|Inspired by Chance's fieldnotes and his recent mention of the Woolstone wellsprings (OS: SU296872)
in a comment on Dragon Hill, I persuaded my walking friend back up to Uffington Hill today. A frosty, bright, morning as we made our towards Uffington Castle; today, however, the mission was to reach the woodland at the horse-shoe bend on the road below. We climbed over a stile into the tussocky grass and slowly followed the sheep paths down the hill. Going was surprising tricky, with the wet grass quite slippy - we made it to the bottom of the hill and over the road to the wooded area where we walked along the side of the road to gain access to the wood.
The view of Dragon Hill and Uffington White Horse hill is spectacular from here. Very much a 'first' experience for me - Uffington Hill forms a massive amphitheatre with Dragon Hill positioned within it, though to one side rather than the centre. Several springs emerge in the small woodland at the foot of the hill, it is easy to visualise that there may have been a ceremonial aspect attributed to this landscape.
With some difficulty, we scrambled through the wood, over the streams and up the bank on the other side - coming out on private farmland.
A stop for lunch at the White Horse Inn in Woolstone before we followed the waymarked 'circular walk' path back up to the Ridgeway.
Wonderful wildlife, a roe deer, frantic fast moving squirrels (clearly not used to people), a flock of fieldfares, buzzards, two herons in flight and best of all - as we reached Uffington Castle, two red kites flew overhead. At one point on the ramparts of the hillfort a red kite flew across our line of vision before gliding down to the woodland where we had scrambled about a few hours earlier.
Posted by tjj
24th November 2010ce
Edited 25th November 2010ce