Badbury Rings

Visitors at the Badbury Rings at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

If you turn left out of Kingston Lacy’s Blandford Drive and pass through the grand avenue of beech trees, it won’t be long (less than a mile!) before you reach Badbury Rings. Badbury is one of Dorset’s 32 Iron Age hillforts. And it’s one of the finest.

Festival of Archaeology

Meet the archaeologists, rangers and volunteers who care for this amazing hill fort at a three-day Festival of Archaeology between 23-25 July 2021. 

There will be staff and volunteers showing finds and answering your questions between 11am-3pm.

Book your place for a guided tour of Badbury Rings.

On Friday 23 July at 11.30am, National Trust Archaeologist Martin Papworth will be delving into the fascinating history of Badbury Rings and the secrets of past civilisations. We suggest a donation of £10 for this guided walk; proceeds from donations will help the National Trust conserve Badbury Rings. 

On Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 July at 11.30am and 2pm, it's the turn of Kingston Lacy's expert rangers to share their knowledge of the history and wildlife in this special place.

Numbers for the guided walks are limited; email kingstonlacy@nationaltrust.org.uk to reserve your place.

Rich in history, flora and fauna

The rings sit 100 metres above sea level and offer sweeping views across Dorset. They also hold the secrets of past civilisations.

There is evidence of Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman occupation at Badbury. However, the site is known mostly for its Iron Age hill fort with its three rings. It is thought the inner most ring dates from around 500 -600 BC.

A number of tribes settled at Badbury Rings. Among them were the Durotriges – a Celtic tribe who lived in parts of the South West of England prior to the Roman occupation of 43 AD.

Visitors walking along the remains of the ramparts and ditches of the iron age hill fort at Badbury Rings
Visitors walking along the remains of the ramparts and ditches of the iron age hill fort at Badbury Rings
Visitors walking along the remains of the ramparts and ditches of the iron age hill fort at Badbury Rings

Next to Badbury Rings is High Wood, another Iron Age enclosure. The head of a Palaeolithic flint tool was discovered by National Trust archaeologists during an excavation at the site. Estimated to be between 12,000 and 40,000 years old, it is the oldest recorded object in Kingston Lacy’s collection.

The National Trust acquired Badbury Rings as part of the Bankes Estate in 1982. Since then, a programme of careful management has preserved the rings and enabled centuries-old wildlife and plant life to flourish. Today Badbury Rings remains a favourite spot for nature lovers and walkers – and dogs on leads are welcome too.   

Visitors at the Badbury Rings at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Walk at Badbury Rings and The Oaks, Kingston Lacy

A fascinating walk discovering the history, flora and fauna of the ancient Iron Age hill fort of Badbury Rings and The Oaks wood.

Walking along Hambledon Hill

Dorset's hillforts, a visitor's guide

Discover more about Dorset's ancient hillforts with this new guide.