Hambledon Hill

Important notice -

Our countryside space is open. We ask all visitors to follow government guidance on travel and social distancing to keep everyone safe.

Iron Age hill fort with far reaching views and spectacular wildflowers

Seasonal highlights

Two experts examining the hillside at Hambledon Hill.

Hillfort habitats

Hillforts like Hambledon Hill are a great place to spot nature and wildlife. The profile of hillforts with their steep ramparts and ditches mean that they have never been intensively farmed. These landscapes have, by virtue of their formation, position and isolation, evolved into outstanding habitats supporting rare wildflowers, butterflies, bats and birds.

Skylark flying against a clear blue sky

Spot wildlife in the air

An impressive 28 species of butterfly including the Adonis blue, dark green fritillary and green hairstreak have been recorded on Hambledon Hill. Bird watchers can also spot skylarks, buzzards, kestrels, meadow pipits, blackcaps, white-throats, chiff chaffs and willow warblers.

Close up of two purple orchids at Hambledon Hill

Explore nature at your feet

This chalk grassland site is home to at least five species of orchids including the early purple, bee, pyramidal, common spotted and autumn lady's tresses. Keep an eye out for glow worms and brown hares too.

Explore the great outdoors

Visitors walking up the hill at Hambledon Hill. Far reaching views over the surrounding countryside in the distance.

Climb the hill

Climb the 630 feet (192 metres) to the top of Hambledon Hill and you'll be standing at nearly twice the height of the White Cliffs of Dover!

The steep ramparts and far reaching views from the top of Hambledon Hill.

Take in the view from the top

From the summit of the hillfort you can see across three counties - Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire - getting a real sense of Hambledon’s prehistoric strategic importance and why it’s considered one of the finest Iron Age hillforts in Dorset.

Reconnect with centuries of history in the landscape

Aerial view of the top of the hill through low cloud

Step back in time

Hambledon Hill includes archaeology dating back to the time of the earliest British farmers. Over 5,500 years ago, high on the central spine of the hillfort, was built a Neolithic long burial mound. 1,000 years later, several Bronze Age round burial mounds were created. The Iron Age hillfort itself was not built for another 1,000 years. Explore the ramparts, ditches and terraces and you’ll be retracing the footsteps of people who lived, feasted, fought and were buried on this extraordinary site.

Woman walking the hill with a misty background

Re-imagine life on the hill

Hambledon Hill's human history predates Stonehenge. It is considered one of Britain's earliest prehistoric settlements. Explore the ramparts, ditches and terraces and you'll be retracing the footsteps of people who lived, feasted, fought and were buried on this extraordinary site.

Side view of the ramparts on the hillside of Hambledon Hill

See well preserved features in the landscape

Unlike other hill forts, Hambledon Hill has escaped the advances of agriculture over the centuries. This means that the earthworks and burial features are exceptionally well preserved and clearly visible on the ground.

Fun for families: 50 Things to do before you’re 11¾

Two boys with their mother flying a kite, rolling fields in the background

No. 7 Fly a kite

When there's a bit of wind in the air it's the perfect time to enjoy one of the purest pleasures in life. So, if you haven't flown a kite before, what are you waiting for.

Two children lying on the ground, looking up and pointing at the clouds

No. 33 Go cloud watching

There's lots you can learn from looking at the clouds. Choose a comfortable spot on a warm spring day, lie back and start watching.

family bird watching with binoculars

No. 44 Watch a bird

To be a successful bird watcher, you'll need to be as quiet as a mouse while you keep a look out for our feathered friends. What will you spot?

Page from a nature diary with drawings and notes about birds spotted

No. 48 Keep a nature diary

Keep a record of your amazing adventures in nature, capturing your memories of the animals and plants you’ve seen.

Hambledon Hill

Our work

Two people studying wildlife and habitats close up on the ground at Hambledon Hill

The Wessex Hillforts and Habitats project

The Wessex hillforts and habitats project is helping to restore a healthy beautiful natural environment rich in archaeology. It is an inspiring project connecting communities and volunteers with heritage and nature. The Wessex hillforts and habitats project is helping to restore a healthy beautiful natural environment rich in archaeology. It is an inspiring project connecting communities and volunteers with heritage and nature. Through the project access, interpretation and visitor welcome has been improved and a visitor’s guide has also been produced.

Hambledon Hill

Places to stay

Reception room of Portland House

National Trust places to stay in West Dorset 

West Dorset is an ideal holiday location. Our places to stay are located by the coast in gorgeous countryside that's featured in the hit TV programme Broadchurch and the Far from the Madding Crowd film starring Carey Mulligan.