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Walks in the Vale of white horse (Oxfordshire)

The Vale of White Horse is a district of Oxfordshire. The area is crossed by the Ridgeway National Trail in its far south, across the North Wessex Downs AONB at the junction of four counties. The northern boundary is defined by the River Thames. The Vale of White horse consists of a great variety of scenery and numerous historic sites of interest.

 

Uffington Castle fort and White Horse Hill:

Uffington Castle, which occupies the summit of Whitehorse Hill, is a rare and excellent example of a large Iron Age hillfort. The White Horse is the oldest chalk-cut hill figure in Britain, perhaps over 3,000 years old. Nearby Dragon Hill, a natural mound about 10 metres high, is named for its association with the legend of St George.

 

Wayland’s Smithy:

Wayland's Smithy is an atmospheric historic site about a mile's walk along the Ridgeway from the Uffington White Horse. A New Stone Age chambered long barrow, it was once believed to have been the home of Wayland, the Saxon god of metal working.

 

Great Barn – Great Coxwell:

The barn was built about 1292 for the Cistercian Beaulieu Abbey in Hampshire, which had held the manor of Great Coxwell since 1205. Since 1956 it has been in the care of the National Trust. The barn has been a Grade I listed building since 1966 and is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

 

Badbury Hill:

The summit of the hill is the site of an Iron Age hill fort known as Badbury Camp. It is roughly circular in shape, most of which was levelled early in the 19th century. It has been suggested as a possible site of the 5th or 6th century Battle of Mons Badonicus, where King Arthur defeated the Anglo-Saxons.

 

The Folly Tower in Faringdon:

The Folly on Folly Hill was designed by Lord Gerald Wellesley, later 7th Duke of Wellington, for Lord Berners and built in 1935. It is 140 feet (43 m) high and affords panoramic views of the Vale of White Horse. During the Second World War the Home Guard used it as an observation post.

 

See below a few walks in the area:

 

Walk One:

Start/Finish: Badbury Hill Car Park SN7 7NL

Distance: 6.0Km

Height: 91.5m

Duration: 2hrs 15minutes

 

Walk two:

Start/Finish: Ashbury Hill, Swindon SN6 8LZ

Distance: 7.5km

Height: 99m

Duration: 2hrs 45minutes

 

Walk three:

Start/Finish: Ashbury Hill, Swindon SN6 8LZ

Distance: 6.3km

Height: 51.9m

Duration: 2hrs 15 minutes

 

Walk four: 

Start/Finish: Stanford Rd, Faringdon SN7 8EP

Distance: 3.8km

Height: 63.8m

Duration: 1hrs 30 minutes


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