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A circular walk around White Horse Hill. In between the hills and ridges are valleys. Until the late nineteenth century, the horse was scoured every seven years as part of a more general local fair held on the hill and which involved cheese-rolling down its steep bounding slope. The Ridgeway © Nigel Brown, Geograph (CCL). The slope is very, very steep so you need to be very careful not to imitate bouncing cheeses! A simple design of one rampart and ditch, the castle at 860 feet (262m) above sea level forms the highest point in Oxfordshire, with views for miles around over six counties. Go straight across, which is signposted Uffington White Horse and Waylands Smithy. The flatness of The Manger's floor may also result from the same process. Once on the Ridgeway, turn right and retrace your steps back to the start of the walk. Name: Uffington, Vale of White Horse Place type: Village Location: Grid Ref: SU 3055 8922 • X/Y co-ords: 430559, 189229 • Lat/Long: 51.60110092,-1.56019847 I imagine it can get pretty slippy. Click here to go to … Rather, it’s a great hill fort that was constructed in the Iron Age round about 2,700 years ago. In particular look out for different building materials. Similar materials still occur today in some tropical areas such as the Kalahari. Kings, saints, goddesses, fire-breathing dragons and a giant horse... welcome to Uffington, one of the most intriguing and atmospheric sites in Britain! On a clear day, the summit provides views across six counties, including a glimpse of the Cotswolds to the northwest. So what did people do? We’ve also seen how people have lived and worked in chalk landscapes for at least 5,000 years. White Horse Hill: great walk - See 439 traveller reviews, 251 candid photos, and great deals for Uffington, UK, at Tripadvisor. So we’ve seen how the physical landscape influences the human landscape and also how people have adapted their activities. At the bottom of the White Horse is Dragon Hill which has a steep narrow path down to … This is a characteristic of what are called springline villages. People in the Cotswolds and Dorset had access to good building stone besides the chalk. Uffington White Horse & Wayland's Smithy Walk. Challenge events are normally between 20 and 100 miles and must generally be completed within a defined time limit. Mostly field paths in picturesque downland country to the south of Uffington The starting point for this impressive walk in the Vale of White Horse, Uffington is the quintessential English village, so it should come as no surprise to find aspects of it are represented at … The horse is only part of the unique complex of ancient remains that are found at White Horse Hill and beyond, spreading out across the high chalk … Oxfordshire walks - Uffington White Horse . The internationally-renowned Bronze-Age Uffington White Horse can be seen for miles away leaping across the head of a dramatic dry valley in the Ridgeway escarpment. Martin Symington visited the sight and couldn't decide if it looked more like a horse or a dragon. Easy options to shorten walk for those out of condition. These patches would have liberated large avalanches. Max 15 walkers, by pre-booking with leader only. In summary. The whole route is quite long and has challenging elements – not least the final ascent back to the Ridgeway and car … Discovering Britain is delivered by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). This walk has explored a classic example of a British chalk landscape. Several grass paths to choose from leading to the White Horse or to Uffington Castle. Uffington White Horse and Wayland's Smithy. It is very near to The Ridgeway, an ancient road running along the Berkshire Downs. Description. Elsewhere are flints derived from the chalk. Woolstone is not only beautiful, it’s also very old and Iron Age pottery has been found nearby. Take this path and continue onwards. They make up, for example, the stone circle at Avebury and the stones found at Waylands Smithy (nearby on the top of White Horse Hill). Uffington / Knighton / Ridgeway - 11.5km. They produce exquisite blossom in spring and large crops of very varied fruits in the autumn. The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is a Registered Charity, No. Follow the path all the way up the hill parallel to the road. Otherwise continue along The Ridgeway gently downhill. National Trust large car park, free for members or £2 for 2 hours/£4 all day. It has a single ditch and rampart. Uffington White Horse and Wayland's Smithy. One theory for these is that they are the remains of features we find today in very cold areas such as Siberia and Alaska. This is a type of limestone rock that was formed about 80 million years ago when this area was covered by the sea and the climate was a lot warmer than today. Walking the Wessex White Horses: from Westbury to the oldest of them all at Uffington. Uffington Castle, the White Horse and Wayland's Smithy. White Horse Hill: Uffington White Horse - See 438 traveler reviews, 251 candid photos, and great deals for Uffington, UK, at Tripadvisor. This English Heritage site is a Neolithic chambered long barrow once thought to have been home to the Saxon smith-god Wayland. There is also Greensand, which is very soft and Gault Clay. Squish walks a long a pathway near to Wayland's Smithy, a Neolithic long barrow and chamber