Uffington White Horse
The Uffington White Horse at Uffington Castle is without doubt the most atmospheric, significant and legendary of all hilltop locations in Britain. It is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon, exploring not only the White Horse of Uffington but the other remarkable features of the local landscape.
Did you know...
The famous White Horse of Uffington is the oldest chalk-cut hill figure in Britain, dating back to more than 3,000 years ago.
The Uffington White Horse in its entire form is difficult if not impossible to see , even from a distance. The best view by far is from a helicopter which makes it all the more astonishing that it was carved by hand so accurately thousands of years ago.
Uffington Castle, just to the south of the white horse, was constructed around 700-800 BC and is a great example of an early Iron Age hill fort.
Camping - you can camp in the shadow of the White Horse at Britchcombe Farm.
Watch out for...
....Dragons blood! - walk down to Dragon Hill, a small outcrop just below the white horse. Legend has it this is the place where St. George slew the dragon. The white patch on top of the hill, where no grass grows, is where the dragon's blood was purported to have been spilled.
....The Manger - this is the odd-shaped and steep-walled valley directly below the Uffington white horse. According to folklore on moonlit nights the white horse descends from the hilltop to the valley to feed. In the nineteenth century cheese rolling competitions were held down the slopes of the Manger - hard to imagine a safe outcome for competitors given the steepness of the valley sides!
....The Giant's Stair - refers to the huge stepped sides of the Manger, thought to have been carved out during the last ice age.
....Wayland's Smithy - a little further along the Ridgeway track lies Wayland's Smithy, consisting of a large Iron Age burial mound sitting in an atmospheric clearing in the trees.