Walking

Walking trail

Stourhead Park Hill Camp walk

Walking trail

A short circular walk, with some steep ascents, taking in Park Hill Camp Iron Age hill fort and returning along Six Wells Valley. During spring the woodlands are carpeted in bluebells. Look and listen out for nuthatches, tree creepers, and long tailed tits.

Park Hill Camp is an Iron Age hill fort constructed in two phases. The first major structure was a large external defence, followed by an internal ditch and bank to strengthen the network of protection. Strong secure fences were a key feature of Iron Age sites. The interior six acres are surrounded by a system of ditches and banks and when originally dug the ditches would have been more than two yards deeper.

Stourhead, Wiltshire

Map

Map route for Stourhead Park Hill Camp walk

Start:

Stourhead visitor reception, grid ref: ST778340

1

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 you pass under the Rock Arch, where you turn right.

2

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. Go over the stile – the ruins of Tucking Mill and cottages are hidden in the trees on your left.

3

Follow the track for about 250yd (220m). At the red waymarker turn right, following the steep path till you reach the top. Go straight on. Turning left at the T-junction you will see Park Hill Iron Age hill fort and the information panel straight in front of you.

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4

Facing the panel, turn immediately right along the fence, following the narrow path along the edge of the hill fort. You will then turn right at the next track, and after a short distance take the next sharp left down to the valley of Six Wells. At the end of the track, climb over the stile. Looking to your left you will see St Peter’s Pump in the distance.

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5

Turn right to walk diagonally down the valley until the medieval fish ponds come into sight and then walk diagonally uphill to the left. Upon reaching a gate, go through it and head up the woodland track, then through a second gate and walk left up a short slope. You will now be in Great Oar Meadow at the foot of the Obelisk. The original was erected in 1746 as a focal point at the end of Fir Walk. It deteriorated and was replaced in 1839. Fourteen years later it was restored after being struck by lightning.

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6

With your back to the Obelisk inscription, turn left and cut diagonally across the great Oar Meadow to join the track (18th-century carriage ride). Turn right and head towards Stourhead House. Follow the drive in front of the house, turning right just before you reach the clock arch to walk through the walled garden. Cross the bridge over the road and follow the zig-zag path back up to the visitor reception car park.

End:

Stourhead visitor reception, grid ref: ST778340

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Stourhead Park Hill Camp walk

Terrain

The paths are mostly surfaced with gravel, grass or natural woodland floor. The lakeside part of the route is mostly flat and easily accessible but there are some slopes through the woodland and deer park. The paths can be muddy and boggy in wet weather, 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.

Stourhead Park Hill Camp walk

Contact us

Stourhead Park Hill Camp walk

How to get here

Address
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 Park Hill Camp walk

Facilities and access

  • Restaurant, parking, shop and toilet facilties at Stourhead
  • Dogs are welcome under close control