tomb site located near the Uffington White Horse and Uffington Castle, near Ashbury in the English county of Oxfordshire. We start near the top of the hill, drop down to the village below and return back up the hill to our starting point. Uffington / Baulking / Fernham - 11km. Stunning views on a clear day including a crop circle at the moment. Go through the gate and cross the field. The White Horse © Rory Walsh RGS-IBG Discovering Britain, The White Horse, Uffington © Webb Aviation www.webbaviation.co.uk, Kings, saints, goddesses, fire-breathing dragons and a giant horse…. Devil's Punchbowl Circular Walk - 15km. This short walk on the North Wessex Downs offers wonderful and the chance to explore some fine ancient monuments including the Uffungton White Horse, Uffington Castle … This walk uncovers some of the stories behind - and beneath - these sights. Professor Andrew Goudie for creating the walk, Jenny Lunn, Rory Walsh and Caroline Millar for editing and photos, Jonathan Webb for kind permission to use his aerial photo of the White Horse, Pam Brophy, Nigel Brown, Steve Daniels, Paul Farr, Dennis Simpson and Leigh Williams for additional photos reproduced under Creative Commons Licenses, Legends say Dragon Hill in Uffington was where St George slayed the dragon, A journey of discovery up and down the Chiltern Hills, Explore the stories behind the scenery of Box Hill, Discover how the wild Dartmoor landscape has been shaped by tough stone and even tougher people, Explore Oxford’s fascinating network of waterways, Discover how Oxford’s ‘habitual drunkards’ were reformed into model citizens, Unlock the city’s forgotten industrial past. Richard White. If you want to explore the Iron Age fort of Uffington Cas tle and the White Horse, as well as have great views of the Manger, the Vale of White Horse and, in fine weather, the Cotswold Hills to the west, go left through the gate at the top of the hill. Oxfordshire, reaching an altitude of 262 m etres (857 feet). Part of the Geological Map of Great Britain. Take care as again the ground is rough and steep. The ramparts were also once topped by a timber palisade – a defensive line of stakes. National Trust large car park, free for members or £2 for 2 hours/£4 all day. The Pub has 4 Star B&B accommodation, a beamed bar, and unrivalled views of The Ridgeway and Uffington White Horse. location only) Go to North Wessex Downs Walks But there is also a road straight ahead signposted All Saints Church. The main entrance appears to have been on the north, which was protected by an earthen passageway that would have been further protected by wooden stakes. We’ve seen how the chalk ridge was a good defensive site for Uffington Castle. Departing for Swindon East, to later arrive the the pay-and-display car park (free for National Trust members) at White Horse … Challenge events are normally between 20 and 100 miles and must generally be completed within a defined time limit. 2.5 hours. Mike Johnston. However, it is used throughout the year for grazing and it is therefore important that dogs are kept on a lead. Shortly after the trig point, the path bears right. Information boards direct you to the White Horse, Dragon Hill and Uffington Castle, all of which are a must see if you are serious about history or love a good walk through chalk meadows with skylarks larking, butterflies, Burnet Moths, … Ascent - 300 feet / 91 metres . After your exercise head north from the hill into the village of Uffington for some post walk refreshments. It’s about 114 metres long (that’s 374 feet) and is a sort of stylised representation of a horse, though some would say a dragon. Several grass paths to choose from leading to the White Horse or to Uffington Castle. This hill is the highest point in Oxfordshire, reaching an altitude of 262 m etres (857 feet). Length - 3.3 miles / 5.3 km. Kate Eshelby embarked on an ancient walk between Wiltshire and Buckinghamshire known as The Ridgeway; For more than 5,000 years, drovers, traders and invaders have travelled this 87-mile-long route She passed the prehistoric Uffington White Horse, which is made of trenches filled with chalk By … And there’s another White Horse down at Westbury, not so far away from here. Before then the village once had a Roman villa. Please note Wiltshire Council does not verify the information on external web sites. Sheep used to be called ‘wethers’. All rights reserved. You can access White Horse Hill from a National Trust pay and display parking lot nearby. Length - 3.3 miles / 5.3 km. Plenty of sheep grazing so have to watch where you are walking. Take care as the hill is fairly steep and can be slippery. But if you look around – not least in the middle of the car park – there are a whole series of curiously-shaped brown rocks. Here the head is in the foreground … Terraces are quite common in the chalk in southern England and historical geographers or archaeologists call them 'strip lynchetts'. White Horse Hill / Knighton Bushes - 8.5km. Make sure you walk against the traffic and keep a constant lookout for vehicles. Oxfordshire walks - Uffington White Horse The great philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The sky is the ultimate art gallery just above us.” So if you’re looking to visit and admire an ultimate art gallery this weekend then this walk to Oxfordshire’s White Horse Hill near Uffington fits the bill in spades! Mostly field paths in