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Giant hill figures of White Horses in England

White chalk hill figures

Giant hill figures are rather common in England. There have been around 25 of them in UK. Although not all of the hill figures survived.

White horses are among the most common chalk figures you will find in UK. Some of them are over 3000 years old other were created not so long ago. The newest dating back to 2003 (Folkestone’s White Horse, Kent). The oldest is Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire.

Huge chalk images carved on the hills of England are rather short-lived if not taken care of. Grass can grow over them rather fast and cover the figure completely in 5 to 7 years. Thus they require constant attention and maintenance.

Wiltshire hill figures

Wiltshire is probably the best place to see hill figures. There are 8 White Horses in this county. Some of them we would definitely recommend to visit. While others not so much. Unless you are a huge White Horse fan and want to see them all.

White Horses of Wiltshire Map

The White Horse Trail shown on the map is 90 miles long (about 145 km). If you like to hike and want to walk to all of the eight horses you will probably need 6 to 7 days for the journey.

It is actually possible to see all the horses in one day, if you travel by car. Although in this case you’d need to dedicate the whole day to it. And most of the time you will be on the road, driving to the location.

But there’s also a positive side to car trips. You will get to see beautiful small villages and stunning landscape views along the way.

White horses hill figures map in Wiltshire

Westbury White Horse

Westbury White Horse is the oldest of the white horses in Wiltshire. The horse was originally carved here 400 years ago in 1600s. Some say it was created in 1742, while others believe it was in 1778. The horse you’ll see now is a renovated version. It’s appearance has changed over time.

This horse is 55 meters tall (about 180 ft). It is located below the Bratton Hill Fort and sometimes referred to as the Bratton Horse.

It is one of the best White Horses to see. And it is one of our favourite hill figures in UK. If you only have time to visit one of the horses this is the one we would definitely recommend.

The location of the horse is great. And there is a big parking near by. Apart from getting very close to the horse you can also also enjoy a spectacular view from the hill.

spectacular view from the hill

Westbury White Horse differs from all the other chalk horses in several ways. First of all the chalk horse was covered in white-painted concrete for maintenance and preservation reasons in 1950s. Thus it is not really a chalk horse anymore. And secondly it is standing still and not running, as all the other horses.

Location: Port Way, Bratton, Westbury 
Postcode: BA13 3EP

Hackpen Hill White Horse

Hackpen Hill White Horse can be best seen from A361 road. The horse is about 28 meters tall (90 ft). It was carved in 1838 to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Victoria.

Hackpen White Horse on the green hill near a yellow field of raps flowers

The head of Hackpen Hill Horse is pointing in the direction of another horse – Broad Town White Horse.

Location: Broad Hinton, Wiltshire
Postcode: SN8 1RE

Broad Town White Horse

Broad Town White Horse was carved in 1863. It is 26 meters tall (about 86 ft). It is considered to be one of the more lively horses, as it is actively running.

The horse is hidden in a quiet location on a private land. Thus it might be a little bit difficult to find it. But if you enjoy nature you won’t regret spending some time to find the horse. The birds are singing, the sheep are grazing on a filed near by. It is just a wonderful experience.

Because the horse is located further from the main road it is rather isolated and there is no parking near the site. You can reach it by the footpath from the village.

The sheep might be surprised to see you as they don’t get a lot of visitors every day.

Location: Broad Town, Wiltshire
Postcode: SN4 8JN

Cherhill White Horse hill figure

Cherhill White Horse is the second oldest of hill figures in Wiltshire and the third oldest in Great Britain. It was cut in 1780. The horse is 49 meters tall (about 160ft).

Some believe that Westbury White Horse was an inspiration for this horse. But unlike the horse in Westbury this one is moving and not standing still.

The best location to see the horse is from A4 road. It is located under Iron Age Hillfort near the village of Cherhill.

CHerhill white horse hill figure

Location: Cherhill, Calne, Wilts
Postcode: SN11 8XY

Alton Barnes White Horse

This horse was carved in 1812 on the Mill Hill by the landowner of the Manor Farm. It is about 55 meters tall (180 ft).

The best place to see it is from a distance from Alton Barnes village. Although if you want to get closer you can reach it by various footpaths from the road to Lockeridge village.

In 2010 big restoration works were carried out. Around 150 tons of chalk were delivered and spread to renovate the horse.

This horse is looking towards the Pewsey Horse.

Location: Alton Barnes, Pewsey, Wiltshire
Postcode: SN9 5PS

Pewsey White Horse

Pewsey Horse is the smallest from the Wiltshire horses. It is only 14 meters tall (about 45ft). Nevertheless it is a magnificent horse and one of our favourites too.

The first horse on this location was cut in 1785. The original horse had a rider. In 1937 the horse was redesigned to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI.

This horse is very unique because of it’s huge eye. You can see this horse from a distance or walk up very close to it.

But we do not recommend taking pictures of a horse from a short distance. No matter which perspective you choose, the horse will look funny. One huge eye and tiny legs is one of the examples of what such images will look like.

But the scenery is just beautiful here.

Location: Pewsey, Wiltshire
Postcode: SN9 5AF

Marlborough White Horse

This is one of the smallest white horse in Wiltshire. It is about 18 meters tall (60ft). A group of school boys carved the horse in 1785. It is located on the grounds of Marlborough college. The best place to see it is from the college tennis courts.

It is rather difficult to find this horse, as the postcode doesn’t get you to the exact location of the horse. And because it is small and rather difficult to find we do not recommend visiting this horse. You might waste too much time looking for it. Also it doesn’t have magnificent landscape views around it as many of the other white horses have.

Location: Marlborough, Wiltshire
Postcode: SN8 1PA

Posted in Destinations, England

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1 Comment

  1. Helge

    We spent an interesting day chasing by car all of these places with horses! It was fun. And Westbury White Horse has an astonishing view indeed. Nice spot for relaxation and contemplation. We strongly recommend.

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