Uffington white horse description and maps
The Uffington White Horse is probably the most famous and certainly the oldest of our 9 white horses. You can see it from the railway line in the valley on the Swindon to Reading line. Looks great from a micro light too! Close up you can see it as you approach from Uffington village until the white lines merge with the landscape. The horse is cut into the chalk just below the Ridgeway and is easily reached on foot.
The horse is an incredible testament to human activity in the area: unlike the prehistoric standing stones, which required considerable human effort to destroy, chalk figures only survive if effort is put in to maintain them. There is archaeological evidence that takes the Uffington White Horse back to the end of the Bronze Age, so that means that people have been around in the area to maintain the horse for about 3000 years!
Find out more about this White Horse from the Uffington Museum and explore the connections between the White Horse, Tom Browns Schooldays and John Betjeman! The horse is only one part of a set of ancient remains on this high chalk down. Look out for burial mounds and other earthworks and just along the Ridgeway the Neolithic Long Barrow that is Waylands Smithy. White Horse Hill is cared for by the National Trust.
Our short loop will take you on a walk into the downs round Ashdown House, a beautiful dolls house palace built for the Queen of Bohemia. You retum via an earth work called Kind Alfred’s Camp, another location where he is said to have mustered his troops in the wars against the Danes.
As you follow the Ridgeway perhaps you will walk in the footsteps of those Saxon armies, or the Romano-British before them, all will have seen the mounds and stones of Waylands Smithy and the smooth shapes of the Uffington White Horse complex. People have been walking here for thousands of years. Wonderful stories abound: it is even said that St George killed the Dragon here. Across the valley from the Horse is Dragon Hill, you will see a chalk mark, the grass doesn’t grow there as the ground was poisoned by the dragon’s blood.
A detailed OS mapped downloadable Viewranger map is available here: Uffington White Horse loop
More fact and fiction about the Uffington White Horse on the Wiltshire White Horses website.
Download the app and listen to the sound park on White Horse Hill!