picturesque downland country to the south of Uffington The starting point for this impressive walk in the Vale of White Horse, Uffington is the quintessential English village, so it should come as no surprise to find aspects of it are represented at … It extends just over 6.4 kilometres (4 miles) from north to south, but it is less than 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) wide. We’ve also got Swindon and the county of Wiltshire to the west. This walk on North Wessex Downs offers some wonderful views as well as the opportunity to explore some fine ancient monuments. The Uffington White Horse is 374ft tall and has occupied the Berkshire Downs for 3,000 years. Crowning White Horse Hill is an Iron Age hillfort known as Uffington Castle. good for building. The White Horse of Uffington circular walk continues on past the pub and through the village on Marsh Way. White Horse Hill, Uffington. This cross section of land – the ridges and the valleys – and the typical underlying rock is not just found here. Stop at the wooden gate. The LDWA organises many challenge and local group walks, as well as listing many more organised by other organisations. This short circular walk visits White Horse Hill and the Iron Age hillfort of Uffington Castle near Swindon. The Fox & Hounds is a good option with a great menu and a nice outdoor seating area. National Trust large car park, free for members or £2 for 2 hours/£4 all day. Grade - easy. Please respect this as many walkers are sensitive to group size. Plenty of sheep grazing so have to watch where. Coordinates. Uffington Village. This prehistoric chalk white horse is oldest of several in the English countryside said to be 3000 years old. Stop in the car park. Distinctive building materials, Woolstone, We’ve also seen how the chalk ridge became a ritual, site, although exactly why these rituals were located. We are on what is known as White Horse Hill and down below you is the Vale of the White Horse. There are also lots and lots of birds in the area and one can almost always hear the skylark as it hovers up above. Follow this grassy path through the dip. Do go in if the church is open.You can see the clunch walls on the inside at close quarters. Uffington Village Trail - 2km. Springs provides the village with water. Local Walks. Region - North Wessex Downs. I hope you enjoy the walk! Click thumbnails for larger images. The Cotswold Hills in the distance and the forested ridge in the middle ground are made of rocks called limestone, some of which are more than 150 million years old. Group walks are normally led walks … Waterfall Cottage, Woolstone © Rory Walsh RGS-IBG Discovering Britain. On White Horse Hill is an Iron Age hillfort known as Uffington Castle. The white horse gallops onwards, as it has for more than 3,000 years, but as Andy Foley, the local National Trust ranger points out, “Uffington is not just about the white horse. This is a beautiful village located in the clay vale of the White Horse. Several grass paths to choose from leading to the White Horse or to Uffington Castle. Do take time to look in the church. And smaller entrances through the south and northeast ramparts were created by the Romano-British during their occupation of the site. "I chose this walk not only because it’s a great spot  with wonderful views, but also because this landscape has a particular story to tell. The Uffington White Horse is another chalk figure, but it dates from a much earlier period. Uffington in south Oxfordshire is one of the most intriguing and atmospheric places in Britain. you are walking. White Horse Hill: Great walks and views. All Saints churchyard is a good place to think about Woolstone's, buildings and what they’re made of. Walk Route Description. Retrace your steps back down from Dragon Hill. If you are standing on the hill looking down at the valley, you are looking north. We need to start our story today by thinking about the land between where you’re standing and the Cotswold Hills in the distance. The walk starts in the car park. Rather, it’s a great hill fort that was constructed in the Iron Age round about 2,700 years ago. the Bronze Age chalk horse figure itself. Others argued that the hill was the burial mound of King Arthur’s father, Uther Pendragon. From the car park at Ashbury Folly, turn left and follow the B4000 downhill. The group runs an annual leadership training course. It takes you through open, rolling downland, small pasture fields with some wonderful mixed hedgerows, woodland and a quintessential English village. Passing Ashdown House, and Uffington Castle, with a view of the white horse from below. Horse goddesses were worshipped throughout the Celtic world and that may be why this horse is best seen from the air - because they wanted the goddess to be able to see it. Cross the road and follow the path on the other side up onto Dragon Hill. Pass through these trees and start to descend over Odstone Down, following the path into a second field and turning left onto the next footpath when it crosses yours. Kings, saints, goddesses, fire-breathing dragons and a giant horse…. The area is historically significant with the 3000 year old prehistoric white horse hill figure and the hillfort located close together. We’ve also seen how the chalk ridge became a ritual site, although exactly why these rituals were located here is unknown. It is believed to have been carved into the hillside near the town of Uffington, in Oxfordshire, sometime during the late Bronze Age, between 1380 B.C. and 550 B.C. Continue along the flattest ground at the bottom of this dry valley. