We are a large group with over 300 members drawn mainly from the geographical area of the Vale of White Horse District Council.
The Vale is much older than the administrative body though and is described in Tom Brown’s Schooldays (1857). Most simply, it is the vale of the River Ock which runs from near Faringdon to join the Thames at Abingdon. Our group’s coverage is wider though, taking in all of the west of Oxfordshire south of the Thames and north of the Ridgeway, and east to Didcot.
Summer walkers at Wayland's Smithy
The walking varies between flat farmland near the Thames and Ock to dry chalk downland along the Ridgeway which contains many ancient sites such as Wayland’s Smithy, Uffington Castle and White Horse, and Segsbury Castle. Two National Trails, The Ridgeway and the Thames Path, pass through the Vale and there are other long distance trails like the d’Arcy Dalton Way crossing it. The Vale has three market towns, Abingdon, Faringdon, and Wantage and a higher density of villages and hamlets than most parts of England. We have a varied walks programme, are active in footpath work, publish regular newsletters, run an annual course on leadership navigation and planning to help support new walks leaders, and are passionate about spreading the word about the Ramblers work.