The White Horse at Woolstone
The White Horse is one of Britain's oldest Inns and with its thatched roof, oak beams, log fires and warm welcome is probably one of its most beautiful, as well.
Built in Elizabethan times, the pub itself is almost half a century old and is set in the olde worlde village of Woolstone, in the heart of the vale of Whitehorse; 11 miles from Swindon, 5 miles from Faringdon and 7 miles from Wantage.
Thomas Hughes of 'Tom Browns Schooldays ' fame is said to have written his books here.
- 5 en-suite rooms
- Award-winning food
- Private functions, weddings
- Perfect for weekend breaks
- Historical attractions nearby
- Children welcome
Popular with locals, tourists, and all those who love good food and top class accommodation, the pub is perfect for those who enjoy walking and exploring the visual delights of the nearby White Horse Hill, the Ridgeway and other ancient monuments.
THE WHITE HORSE
The White Horse Inn is named after the monument on the nearby hillside of Uffington.
Nobody knows for sure when the Uffington horse was cut, though the general belief now is that it is probably 2000 years old and possibly even older.
We know for certain that it has been there since at least 800 years ago because it is mentioned in writings dating back to the time of Henry II (1154-1189).
But its siting close to the ancient track of the Ridgeway and the earthwork known as Uffington Castle suggests it was a beacon for this settlement. That dates it to the Iron Age - roughly around the date of the birth of Christ. The fact that the outline of the horse also resembles figures featured on Iron Age coins seems to bear this theory out.
WAYLANDS SMITHY & THE RIDGEWAY
The Ridgeway, which is possibly the oldest road in Europe, lies within easy reach of the inn. Stone Age man once walked along its route - not only long before the likes of Stonehenge came into being, but even before Britain was an island.
The Ridgeway is therefore the oldest surviving relic from our human past and Swindon is fortunate to have this remarkable ancient route on its doorstep. It is even more fortunate that the section that transverses the Marlborough Downs and passes up to the Vale of the White Horse is one of the most spectacular of all.
As the road crosses the county boundary from Wiltshire into Oxfordshire it heads for the Megalithic tomb called Wayland's Smithy, which stands about 50 metres from the path. Local legend has it that if you leave your horse by the tomb along with a coin on the lintel stone, it will be shod by Wayland, the smith of the old Saxon gods. Hence the name.
In fact, the tomb was at least two thousand years old by the time the Saxons arrived and may date back as far as 2800 BC, making it even older than the famous West Kennet Long Barrow at the western end of the Ridgeway (close to Silbury Hill).