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Things to see and do at White Horse Hill

An aerial view of a grass covered hilltop with the outline of a horse carved out of the chalk
The chalk horse outline at White Horse Hill | © National Trust Images/Mike Calnan/James Dobson

Crowned by the dramatic Bronze Age chalk horse, White Horse Hill is a place of mystery and romantic legend, with stories of dragon slaying and poisoned blood. Climb the hill to the highest point in Oxfordshire and take in views across six counties. From birdwatching to kite flying, there’s always something to keep you busy at the White Horse.

Climb to the top

Put your best foot forward and climb to the highest point in Oxfordshire. The trig point, which marks 262m, is located between the horse and Uffington Castle. From here you can take in the best views of this historic landscape with its high crest and rippling valley below.

A twitcher's delight

The skies over White Horse Hill are busy with bird life all through the year. Take a look upwards and you're likely to spot buzzards, kestrels or red kites hunting voles and field mice. In the spring and summer, keep your eyes open for skylarks, meadow pipits, corn buntings and partridges which breed in the grassland.

Meadow pipit on barbed wire fence at White Horse Hill, Oxfordshire
Keep an eye out for the little meadow pipit flitting above the grass | © National Trust Images/Clive Whitbourn

Ancient archaeology

The horse is only part of the many ancient remains that are found at White Horse Hill and beyond, spreading out across the high chalk downland. Here are some of the other features to explore:

  • The Manger is a dramatic dry valley and has steep rippled sides, left from the retreating permafrost during the last Ice Age. These ripples are known as the Giant's Steps.

  • To the east of the Manger lies Dragon Hill, a small roundish hill with a flattened top. It is said to be the site where St George, England's patron saint, slew the dragon. The blood poisoned the ground and left a white chalk scar for all to see.

  • Crowning White Horse Hill is a simple Iron Age rampart and ditch hillfort known as Uffington Castle.

  • Burial mounds can be spotted across the landscape. These date from the Neolithic period and were reused up to the Saxon age. The largest contained 47 skeletons and this can be seen as you walk up to the horse from the car park.

Volunteers scouring the chalk horse at White Horse Hill, Oxfordshire
Volunteers scouring the chalk horse at White Horse Hill | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Visiting White Horse Hill with your family

Whether it's rising to the challenge of climbing this big hill or giving in to the thrill of rolling back down it, there’s plenty of things for children to do at White Horse Hill. No one knows who created the chalk figure or why, so let your imagination run wild and dream up your own lore of the white horse.

Walk Britain's oldest road

White Horse Hill is one of the many highlights along the Ridgeway National Trail, an ancient 87-mile chalk ridge route that was first used by prehistoric man, stretching from Avebury to the Chilterns. White Horse Hill is a great place to get out for a walk and blow away the cobwebs; the views from the top definitely make the hard work worth it.

Aerial view of volunteers re-chalking the bronze-age horse figure at White Horse Hill, Oxfordshire


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