Stourhead King Alfred’s Tower walk

Walking trail

This is a circular walk of historic interest which takes you up through beautiful woodlands to King Alfred’s Tower and returning through Park Hill Camp Iron Age Hill Fort and Turner’s Paddock. King Alfred’s Tower is a 160ft (49m) high folly, designed by Henry Flitcroft for Henry Hoare II in 1772. It is believed to mark the site where King Alfred the Great rallied his troops in 878. The tower commemorates the accession of George III to the throne in 1760 and the end of the Seven Years War.

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A wildflower meadow surrounding King Alfred's Tower at Stourhead, Wiltshire


Map route for Stourhead King Alfred's Tower walk


Stourhead visitor reception, grid ref: ST778340


From the main car park, go through visitor reception. Take the zig-zag path down to the Spread Eagle Inn. Walk through the car park and courtyard. Watching out for traffic, turn left here and walk down the road, passing St Peter’s Church on your left. Continue along the road until just beyond the Rock Arch, where you turn right.


Continue walking with Turner’s Paddock lake and the waterwheel on your left. Keep following the track beside the cattle grid, past Beech Cottage on your right and over a stile. Go a little further on the main track and where it forks, take the right-hand track and go through the gate. Follow the track along the top of the field. The ruins of Tucking Mill and cottages are on your left.


Go over the stile at the gate and through the mixed conifer woods, keeping on the main track and going straight ahead at any junctions. After a steep ascent of approximately 1 mile the track will come out on to part of the 18th century Terrace Ride. Turn left here and walk for approx. ½ mile until you reach King Alfred’s Tower.

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On leaving the Tower, retrace your steps along the Terrace ride (following the blue waymarkers) to where the woodland area on your right ends. Turn right, down the forestry track on the edge of the woodland, keeping the field on your left.

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Keep following the main track as it bears 90 degrees to the right. Walk along the Broad Ride through the woodland. After approx. ½ mile (800m) you will reach Park Hill Camp Iron Age Hill Fort. Go straight through the hill fort (if sheep are grazing, dog walkers will need to follow a clearly-marked small diversion). After exiting the hill fort by the information panel, keep on the main track for another ½ mile (800m) and then follow it round to the right. Descend the hill and go through the gate into Turner’s Paddock.


Continue along the track, bearing left where you re-join the main track. Go through the gate beside the cattle grid, passing Turner’s Paddock lake and the waterwheel on your right. As you reach the road, turn left going under the Rock Arch. Being mindful of traffic, continue along the road passing St Peter’s Church on your right. At the Spread Eagle Inn, turn right and go through the courtyard and car park and follow the footpath that zig-zags up the hill to visitor reception and the car park.

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If you are starting your walk from King Alfred’s Tower car park, then please head to the tower and go from point 4.


Stourhead visitor reception, grid ref: ST778340

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Stourhead King Alfred’s Tower walk


Mainly through woodland areas, along gravel, grass and natural forest tracks. There are steep climbs at the beginning of the walk and the paths can be boggy in places, so sturdy footwear is advisable.

You're free to walk your dog along this route, but please do keep them under control at all times for wildlife conservation and due to cattle grazing in Six Wells valley.

Unfortunately this route is not suitable for wheelchair users.

Stourhead King Alfred’s Tower walk

Contact us

Stourhead King Alfred’s Tower walk

How to get here

Stourhead, Stourton, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 6QD
By train

Gillingham station is 6.5 miles (10.4km); Bruton station is 7 miles (11.2km) away.

By road

At Stourton, off B3092, 3 miles (5km) north-west of Mere (A303), 8 miles (13km) south of Frome (A361).

By bus

Frome Minibuses 82 Warminster to Mere; First 58/158 Shaftesbury to Wincanton (passing Gillingham train station), alight Zeals, 1¼ mile (2km).

By bicycle

Wiltshire Cycle Way runs through estate.

Stourhead King Alfred’s Tower walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs are welcome under close control