Crossing six counties, the Icknield Way Trail is a 170 mile (274 km) route linking the Peddars Way National Trail in Suffolk with the Ridgeway National Trail in Buckinghamshire, which in turn links with the Wessex Ridgeway.
The Icknield Way has been a recognised regional route for walkers since 1992. In 2004 it was further developed into a multi-use route so that most of the route is also available for horse riders and off-road cyclists providing a complete walking and riding link between the two National Trails.
The Icknield Way Trail passes along an ancient chalk ridge but there is a variety of landscapes to view including flat fenland and rolling chalk downland, as well as picturesque villages and ancient beech woodland.
“… I could not find a beginning or an end of the Icknield Way. It is thus a symbol of mortal things with their beginnings and ends always in immortal darkness.”Edward Thomas
Wherever possible the Icknield Way Trail follows the walkers route, the Icknield Way path, but diverges at several locations to ensure the Icknield Way Trail follows bridleways, byways and where necessary roads. Walkers can pass over footpaths and therefore can access more direct and/or scenic routes.
Despite the riders largely remaining on the paved road rather than the ‘off road’ route promoted by this site, this cycling video illustrates the impressively varied scenery along the Icknield Way or as they ride coast to coast,, the “Great Chalk Way”.
The OS maps are a little confused and in places show both the Icknield Way Trail and the Icknield Way Path. We have recently asked OS to only show the walkers route to avoid confusion.
There are some sections of the riding route which are more challenging – and may be for some years – these are highlighted on the relevant route pages.