South Oxfordshire is fairly flat across the Thames Valley and the Vale of the White Horse and encompasses some pretty villages. However, Didcot power station can be seen from miles around with its plumes of ‘smoke’ belching out across the landscape.The land rises as you come up across the North Wessex Downs to the Ridgeway, an old roman road that runs from Oxford to Avebury and is some 96 miles long. It is in fact Britain’s oldest road. Here you will find ancient barrow sites, hill forts and chalk cut white horses of which there are 17 across Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.
From the Ridgeway south into West Berkshire the landscape becomes open downland, mainly arable and sparsely populated. This brings you down to the gallops in Lambourn the second most important centre for the racehorse industry in the country.
The region is then split by the M4 running from east to west and the A 34 from north to south.
To the east of the A34 you will come to some attractive Thameside villages including Wallingford, Pangbourne and Goring where the area is more densely populated. South of the M4 and heading into Wiltshire, is the ancient Savernake Forest near Marlborough. This is approximately 4,500 acres of privately owned forest where once upon a time Henry VIII was a frequent visitor and legend has it that he used to meet Jane Seymour there. The Kennet & Avon canal wends its way through this region. Starting from the Severn estuary, it runs through the rolling hillside of the Pewsey Vale, towards Hungerford, then descends through pastureland, woods and water meadows to join the Thames at Reading.
At its southern edge the area is bordered by the Salisbury Plain, an interesting area some of which is used by the Ministry of Defense.