A white horse appears (well, actually two) and I make a stone sing

This would be my second attempt to visit the White Horse of Uffington. The first attempt occurred during my first trip to England, in April of 2016. I had taken my family with me, and we were traveling by car from Derbyshire toward Uffington, or what we thought was Uffington. To be fair, it was Uffington, just not the right Uffington. Turns out there’s at least two Uffingtons in England, and I had punched the wrong one into the navigation system, adding a 3hr detour to our trip and a great deal of frustration and disappointment. Instead of seeing the White Horse, we ended up at an old abbey, which happened to be closed that day. Determined to get something out of the mishap, I peered over the tall gate and took a few photos of what we couldn’t see.

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The remains of an old abby in “Uffington”

Since there are actually several horses covered in white chalk in England, we did end up seeing one, albeit thousands of years younger than the horse we had intended to visit. Not to mention it’s rather ordinary looking in comparison…

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The white horse we found

And so it was that I had set out on another adventure to see the famous White Horse of Uffington. This time I was being driven by Sue, who knows the roads of England like the back of her hand.

It was one of those rare gifts of the day. Although Sue had only the morning and a wee bit of the afternoon to offer us, she had promised to pack a full day into the hours we had together. Larissa and I started our day before sunrise, planning to catch a 7am train to Aylesbury. We caught the 6:33am one instead, leaving us ample time to find some caffeine at our destination and spot Sue’s car before it could park near the train.

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The famous Ani at Wayland’s Smithy

“I’ve given her a bath and a run,” Sue announced as I happily piled into the backseat to join the small dog I had read so much about.  Turns out Ani was even more excited about our adventure than I was, and that’s saying something.

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The house that guards the Blowing Stone

Since we were traveling at the peak of rush hour, we encountered a fair bit of traffic. Once we got through the bulk of the mess, and neared our destination, we had another hurdle to face. The road to the White Horse was blocked for construction. I wasn’t too worried, though. Time was precious that day, but I had faith in our driver and sure enough, Sue found another route. A route that just happened to lead us to another white horse, being lead by a rider on the roadside near the Blowing Stone. I took it as a good omen of things to come.

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The Blowing Stone. Legend says that if you blow it right it can be heard at Uffington Castle, above the White Horse

“Give it a go,” Sue urged as we stood there staring at the ancient stone on the roadside. What the heck, I thought. I’ve traveled all the way here, I may as well give it a try. It took Sue having to point out the correct hole, of the many, to blow into, but three attempts later, the ancient stone sounded like a bugle. I was, admittedly, rather pleased with myself. Perhaps there was luck to be had this day. In the distance, nestled into the hillside was the white horse I had been waiting for. Just a short drive away. Above our heads the kites had started to gather in their dance with the sun.

To be continued…

To read the previous posts in this series about my recent visit to England, please follow the links below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

9 thoughts on “A white horse appears (well, actually two) and I make a stone sing

  1. Pingback: The “Castle” on the Back of a Dragon | Not Tomatoes

  2. Pingback: The Other Eye Opens: I Meet the White “Horse” of Uffington | Not Tomatoes

  3. Pingback: Wayland’s Smithy: A Temple of Trees & Stones Worthy of Reverence | Not Tomatoes

  4. Pingback: The Gifts of the Stones #Wayland’sSmithy | Not Tomatoes

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