Information, map and app download for the Alton Barnes White Horse
The well-loved white horse at Alton Barnes stands mid way along the Pewsey vale on a slope near some of the highest points in Wiltshire. The horse appeared in 1812 we are told, which if accurate saw it mark the Regency. Instigated by Robert Pile of Manor Farm, one tradition suggests that having been paid in advance someone absconded without creating the horse.
Perhaps local stories like this have helped keep this horse from growing over? More information and traditional accounts can be found on the Wiltshire White Horses website.
From the high downs, on a clear day the views south and west are truly awesome. The horse lies below a number of ancient features including a hill fort just to the east and a huge long barrow, Adam’s Grave, overlooking the valley. If you have followed this route you will come up a deep gulley where The Ridgeway path drops down to the valley. This ancient track continues to Avebury, passing the Hackpen White Horse and beyond out of Wiltshire, to the Uffington White Horse and crossing the Thames near Reading. Imagine who else has trudged up that gulley over the centuries.
Just back from the top of the escarpment is the Wansdyke, an enormous 5th century territorial earthwork, it snakes its way as far as the Bristol Channel.
This 7 mile walk begins and ends at the Barge Inn at Honeystrete. You can camp at the Barge Inn, Crop Circle Camping offer a deluxe service nearby. The route takes you out along the Kennet and Avon canal and up to the top of Woodbrough Hill for the view and maybe a picnic. Return through the edge of the villages, the ancient church at Alton Prior is worth a visit for its wonderful accoustic alone.
Follow the path up the Ridgeway, cross the road and up onto the downs. As you walk higher if you are listening to the app you will find the first sounds in the sound park. On your way back, call in at the Alton Barnes photo museum, you will not be disappointed!
A detailed OS mapped downloadable Viewranger map is available here: Alton Barnes loop
Dowload the app and listen to the soundscape as you visit Alton Barnes White Horse!