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Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse

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Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 18 Jun 2011 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse Walking Guidestar1 Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse Walking Guidestar1 Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse Walking Guidestar1 Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse Walking Guidestar0 Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse Walking Guide
Oxfordshire,
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse Walking Guide boot Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse Walking Guide
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A 3.5 mile circular walk near Ashbury in Oxfordshire which provides the opportunity to see a number of ancient sites and monuments along the way including a chalk white horse and an ancient burial chamber. With much of the route following an obvious chalk lane, the walk is relatively easy to navigate. The remainder of the walk crosses fields of grazing sheep so could be muddy after wet weather. There are no stiles and just a gradual climb to the highest point on White Horse hill which provides fabulous views of the surrounding area.

Parking is available in the National Trust White Horse pay and display car park which is near the village of Woolstone and is signed from the B4507 Wantage to Ashbury Road. The car park is free for National Trust members otherwise you'll need some change to pay the appropriate fee.

The post code nearby is SN7 7QN, but this will take you to a village north of B4507, so look out for the signs to take you to the National Trust car park to the south of the road.

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Walk Sections

Down to Waylands Smithy
Down to Waylands Smithy

Start point: 51.5771 lat, -1.578 long
End point: 51.5661 lat, -1.5951 long

Leave the National Trust White Horse car park and continue further along the access lane you arrived on. Go straight on at the first junction and at the second junction turn right to follow the Ridgeway. The Ridgeway has been in use since at least 3,000 BC and is commonly regarded as the oldest road in Britain. The original route stretched for 250 miles between the Dorset coast and The Wash.

Follow the Ridgeway for approximately 1.2miles. Shortly after you cross a small access lane you will see the signs to turn into Waylands Smithy to your right.

Waylands Smithy to Uffington Castle
Waylands Smithy to Uffington Castle

Start point: 51.5661 lat, -1.5951 long
End point: 51.5744 lat, -1.5669 long

Take some time to explore Wayland’s Smithy, an impressive Neolithic chambered long barrow dating from around 3500BC. At more than 5000 years old, the barrow is thought to have remained in use for burials for less than 100 years. Of the six façade stones, three stood on either side of the entrance. Today only four remain, found lying in front of the monument and restored in 1962. The chamber itself consists of a narrow and partially constricted passage, leading to a pair of burial chambers aligned east-west.

Walk back along the Ridgeway, the way you came, and continue straight on past the access lane to the car park. Follow the Ridgeway as it climbs gradually towards Uffington Castle.

Uffington Castle to the White Horse
Uffington Castle to the White Horse

Start point: 51.5744 lat, -1.5669 long
End point: 51.5771 lat, -1.5672 long

As you come to the top of the ascent up the Ridgeway, look out for a gate and a trig point (large white pyramid shaped stone) to your left. Go through the gate (where you will find sheep grazing) and explore the earth bank remains of Uffington Castle ahead of you.

Uffington Castle was an Iron Age hill fort and today all that is left are the two earth banks separated by a ditch which surrounded the fort. Excavations have indicated that it was probably built in the 7th or 8th century BC and continued to be occupied throughout the Iron Age.

Continue with the earth banks on your left and then fork a little to the right to go down the slope away from the castle. Soon after this you’ll come to a small sign post signing the White Horse up a path to your right.

Uffington White Horse
Uffington White Horse

Start point: 51.5771 lat, -1.5672 long
End point: 51.5773 lat, -1.578 long

Turn right and follow the path to the viewing point for the Uffington White Horse.

The Uffington White Horse is a highly stylised hill figure, formed from deep trenches filed with crushed white chalk. The figure is 110m long, dates back to the Bronze Age (some 3,000 years) and the site is managed by the National Trust.

Return back to the sign post and turn right to follow the wide grass path downhill to a quiet lane. Cross the lane and pass through the gate opposite to follow the grass path across the hillside and back to the car park.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2011 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 responses to "Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse"

beautiful views, car parking £4, free for NT members. Walks well signed. slight incline but level paths.

By Wiltshire on 2015-10-04 18:46:23

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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4 images to "Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse"

166_0martinahunt1473187468 Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse Walking Guide Image by: martinahunt
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
5E407ED4-8FD9-4D75-AD2B-B2C42AD9072B.JPG
166_0martinahunt1473187488 Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse Walking Guide Image by: martinahunt
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
EB11FE5C-0580-4EAB-9D05-39CBF5442437.JPG
166_0martinahunt1473187496 Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse Walking Guide Image by: martinahunt
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
6461C554-1BBB-46A2-82D8-B5AC80734E1B.JPG
166_0martinahunt1473187553 Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington White Horse Walking Guide Image by: martinahunt
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
FEDB6BC0-A1D9-4583-BB80-4EE956C385A4.JPG

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