Walking around the ramparts at Hambledon Hill

Walking trail

Hambledon Hill is one of the most iconic sites in Dorset, rising steeply to 190 metres above the Blackmore Vale and the river Stour with fantastic views into the neighbouring counties of Wiltshire and Somerset. The site is of exceptional archaeological and ecological value and provides important access opportunities as well as being of nationally important landscape value. It is a Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI) and a National Nature Reserve. Hambledon is one of the best preserved and most notable Iron Age hill forts in Great Britain and one of the best preserved Neolithic landscapes in Europe. It is also considered one of the finest representations of unimproved calcareous grassland in the country and houses many rare species of plant and animal. An amazing 28 species of butterfly have been recorded here, including Adonis blue, chalk-hill blue and dark green fritilary.

The top of Hambledon Hill with a pink tinged sky behind

Map

Map of rampart walk at Hambledon Hill

Start:

At the steps leading to metal kissing gate at the entrance to Hambledon Hill know as Pine Tree Walk

1

Welcome to Hambledon Hill, a National Nature Reserve and Scheduled Ancient Monument, one of the finest examples of an Iron Age hill fort in England. Follow the white chalk path and head straight up the hillside. You will be following the white footsteps where countless generations have walked before. Head towards the highest point - the Neolithic Longbarrow.

2

Stop and take in the panoramic views across the Blackmore Vale, Cranborne Chase and the far distance Purbeck landscape. The Neolithic Long barrow was a burial site for a person of great importance. It predates the Iron Age hill fort it dominates and is an example of species rich chalk grassland, including early gentian and autumn's laddies tresses. From here walk in a southerly direction along the top of the ramparts towards the south west entrance.

End:

This is a circular route which will take you back to your start point

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Walking around the ramparts at Hambledon Hill

Terrain

Hambledon Hill has open access, so you can explore the whole area. The route includes very steep slopes and uneven surfaces which can be slippery after wet weather.  Dogs are welcome under close control, and on leads when sheep are grazing - please follow guidance on the notices. 

Walking around the ramparts at Hambledon Hill

How to get here

Address
Entrance to the hill fort from the Shaftesbury Road, Child Okeford.
By road
Next to Child Okeford village on a minor road off the A350.Parking: A small unsigned roadside lay-by with parking space for four cars, SE of Child Okeford village. Alternatively, park in the village itself and follow one of the numerous footpaths up to Hambledon Hill
Walking around the ramparts at Hambledon Hill

Facilities and access

  • Pub, Post Office and a variety of independent shops in Child Okeford village
  • Dogs welcome