Walks through military history

Whether you're an avid history buff or looking to enjoy a scenic walk, many of our special places are steeped in stories of conflict, secrecy and invention. Head out on a trail to explore secret weapon-testing sites, important battlefields and fortifications to defend from enemy invasion.

Brean Down, coastal site, Somerset

Brean Down Coastal Walk, Somerset 

Discover one of the great landmarks of the Somerset coastline on this scenic coastal walk across Brean Down. Standing over 300ft (92m) high and extending 1.5 miles (2.4km) into the Bristol Channel, the Down is steeped in intriguing stories, from pre-historic worship to Second World War weapon testing. It’s also renowned for its wildlife, so keep a look out for a great variety of birds, plants and butterflies whilst on route.

Bridge over a stream and tree at Cwm Gwdi, Brecon Beacons, Powys

Cwm Gwdi, Brecon Beacons 

Cwm Gwdi was once a military training camp dating back to the late-Victorian era. Soldiers used to sleep in tents here until the 1960s when a canteen, wash rooms and Nissen huts were constructed. These buildings were used until the late 1980s, and the concrete bases of these can still be seen amongst the trees.

Landscape at Orford Ness

Orford Ness, Suffolk 

With a 70-year military history, Orford has been a First World War airfield, a MOD nuclear weapons testing and development site, as well as a testing station for radar and Second World War weapons. Explore the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE) site, see the famous pagoda buildings and get up close to a real atomic bomb – decommissioned, of course.

The Tool Store at Reigate Fort, Surrey

Reigate Hill walk, Surrey 

Reigate Fort was built in 1898; one of 13 forts which ran along the North Downs to Essex. They were originally built to protect London from an attack by the French. Reigate acted as a mobilisation centre, holding cutting tools for clearing trees and digging tools for entrenching forces.

Guided walk at Stonehenge Landscape

Stonehenge Landscape, Wiltshire 

On this circular walk you will discover the landscape in its full glory from the Bronze Age barrows to the First World War military railway track, as well as its diverse wildlife and plants.

The viewpoint at Edgehill

Upton House and Gardens, Warwickshire 

This walk offers some spectacular views to enjoy with panoramic vistas, big skies and the frisson of a historic battle. You'll head past Edgehill, site of the first major battle of the English Civil War.