27 Sep Shanks’s Pony to see the Westbury White Horse
About the walk
The Westbury Horse is a hill figure on the Bratton Downs, one of the oldest of Wiltshire’s carved horses, measuring 180 foot tall and 170 foot wide and dating back hundreds of years.
You can see the horse from miles around and there’s a viewpoint car park on Bratton Road on the B3098. Best of all though is to make this walk, and see the horse in all its glory. The walk is steep in places but there are great views, an alpaca farm, kissing gates, a pottery and country pubs – so plenty of incentive!
Sam says the route is around seven miles, but with the climb and cross country paths, it will feel closer to ten on foot – you’ve been warned!
Directions from @wandersthewild
Starting your walk from Westbury Marketplace (BA13 3DG), turn with your back to Garstons Vets and follow the road ahead, heading north along Alfred Street. You will pass The Horse And Groom pub on your right (we’ll be finishing here) and then approach a roundabout. Go straight over until you meet the crossroads.
Cross straight over and head up Newtown. This is a steep climb so be prepared to remove layers!
At the base of Newtown you will see White Horse Pottery on your left. This is a lovely place to browse with all sorts for sale – from mugs to vases and bespoke items all handmade on site.
Keep heading up Newtown, passing the houses and some stables on your right. Stay ahead following the curvature of the road round to the left and beginning an incline once more. Stay tight to the side of the road, as this can be very busy particularly in summer months.
Once you reach a kissing gate on your left, go through and head through the centre of the field diagonally. You’ll pass an old discarded slurry/grain tanker on your left and then pick up the ridge line, following the fence line.
Follow the path keeping the fence on your left, with stunning views of the Westbury White Horse ahead.
Eventually you will reach another kissing gate. Go through and take the short steep climb up the grassy bank until you see the summit point and a bench.
Here the ground is well trodden. Follow the patch heading directly towards the white horse until you descend some steps to another gate and pick up the Ridge path walking directly along the tip of the white horse on a chalky pathway.
On a clear day if you look out above the white horse you’ll see air balloons above the skies of Bristol and to your right views across to Devizes. If your eyesight is good enough, you may even spot the Devizes White Horse.
Westbury White Horse sits at the base of an iron age hill fort, with the horse itself being carved into the hill in 1778.
Stay on the path until you reach another gate. Do not go through the gate, instead follow the path to the right. Once you reach the fence line about 100 metres ahead, you’ll see a gate on your left. Go through the gate and follow the hill down, passing another slurry tanker on your right. Eventually you’ll reach a gate on your right, taking you out onto the road that leads from Bratton up to the White Horse.
Follow the road down until you reach the base. Cross over and head to your right into the town of Bratton where you can have food and drinks at the lovely ‘Duke At Bratton’ pub. There is also a shop opposite the pub if you need to stock up on supplies.
Once refreshed and raring to go once more, exit the pub with the car park on your right and take your second right down a steep lane (court lane)
After around 200 metres you’ll see a lane on your left (Lower Westbury Road).
Take this track and follow your nose for a nice long stroll of circa 2.5 miles. Here you will pass an alpaca farm on your right and views up and out across Westbury White Horse to your left. Soon you’ll see White Horse Country Park Golf club on your right, until you final reach the end of the path with White Horse viewing platform on your left. Continue ahead on the narrow pavement heading back towards Westbury.
Once you reach a point where you need to cross the road ahead (Bitham Park), cross over and continue straight, passing the cemetery on your left, until you once again reach Alfread Street on your right and Newtown on your left. Take a left and head back towards the market Square, of course stopping at the Horse and Groom!
This is a traditional country pub with great food, local ales, entertainment, log burner and a warm welcome.
The route all in all takes in approximately 7 miles, but with the climb and cross country paths, it will feel closer to 10 miles on foot.
The Market Square offers a variety of pubs, with The Market Tavern offering the widest selection of drinks in Westbury, The Crown, popular with ale drinkers and the Ludlow Arms for one of the cheapest pints in Westbury.
Please let us know if you go and tag us in your pics and if you have any walks for us please email email@example.com – we’ve love to feature them!