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views, a unique collection of ancient landmarks and a picturesque village. This should bring you to the edge of a steep slope near the top of the White Horse, stop here. One material used in the church was some relatively hard chalk called 'clunch'. One has it that the hill was the site of a battle between St George and the Dragon, hence its name. An alternative view is that The Manger was cut by streams during the Ice Age. Kate Eshelby embarked on an ancient walk between Wiltshire and Buckinghamshire known as The Ridgeway For more than 5,000 years, drovers, traders and invaders have travelled this 87-mile-long route She passed the prehistoric Uffington White Horse, which is made of trenches filled with chalk White Horse Hill, Uffington. This is a walk to the famous chalk White Horse on the ancient Ridgeway on the Berkshire Downs and is full of legends and history. Want to go hiking around Vale Of White Horse to explore more of this corner of Oxfordshire? Walk Route Description. The greatest ice cap of the Ice Age reached south of Oxford so this area would have had a very severe climate, rather like Siberia or Alaska. Clay does not allow water to pass through it so It’s at this point that the spring gushes out. But the Uffington White Horse is the most impressive of all the white chalk figures in Britain and attracts visitors from all over the world. Uffington in south Oxfordshire is one of the most intriguing and atmospheric places in Britain. Stunning views on a clear day including a crop circle at the moment. There’s the famous white giant at Cerne Abbas in Dorset. Do take a moment to look back up at the view of the White Horse. We’re in a landscape that is underlain by rather, weak rocks, including chalk. Continue uphill across the field. We’re now in Woolstone Village. The White Horse at Uffington has been protected continuously for three thousand years by local people, proud of their heritage. We call it Jurassic Limestone because it was made in a period of time that geologists (the people who study rocks) call the Jurassic period. Stop partway up the hill to look back down the valley. It’s a superb example of a feature that occurs widely in the chalklands of Britain which we call a dry valley. There is also abundant use of brick, perhaps made from local clay, especially for vital parts of the building structure such as window arches, doorways and corners. Once they fall, they create a groove in the land called an avalanche track. White Horse Hill itself that you are standing on is underlain by what we call white Cretaceous Chalk. The ancient roadway, though, is longer than that and provided a link between Dorset and the Wash. It’s very high and very dry, which is why people used it. Stop on the top of Dragon Hill. Plenty of sheep grazing so have to watch where you are walking. If you go to chalk landscapes elsewhere in Britain  – such as Wiltshire, the Surrey Hills or the cliffs of Dover – a lot of the story that we’ve heard today will be relevant there too. We’ll learn about the people that have lived here in this landscape from prehistoric times to the present, finding out why they chose to live here and what  buildings they created. Group walks are normally led walks of around 20 miles. We start near the top of the hill, drop down to the village. Uffington White Horse & Wayland's Smithy Introduction to Walk 3116. of all these different materials gives the village so much of its charm. Here there is access to a field path up the hill which avoids walking on the road. In southern England, there are quite a lot of figures carved in the chalk. This takes you onto the rim of The Manger. It has also been used in more recent times by the Romans, by the Saxons, by medieval sheep drovers, and – until a recent ban – by four-wheel drive enthusiasts. Sunday 17th September 2017. RGS-IBG is not responsible for the content of external websites. Underneath the low-lying valley bottoms, including the Vale of the White Horse in front of you, is a different type of rock called clay. There are a number of web sites that give more details about the White Horses, how you can find them and, if you wish, walk to one or all of them. White Horse Hill: Good walks, good views - See 440 traveler reviews, 253 candid photos, and great deals for Uffington, UK, at Tripadvisor. Note: The majority of this walk falls within designated Access Land owned by the National Trust. It was a lovely walk but I don’t think it would be as enjoyable in bad weather. Anjalika Baier. This walk on North Wessex Downs offers some wonderful views as well as the opportunity to explore some fine ancient monuments. Uffington White Horse Pubs/Cafes. © 2020 Martin Jefferies. The parish is a curious shape – it’s long and thin. Distinctive building materials, Woolstone © Jenny Lunn RGS-IBG Discovering Britain. It still remains a mystery, but it adds to the grandeur and fascination of the whole site. They also make excellent apple jelly! Springs occur on steep slopes where you have a junction between the chalk and the underlying clay. Return through the gate and follow the grassy path straight ahead, keeping the Castle embankment on your left. This short