Cherhill White Horse, circular route, maps and app download
A spectacular 6 mile circular stroll from the Small Grain picnic park. The route follows a section of the Wessex Ridgeway skirting Morgans Hill. Discover views over downland landforms to the north, bronze age burial sites on the right as the valley opens up before you.
The route heads up towards a crumbling obelisk: the Cherhill or Lansdowne Monument. The monument commemorates Civil War survivor and political strategist, Sir William Petty, an ancestor of the first Marquis of Lansdowne.
Walking through earthworks of the huge iron age hill fort, Oldbury Castle, the Cherhill White horse is revealed below. The soundpark is centred on this area. The route returns over chalk eroded smooth by the wash of melting glaciers millenia ago. Follow the track to Calstone parish church and sing out for the the wonderful accoustics under its barrel roof. A final short stiff climb brings you back to Morgans Hill. A short walk back along the Wessex Ridgeway returns you to Small Grain.
View Cherhill Loop in a larger map
The horse overlooks the A4 from a magnificent chalk down bowl. The Cherhill White Horse is said to have once acquired a glass eye made of bottles, not an original feature and now the horses eye is a sarsen stone. The horse was recalled by one of those involved as dating from 1783-4, having been cut by a group of ‘gentlemen of Calne’ in probability to have been seen from Bowood. Perhaps the mythology of the squire's brandy bottle eye and the 'mad Doctor' of Calne developed as explanations to visitors stopping over on the old coaching route through Calne. More stories and traditions here.
A detailed OS mapped downloadable Viewranger map is available here: Cherhill loop
Download the app and listen to the soundscape as you visit Cherhill White Horse.