The Ridgeway – the oldest road in Britain – with its wonderful views and its powerful atmosphere has always appealed to the creative spark in artists and in all of us.

With this background, based on a generous donation, The Friends of The Ridgeway have established an arts competition and prize – the Swire Ridgeway Arts Prize. The aim of the competition is to bring The Ridgeway to life not only as a long distance trail but as an artistic inspiration. The first competition was held in 2017 and it is hoped that it will be an annual event.

The competition is open to different categories of work of painting, sculpture, photography and writing (poetry or prose), that show aspects of The Ridgeway, its history and environs, in any season. The theme is ‘The spirit of the Ridgeway: history, ecology, and landscape across the surrounding environs’.

The competition is open to all, both professional and amateur artists. Art work submitted must be produced in the 24 months prior to closing date.

Judging of entries is carried out by a panel established by The Friends of The Ridgeway.  Judges with appropriate skills consider technical merit; content and composition; imagination and style; judges look for works that reflect the ‘spirit of The Ridgeway’. Each category is judged separately and then entries in each category are then judged to determine the overall winner of the The Swire Ridgeway Arts Prize.

The results of the competition are announced and prizes awarded at the Ridgeway Friends Day, incorporating the AGM, held in the spring each year.  The overall winner is awarded the Swire Ridgeway Arts Prize along with a keeper prize and cash award. Prizes are awarded for each category as well as to an overall winner, each winner receiving a cash sum and a keeper prize.  As far as possible, all entries for the Worthy entries are displayed at an Exhibition over the weekend of the Ridgeway Friends Day.

All entrants receive one year’s membership of The Friends of The Ridgeway commencing from the date of the Ridgeway Friends Day at which the results are announced.