Stourhead terrace walk

Walking trail

Enjoy a walk along the 18th-century terrace ride created by Henry Hoare II.

This circular walk follows the terrace ride giving spectacular views down Six Wells Valley on your way to King Alfred’s Tower. The walk returns through the neighbouring Stourhead Western Estate.

A view from the Terrace Walk


Map route for Stourhead terrace walk


Stourhead visitor reception, grid ref: ST778340


From the main car park, go through visitor reception. Follow the zig-zag path, go over the bridge in to the walled garden and follow signs to the house. Once you are past the house, go through the iron gate beside the cattle grid and turn left along the drove trackway. After approximately 500yd (450m) on your left you will see the Obelisk.

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Follow the track to Terrace Lodge where the long flat terrace begins and where Henry Hoare II and his guests used to enjoy carriage rides. As you walk along the Terrace notice the bank on the right-hand side, this was a medieval Deer Park boundary. As the Terrace approaches a road, follow it round to the left. Pause for a moment and look to your left to take in the spectacular view of Six Wells Valley and St Peter’s Pump.


Go straight on through the kissing gate and continue along the Terrace for approx. ¾ mile (1.2km) to King Alfred’s Tower, one of the tallest follies in England. On approaching the Tower you will see your waymarked route to the left.

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Facing King Alfred’s Tower take your route left into the woodland (grid ref: 745351) You are now walking through neighbouring Stourhead Western Estate, on the return section of the 18th-century terrace ride. Walk along this track to the junction, turn left, keeping straight ahead you will catch glimpses of the Sparkford and Blackmore Vales on your right. Continue on until you re-join the main gravel track at the staggered cross roads and go straight ahead. Stay on this track as it bears around to the right and descends down the hill. At the next staggered crossroads turn left. Go straight on leaving the Old Forester’s Shed to your right.

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Continue along the edge of the woodland on the main track for approx. ¾ mile (1.2km) until the track forks. Turning right, stay on the track until you reach a stile. Continue over the stile coming out of the woodland into unimproved pasture. Walk straight ahead keeping the fence to your right. When you reach a gate go through onto a hard gravelled track and descend down the hill. Hidden in the trees on the left are Tucking Mill ruins.


Continue along the track until you come into a field, this is known as Turner’s Paddock. Go straight on passing Beech Cottage on your left. Keep on the main track going 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 Rock Arch. Being mindful of the 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, then follow the footpath that zig-zags up the hill to visitor reception and the car park.


Stourhead visitor reception, grid ref: ST778340

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Stourhead terrace walk


This route follows grass paths and forest tracks, with fairly steep descents in the second half of the walk. The ground is uneven in places and can be boggy in wet weather, so sturdy footwear is advisable. Unfortunately this route is not suitable for wheelchair users.

Please do walk your dogs on the terrace walk but keep them under control at all times.

Stourhead terrace walk

Contact us

Stourhead terrace 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 terrace walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs are welcome under close control