Continuing our series on Wiltshire White Horses, this week we’ve wandered over the border slightly to visit Uffington White Horse. Technically this horse lives in Oxfordshire, but it’s the most famous white horse so we wanted to include it in our series.
Where did we go:
We visited the Uffington White Horse and Dragon Hill, which is located in Faringdon just outside Wantage.
When did we go:
As the weather was good last weekend we ventured up onto the Ridgeway for a Sunday morning stroll. Even though we’re in the middle of October, the weather is still very mild across the South West UK. It’s that time of year when you’re never sure what to wear.
We decided to layer up in jumpers, jackets, hats and boots just incase it was windy and chilly at the top of the hill. We were surprised by how mild it actually was. There was hardly a breeze, even the sheep looked over dressed in their winter coats. 🙂 We were soon peeling off our winter layers as we headed off from the car park to find our next white horse.
How to get there:
From junction 15 of the M4 head along the A419 and then onto the A420 towards Oxford. Just past Shrivenham there are signs to the Uffington White Horse. The horse is located in the Historic County of Berkshire, now Oxfordshire and is a mile and half outside the village of Uffington.
This site is owned and managed by the National Trust. There’s a good size car park with FREE parking to National Trust members.
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Why go here
Following an excavation in 1990 it was established that Uffington White Horse is actually from the Bronze Age. As well as being the oldest of all the white horses, Uffington White Horse is very different in design.
Rather than a solid chalk horse that has been scoured (scratched) into the chalk downs, it was discovered that this horse was cut over 3ft deep with a design using thin strips. Covering an area of 10 feet wide by 365 feet long, Uffington is the oldest and grandest of them all.
Managed by the National Trust, Uffington is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and therefore protected from change. There is a fence around this horse to protect it, however you can certainly get up close above the horse and look down over it.
From the National Trust car park, follow the well trodden paths across the field up onto Uffington Castle hill fort.
This is the highest point in Oxfordshire so well worth a visit for the beautiful views.
Once you’ve walked around the hill fort see if you can spot The Manger. This is a dramatic dry valley with steep rippled sides left from the retreating permafrost during the last Ice Age. These ripples are known as the Giant’s Steps.
Next follow the signs and head over to Dragons Hill which, reminds me of a mini Silbury Hill. Apparently Dragon Hill is believed to be where St. George, England’s patron saint, slew a dragon. Climb to the top of Dragons Hill, this is a good viewpoint for the white horse. Note: go careful on the footpaths as the chalk can get very slippery.
Uffington White Horse site also sits alongside The Ridgeway. So for those who love to walk and hike this is a popular stop off point on this trail.
This is a dog-friendly site, however when we visited there were alot of sheep grazing so we kept our spaniels on lead throughout our visit.
Other than the National Trust car park, the aren’t any facilities here. The nearest toilets are in Uffington Village or back on the A420.
- National Trust Uffington White Horse – for more info before you visit
We hope that you enjoyed our review of the Uffington White Horse. Have you seen our other White Horse articles?
- Cherhill Hill White Horse
- Hackpen Hill White Horse
- Alton Barnes White Horse
- Devizes White Horse
- Broad Town White Horse
There are two more Wiltshire White Horses we have yet to visit. We will share these as soon as we’ve found them.
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