In August I encountered one of the most mysterious landscapes I have ever seen – the Vale of the White Horse in Uffington, in Oxfordshire, England. Although the Vale itself is fairly typical looking, with hedges delineating individual farms and holdings,
it is the White Horse itself that makes this destination so special.
The White Horse is described in Wikipedia as a “highly stylized prehistoric hill figure”, created of chalk (it is estimated) during the Bronze Age some 3000 years ago. (For a better aerial view of it, click here.) The figure is about 375 feet long and is cleaned periodically to keep it visible. The surrounding landscape contains some unusual ridged hills called The Giant’s Stair, and above the White Horse stands a knoll known as the Iron Age Uffington Castle.
The day we visited, the landscape was windy and clouds scuttered across the sky. A child was running with a kite.
The surrounding meadows were appropriately bleak, with an occasional outcropping of thistles.
I won’t forget the Vale of the White Horse. See it if you can.