Alton Barnes White Horse
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Out of all the fabulous White Horses in Wiltshire, the one in Alton Barnes is a clear favourite of mine. Not just because of its aesthetics, but mainly because of its location. It sits proudly on the side of Milk Hill, the highest point in Wiltshire, and is surrounded by the Pewsey Downs in a landscape that is both stunningly beautiful and full of ancient history.
It dates back to 1812 when it was commissioned by a local farmer, the wonderfully named Robert Pile. The story is that he paid a sign writer to design and cut the horse, who then absconded with the cash leaving a local chap to cut the horse.
The horse itself sits on the ridge overlooking Pewsey Vale and can be seen for miles around. It is best viewed from a distance as up close it definitely loses its impact, and the drone really came into good use when capturing the best angles which take in the horse and the surrounding hills.
I visited in the summer of 2018 a few weeks into the hot dry spell and in the photos you can clearly see the rolling green hills are starting to turn yellow. In July of this year, the dry spell turned the Wiltshire landscape into a desert like state.
Head for the villages of Stanton St Bernard and Alton Priors for the best views of the horse. If walking up Milk Hill there is a car park on Pewsey Downs which allows you to access the whole area on foot. The views are well worth it.