Southwest of Oxford at Uffington a white horse 370 feet (114 m) long carved by the Celts into the chalk downs has given its name to the locality. From White Horse Hill, where there’s an Iron Age fort, you have fine views out over the Vale of the White Horse.

Newbury, once a cloth-trading town, is best known today as one of the leading centers for breeding and training racehorses. There is a large race-course just to the south of the town, and occasionally motorists will have to wait for a string of fine thoroughbreds to cross the road on the way out to their morning or evening exercise.

Besides the attractions associated with horse-racing, Newbury has other historical highlights to interest the visitor. The Battle of Newbury in 1644 was an important turning point in the English Civil War, and both Newbury Castle and the Newbury District Museum contain interesting exhibits from that and other periods.

Running through the town are the River Kennet and its close partner, the Kennet and Avon Canal. Public excursion trips, or private charters, are available in either direction from the town, in a variety of magnificently decorated “narrow boats” (the correct term for canal barges), some of them hauled by massive heavy horses trudging along the tow-paths, just as they were back in the 18th century.

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