In all the years we’ve been visiting family in Wiltshire I don’t think I’ve ever written about the Westbury White Horse and Bratton Camp. Both are managed by English Heritage and are free to visit. They are open all year round and are our go-to place when we need to burn off some energy.
The Westbury White Horse
The White Horse is visible from afar and is a famous local landmark. The kids spend most of our journey to Wiltshire looking for it and they always know we are nearly there when they can see it. Local records suggest the horse was originally cut in the late 1600s, probably to commemorate the supposed Battle of Ethandun, thought to have taken place at Bratton Camp in AD 878. The Westbury White Horse is on a really steep hillside with great views over the countryside.
The original Iron Age hillfort defences were built at Bratton Camp over 2000 years ago. The earthworks protected a settlement containing round houses, granaries, stores and workshops. The whole thing is accessible and makes a great place to explore with it’s steep ditches and embankments. It is normally full of sheep so you have to mind the poo!
Their are information signs dotted around the area, as well as plenty of (free) parking and viewpoints. Both places are on the edge of Salisbury Plain, a really gorgeous part of Wiltshire.
There are loads of things to do here all year round. There’s a huge flat area at the top of the hill which is perfect for dog walking, kite flying, throwing a frisbee or racing model cars.
We’ve walked to the White Horse and Bratton Camp lots of times. They are so entwined that you can’t really visit one without the other. If we want to tire out the children then we can explore the Camp before reaching the White Horse! You can usually find an ice cream van in the warmer months but it’s worth taking the drinks in the winter!