Westbury White Horse Ring

The Westbury White Horse Ring is a short 2.5 mile circular walk made up of 11 caches including a bonus cache at the end.  Most of the trail is over some wonderful English Heritage land that has been designated as open access. Crossing over at one point with this series is the nearby Bratton Ring, it can be combined with the White Horse Ring to make a figure of eight walk of about 5 miles.

The WWHR was a fantastic series with some wonderful views.  I thought that  I’d be around this it in about an hour but it took me just over two! Not because it was hard going, it was actually surprisingly easy considering it was located on the top of a hill. No, it was because it is set in such a picturesque location that I just kept stopping to take in view, there was no need to rush it.  I was really pleased I chose this series on which to make my 4,000th find.

Giddy up!

The Westbury White Horse (above) is the oldest of Wlitshire White Horses and the original White Horse is thought to have been cut to celebrate King Alfred the Great’s victory over the Viking army in May 878AD.    This is also the home of the Bratton Hill Fort, a large hill fort with good banks and defences. The Hill Fort is about 2000 years old and surrounds an older Neolithic Burial Mound.

Great views from the off!

The walk begins from the large car park at the top Winkland’s Down, then it heads off through open access land over Bratton Down. At the end of this path you can switch onto the Bratton Ring if you want to extend the walk, as I’ve completed that series I carried on to the White Horse Trail aka the Imber Range Perimeter (IRP) Path.

Take Aim!

The IRP path, is a long distance circular walk around the Imber Live Firing Range giving views across Salisbury Plain and the surrounding Wiltshire and Somerset countryside, just keep an eye out for the red flags and  make sure you don’t stray.

Westbury cement chalk quarry

Further down the trail and you will see the 20 million cubic metre hole in the ground that is the Westbury Cement chalk quary. It scarcely visible in the locality, because it is below the ridge of the downs, and it backs on to MOD land on the Salisbury Plain. The quarrying ended in 2009 but in it’s day, the chalk was ground in wash mills on site, making a slurry. This was then pumped to a holding tank, then transferred to the cement plant through a buried 2.3 km pipeline. The cement plant comes into distance further around the walk.

Spectacular Views

I took a slightly different route to the one planned by the CO,so that I could pick up an additional cache and doing this took me along the Wessex Ridgeway with some incredible views over Westbury Hill, the sight of the White Horse.  Once on the Ridgeway the impressive chalk figure of the White Horse came into view, at first just it’s head but as I continued the walk eventually the full figure was revealed. It was along this stretch that I was able to claim by 4,000th find!

The footpath skirts the top of the Horse’s Head and it’s possible to touch it’s eye and claim a geocaching photo challenge. The walk concludes with a circular walk around the Bratton Camp Hill fort before going over the top of the long barrow and back to the car park. A very enjoyable and highly recommended series.

Westbury White Horse Ring

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