BIG skies, even larger landscapes and endless rolling fields mark some of the aspects of The Ridgeway, known as the oldest road in Britain as it stretches across Wiltshire.

Dating back to Neolithic times the well-trodden track is to be celebrated this spring with the Swire Ridgeway Arts Prize, a competition open to artists, photographers, illustrators, writers, poets and sculptors.

The Friends of the Ridgeway established the competition in 2017 with this year’s theme being the Spirit of the Ridgway with the idea of marking its history, ecology, and landscape across the environs.

The Ridgeway has been an inspiration to artists for centuries with its elevated route, ancient history and views across southern and south western England linking East and West. Never a simple road but more a series of tracks used by pre-Roman Britons the Ridgeway would have seen the transport of some of the sarsen stones, produce and domestic animals. Now it is a popular walking route, attracting thousands of visitors every year. The Friends set up in the 1980s seek to conserve and celebrate the ancient path in partnership with bodies such as the National Trust, councils, and the Country Landowners Association.

Alan Burdell of the Friends said an exhibition of the entries will be held at the Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall, Uffington, from Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28, 2019, while the final deadline for entries is March 31. The competition is open to all, both professional and amateur artists and their work submitted must be produced in the 24 months prior to closing date. Entry forms are available from the Friends of the Ridgeway via their website at