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One of Dorset's prominent landmarks, dominated by an Iron Age hill fort

Pilsdon has a long history of occupation. Flint tools over 10,000 years old and two Bronze Age burial mounds are evidence that the site was in use long before the hill fort was built.

Like the other hill forts in Dorset, Pilsdon was abandoned after the Roman conquest, after which it's thought that it was used for rough grazing, much as it is today.

You can now enjoy this hill fort not just for its archaeology, but also for its wide range of walks and far-reaching views. On a clear day you can see Marshwood Vale, Golden Cap and the sea to the south, the Hardy Monument, to the east, Exmoor and the Quantocks to the west and the Polsden and Mendip hills to the north.

Summer walking

Feel the wind in your hair and savour the spectacular views

Feel the wind in your hair and savour the spectacular views

Enjoy a refreshing breeze on warm summer days with a bracing hilltop walk. As you'd expect from the second highest point in Dorset, Pilsdon Pen boasts magnificent far-reaching views across the Marshwood Vale. You can park in the lay-by on the B3164 and then enjoy a circular walk around the Iron Age ramparts. With commanding views in all directions, it's easy to see why a hill fort was built here. You could take advantage of the extra daylight with a longer walk along the Wessex Ridgeway, the Jubilee Trail and the Monarch's Way, which all converge at Pilsdon.

Walking weather?

On a roll at Pilsdon Pen © Paul Harris

On a roll at Pilsdon Pen

50 things challenge

Summer's a super time to get stuck into your 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ list. You can tick off several activities here, including:

  • Climb a huge hill - if you climbed to the top you've nailed this challenge
  • Roll down a really big hill - the fun way to get down again
  • Fly a kite - a good flat grassy summit for take off
  • Go stargazing - wrap up warm and choose a clear dark night

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