West of the Chilterns, beyond the large town of Reading, lies the pretty Vale of White Horse, a shallow valley whose fertile farmland is studded with tiny villages and dotted with a striking collection of prehistoric remains. The Ridgeway National Trail, running along – or near – the top of the downs, links several of these ancient sites and offers wonderful, breezy views. The Vale is easily visited as a day-trip from Oxford or elsewhere, but you might opt to stay locally in one of the Vale’s quaint villages – tiny Woolstone is perhaps the most appealing.

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