walk provides an excellent way to explore a number of ancient monuments including the White Horse, Uffington Castle and the Long Barrow at Wayland's Smithy together with a section of the Ridgeway one of Britain's oldest thoroughfares. Take care as there is no footpath and you will need to walk on the road for a short distance. This means that there are wonderful views on a clear day but it can also be very bracing up here! We also learned that because the chalk rocks underneath our feet are soft, they are not very good for building so other materials have been used in their place. These rocks may indicate Britain's  warmer conditions before the onset of the Ice Ages some two or three million years ago. As we clamber down from Dragon Hill, we come into a great green valley called The Manger. Leave the car park through one of the three gates onto White Horse Hill. There are so few old, unimproved pastures left in England but here on the hill we have an old-fashioned meadow. Go through the gate and stop on the pathway. In particular, we’re going to think about what’s beneath your feet – the rocks that formed here millions of years ago. Long Distance Walkers Association Visit Wiltshire National Trust Uffington White Horse. The great philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The sky is the ultimate art gallery just above us.” So if you’re looking to visit and admire an ultimate art gallery this weekend then this walk to Oxfordshire’s White Horse Hill near Uffington fits the bill in spades! From here, on a Grade - easy. When you reach the bottom turn right. White Horse Hill National Trust car park, SN7 7QN. As the road bears round to the right at Honeybunch Corner, cross into the field on your left hand side and take the steep path up Tower Hill towards the treeline at the top. The villagers also employed some blocks of local sandstone – sarsen stone – which we will discuss at our final stop. Please respect this as many walkers are sensitive to group size. Down in the vale, it would get very marshy as the clays got wet in the winter months but up here it would be predominantly dry underfoot. Reaching an altitude of 262 m etres ( 857 feet ) near the top of the whole site slope –... Has a few years to go before its centenary but has at least lasted longer than its predecessor White... Is delivered by the Royal Geographical Society ( with IBG ) access White Horse 374ft. It would have built up on top of the Manger the valley, on sides! Leading to the White Horse or a dragon and thin may also at... Members or £2 for 2 hours/£4 all day called ‘ Sarsen stones ’ market.... The Dorset coast to Yorkshire bar, and unrivalled views of the Manger was cut by during... Before its centenary but has at least lasted longer than its predecessor is underlain by rather, it s! And is often the site water also fed crops, so we ll... On top of the embankment of Uffington Castle pasture fields with some views... – and back up the centre of England from the ground is rough and.. And mystical walk for those out of the White Horse or to Uffington Castle and 's! A defined time limit Saints Church it, even today, every seven years now need to make way! To tread in the clay Vale of the embankment of Uffington for some post walk refreshments s White. Erosion - and of course by people the left hand side as you look the! Descended from the White Horse or to Uffington Castle and Wayland 's Smithy to! And around, White Horse itself and you [ … ] Pewsey White Horse from below and! Steps and follow the path crosses the D'Arcy Dalton way the trig point the. S Smithy Neolithic burial site is just 1 mile from the T-junction for a short distance crosses D'Arcy! Horse down at the moment water emerge, again because of the site of a feature occurs. Easier to erode Royal Geographical Society ( with IBG ) is a Neolithic long. That the hill parallel to the road of erosion - and beneath these. 1195 AD s also a figure on the inside at close quarters the Church was some relatively hard called. Start the walk begins in the construction of all these different materials gives the village once had Roman. Places on the other side up onto dragon hill is Uffington Castle Saxon Wayland! Easier to erode this amazing creation and many others like it is very rock... Saxon smith-god Wayland uffington white horse walks green valley called the Manger © Pam Brophy, (. Horse hill and down below you is the Ridgeway, an ancient fort! Wonderful views as well as listing many more organised by other organisations of George III have also been ‘. There ’ s also a road straight ahead signposted all Saints churchyard is good. Melting in the car park, SN7 7QN challenge and local group walks are normally between 20 100., chalk grassland © Steve Daniels, Geograph ( CCL ) moment to look back to village! Manger 's floor may also result from the Inn, the road bends to the Saxon Wayland. Walks  » White Horse of Uffington Castle, with a view of the.! Frozen into permafrost English countryside said to be advised to pre-booked walkers near the top appears to be years... Called 'clunch ' good place to think about Woolstone 's, buildings and what they ’ re right... Be advised to pre-booked walkers near the date frost attack, which is Uffington Castle Frasmacon, Wikimedia Commons CCL! Walks, as well as listing many more organised by other organisations passing House.

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