9 min read

White Horse Hill

Hills. Wind. Walking. Hill Rolling. Chocolate

Easter weekend. Not only a great weekend for chocolate but the perfect time to try and tick off a few items on the girls’ adventure list for this year.

We’d noted last month that the National Trust1 were holding an Easter egg hunt at White Horse Hill, which just happens to be the highest point in the county. Add to that Uffington Castle and the Ridgeway it was the perfect location for a day out in the fresh air.

Climb The Highest Point In The County

After a lazy start to the morning we packed the girls up into the car (along with walking boots and supplies) and headed out for the afternoon.

A short-ish drive later we arrived at the car park at White Horse Hill and tucked into our packed lunches before starting the Easter egg hunt.

It wasn’t exactly great weather – the wind was very strong and cold – but we were hopeful that it wouldn’t dull the girls’ spirits. Let’s be honest, the thought of getting some free chocolate was a definite plus in getting them excited about being out in the cold!

Clipboards, pens and sheets in hand off we headed up the hill towards Uffington Castle2, keeping a close eye out for any of the ten questions the girls needed to answer to get their chocolate prizes.

We walked round the top of the inner rampart, making our way round to the trig point so that the girls could tick off the first adventure for the day. To say “all” isn’t quite true. Eleni decided to walk round the rampart on the outside, almost slipping down the steep slope a couple of times!

The wind was pretty fierce as we made our way around. At one point the girls stopped to test leaning back into the wind to see if it would hold them up. Unfortunately it wasn’t strong enough to do that but it was still whipping over the top of the hill.

After clambering down and back up the inner rampart the girls had their photo taken at the trig point and we headed down the hill to see the White Horse3.

You couldn’t see that much of the White Horse from where we were so we headed to the bottom of the hill to check out Dragon Hill4.

The girls weren’t exactly over the moon about this as there weren’t any egg hunt clues down there, and once down there it meant climbing all the way back up again, and trust me, it was a steep climb! Still, we all went down and checked out Dragon Hill.

The girls had a little rest, sat on the side of the hill looking out over the countryside below, after which we headed back up to the White Horse to carry on with the egg hunt.

The final part of the egg hunt took us round the side of White Horse hill and back down to the car park. After the climb up from Dragon Hill the girls were happy to see that there weren’t any more hills to climb before getting their sheets checked and getting the mitts on their chocolatey prizes!

It took a good hour to complete the egg hunt and the girls were all smiles and laughs at the end of it so it certainly looked like they had a good time.

Egg Hunt Photos

Roll Down An Ancient Hill

The second adventure for the day was for the girls to roll down an ancient hill. It’s a good job that there wasn’t a shortage of hills, all of which were pretty old – perfect!

After a discussion with the girls earlier about why it wasn’t a good idea to roll down the inner rampart of Uffington Castle as we made our way to the trig point, we decided that the hill by the White Horse was probably a safer bet. It was nowhere near as steep as the rampart, and at the bottom was a flat path so at least they’d be able to stop themselves before disappearing off down to the road at the bottom of White Horse Hill.

Eleni kicked off the proceedings swiftly followed by Asri, both of them laughing as they rolled down to the pathway.

Alice and Elisa were a little bit more hesitant and careful but they both soon got into the swing of things, rolling, smiling and laughing their way down the hill.

We lost count how many times they went back up the hill just to roll back down, but seeing as they were having so much fun we left them to it for a good ten minutes before heading off on the hunt for more Easter egg clues.

Hill Rolling Photos

Walk Part Of A National Trail

The final part of the day’s adventures was to walk part of a national trail so we headed up the Ridgeway5 to see Wayland’s Smithy6, a Neolithic chambered long barrow.

We all warmed up a bit in the car for a bit – it really was rather chilly outside – and had a snack before heading off to the Ridgeway.

It was a short walk up the road to get to the Ridgeway. On the way all of the girls wanted a stick to carry so that’s what they got, although Eleni decided to pick up a rather large fallen branch which she affectionately called “Twiggy”. Hilarious!

We made our way up the trail having lots of fun and saying hello to everyone we passed.

There were a lot of people out, some of which looked as though they were either walking or cycling the whole trail from what they were carrying. Walking the 87 miles of the national trail does sound like a good idea but that’ll have to wait for another time.

It took about an hour to get out to the long barrow – or long wheelbarrow as the girls called it – and once there we all had a look round it, touching the ancient stones and taking in the atmosphere before heading down the trail back to the car.

It was a lovely walk and the girls, although a little on the slow side, made the distance pretty easily. The girls’ new walking boots definitely seem to have been a great purchase!

All in all, a great day out full of fun and games, and a little history to boot!

Ridgeway Photos

Egg Hunt Route Details

If you’re interested you can download the KML file and/or GPX file of the plotted route. Please be aware though that the route was hand-plotted and so may not be 100% accurate.

Walk Statistics

MilesStart (HH:MM)Finish (HH:MM)Breaks (HH:MM)Walking (HH:MM)Pace (MPH)Steps Taken
1.8012:0013:0000:0001:001.803,881

Route Map

Elevation Details

Start Elavation (m)End Elavation (m)Max Elevation (m)Min Elevation (m)Total Climb (m)Total Descent (m)Climbs on Route
207207258184126-1260

More information about climb ratings can be found at Map My Walk.

Ridgeway Route Details

If you’re interested you can download the KML file and/or GPX file of the plotted route. Please be aware though that the route was hand-plotted and so may not be 100% accurate.

Walk Statistics

MilesStart (HH:MM)Finish (HH:MM)Breaks (HH:MM)Walking (HH:MM)Pace (MPH)Steps Taken
2.8813:3015:3000:0002:001.446,232

Route Map

Elevation Details

Start Elavation (m)End Elavation (m)Max Elevation (m)Min Elevation (m)Total Climb (m)Total Descent (m)Climbs on Route
20820821919757-570

More information about climb ratings can be found at Map My Walk.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1.A UK conservation charity, protecting historic places and green spaces, and opening them up for ever, for everyone.
2.An Iron Age hillfort occupying the summit of White horse Hill. It consists of a large enclosure, measuring about 220 metres by 160 metres, surrounded by a wide chalk-stone bank or inner rampart about 12 metres wide and 2.5 metres high, and formerly lined with sarsen (sandstone) stones.
3.Measuring 111 metres from the tip of its tail to its ear, the White Horse has been dated to the later Bronze Age or Iron Age (between 1740 and 210 BC). Its function is not certain.
4.Local legend associates the horse with St. George and the Dragon, hence the name of nearby hill. It is a round mound, about 10 metres high with a flattened top, likely to have been formed by glacial erosion.
5.The Ridgeway, an ancient trading route across Southern England, was used by prehistoric people. Its high, dry ground made an easier route than the thickly wooded valleys. Originally connected to the Dorset coast, the Ridgeway provided a reliable trading route to The Wash in Norfolk.
6.Wayland’s Smithy long barrow was used for burials over 5,500 years ago in the Neolithic period.