Hackpen White Horse

Route

Start and finish is at the Memorial hall in Shrivenham, Wiltshire. The route has been designed to travel along some of the most beautiful parts of Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire (especially the Marlborough and Lambourn downs).

WHC Route .GPX & .KML link: download here

Route profile: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/371105

A lot of care has been taken with the route to ensure that it challenges participants. Relatively quiet roads with good surfaces have been selected to keep away from as much traffic as possible.

Route Profile (about 1400 metres of climbing)

Route Profile

Route Map (approx 150km total distance)

Route Map

White Horses

At least 24 white horses are know across the UK, although not all are visible today.

There are believed to have been 13 in Wiltshire, eight of which can still be seen.

Most of them are chalk carvings

Only the Uffington horse, in Oxfordshire, is of prehistoric origin, dating back some 3,000 years. The Uffington horse is one only four to face to the right.

Marlborough was cut in 1804 by schoolboys.

In 1780, Dr. Christopher Alsop of Calne created the Cherhill white horse.

The Devizes horse was  cut in 1845 by local shoemakers.

Hackpen's origin is uncertain, although it may have been created in 1838 to mark Queen Victoria's coronation.

Westbury is the oldest Wiltshire white horse and dates back at least 300 years.

A new white horse was carved in Pewsey in 1937, but the original one dates back to about 1785.

The horses are mostly chalk figures, made by cutting and removing the turf to reveal chalk beneath. It is then filled with loose chalk.

They vary in size. The largest is Uffington at 365ft (112m) long and 110ft (34m) high.

There are at least five known white horses abroad - in America, South Africa, Mexico, Morocco (which has two) and New Zealand.

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