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Things to do at Badbury Rings

Visitors at the Badbury Rings at Kingston Lacy, Dorset
Visitors at the Badbury Rings at Kingston Lacy, Dorset | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Badbury Rings has a history stretching back thousands of years to when Iron Age tribes settled here. While remnants of the Celtic hillfort can be seen today and archaeologists continue to unearth historic findings, Badbury Rings and its neighbouring High Wood with an avenue of beech trees are a peaceful slice of Dorset countryside with sweeping views and good walking trails to explore and enjoy.

Badbury Rings Iron Age hillfort

There's evidence of life at Badbury Rings dating back to the Bronze Age, more than 3,000 years ago. However, the site is best known as being an Iron Age hillfort.

Who lived here?

All that remains of the fort are three ‘rings’ that would have helped defend its residents, and the innermost ring is thought to date from around 500-600BC.

Different tribes lived within the protected hillfort, including a Celtic tribe called the Durotriges, who lived in parts of South West England before the Romans arrived in 43AD.

High Wood at Badbury Rings

Close to Badbury Rings is High Wood, another Iron Age site. Archaeologists found the head of a Palaeolithic flint tool here, which is estimated to be between 12,000 and 40,000 years old.

It’s the oldest recorded object in the collection of Kingston Lacy, the nearby country house and National Trust site.

Grazing cattle at Badbury Rings, Dorset
Grazing cattle at Badbury Rings, Dorset | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Walking around Badbury Rings

The rings sit at 100 metres above sea level and offer sweeping views across the Dorset countryside as well as wildlife walks. A stroll around the Iron Age hillfort makes a great family day out or walk with the dogs.

Whatever the reason for visiting, help protect this special site by following the Countryside Code.

Watching out for livestock and wildlife

The rings are often home to livestock, such as sheep and cattle. When this is the case please keep dogs on the lead.

There are also endangered ground-nesting birds, such as skylarks, at Badbury. Please keep your dog on a lead during the breeding season, between February-August.

A family walking their dog on a lead at the High Peak Estate on a sunny day. The valley is visible behind them, with green fields, trees and peaks visible in the distance.

Discover more at Badbury Rings

Find out how to get to Badbury Rings, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

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