White Horse Pilgrim Trail – 90 miles, 9 days. Chalk White horses are scattered right across Great Britain – 57 figures (gigantotomy) and horses (leucippotomy) – carved into chalk and limestone hills in areas where their exposed ‘whiteness’ contrasts well with darker soil or grassy surrounds. There were once many more. Most were created over the last three or four hundred years, not as ancient as their graceful Celtic-like forms might suggest, although Oxfordshire’s Uffington White Horse, a masterpiece of minimalist art, dates to the Iron Age or late Bronze Age and was itself the inspiration for other white horse carvings – including the eight examples you can now see as you make your way along Wiltshire’s White Horse Trail.
When it comes to white horses, Wiltshire is without doubt the ‘county of counties’. Its oldest and largest, set on the site of an even more ancient carving which it completely covers, is Westbury White Horse, cut in 1778 on the boundary of Bratton Downs above the Vale of Pewsey.
The White Horse Trail is an undemanding, gentle walk through a peaceful part of Wiltshire that is filled with history and mysticism. It gets you close to prehistoric Avebury and Silbury Hill, part of the Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites UNESCO World Heritage Site, and includes tantalizing glimpses on to some fabulous trails including the Wansdyke, the Ridgeway, and sections of the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath.
Text taken from tramposaurus.com