Vale of the White Horse

The Vale of the White Horse is the south-western of the Oxfordshire districts, stretching between the Berkshire Downs and the river Thames. It takes its name from the famous Uffington White Horse , a bronze age figure which is Britain’s oldest chalk figure. It watches over a landscape of gentle rolling hills and Dragon Hill, where St George reputedly slew the dragon. Just a little further up the hill lies Uffington Castle, an Iron Age hill fort.

The southern border of the district follows the Ridgeway Path, a long distance walking path claimed to be the oldest road in Europe and once an important trade route. Wantage, in the south of the county, is a market town built of red brick and local stone. It is the birthplace of King Alfred the Great, and has a long history.

In the west, the town of Faringdon is a historic centre for trade on the junction of ancient roads. The buildings surrounding the pretty market place date from the 18th and 19th centuries, and Faringdon Folly is a local landmark completed in 1935. Buscot Park is close, with its wonderful gardens and abundant birdlife.

Just south of Oxford is Abingdon, which can be reached from the city on a pleasant riverside walk or cycle. Abingdon has a history dating back more than 3000 years, and is the oldest continuously inhabited town in England. It was once dominated by an abbey the size of Westminster Abbey, but today only its outline on the ground can be seen. Many kings have visited Abingdon throughout the centuries.

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