wiltshire and down to the Dorset coast. The Icknield Way forms part of this route, beginning at Ivinghoe Beacon, where it links with the Ridgeway National Trail and ending at Knettishall Heath where it connects to the Peddars Way National Trail. These three routes together have been described as the ‘Great Chalk Way’ and it is hoped that one day they will attract official designation as such.

The Icknield Way Path takes the walker over some delightful country, including the Chilterns and Breckland, often with striking panoramic views, through some charming villages and along miles of beautiful 'green lanes'. The Icknield Way Association has made its primary aim to indicate the most pleasant route for walking; a secondary aim is to keep as close as possible to the general line of the ancient Icknield Way.

The guidebook is organised into a suggested eight-day itinerary with sections of between 10 and 18 miles. There is also a link from Knettishall Heath to Thetford which is more convenient for public transport, accommodation and other facilities.  The sections are as follows:

Ivinghoe Beacon to Chalk Hill (A5) – 10 miles
Chalk Hill to Streatley – 10 miles
Streatley to Ickleford – 10 miles
Ickleford to Royston – 16 miles
Royston to Linton – 18 miles
Linton to Cheveley – 16 miles
Cheveley to Icklingham – 14 miles
Icklingham to Knettishall Heath – 16 miles

If you require a free accommodation list for this route please email walks@walkingpages.co.uk

The Icknield Way Association has promoted this walkers' route for over 20 years. In 1992 they were successful in getting the path designated as a Recreational Route which led to it being signed and waymarked. If you wish to know more about the Icknield Way Association and their work visit the website www.icknieldwaypath.co.uk

 

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Start: Ivinghoe Beacon

Grid Ref: SP 960168

End: Knettishall Heath

Grid Ref: TL 944807

Distance: 165 km

Walking Time: 8 days

Counties Traversed
Buckinghamshire
Hertfordshire
Bedfordshire
Essex
Cambridgeshire
Suffolk

Explorer™ Maps
181; 193; 209; 210; 229

Icknield Way

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