Opening times for 10 December 2023
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No car park at present. Steep slopes from Child Okeford. Several footpaths lead from Child Okeford or Iwerne Courtney onto the hill. Stour Valley Way National Trail goes across the hill. Dogs welcome. Please ensure that when visiting on horseback that horses remain on the bridleways. Hambledon Hill is a protected ancient monument and an important site for archaeology and wildlife. Areas of the hillfort and its long barrow are being damaged where horses are ridden off the bridleway. Thank you for your cooperation in helping to look after this beautiful place.
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.
Stour Valley Way National Trail runs across the hill.
The nearest train station is Gillingham, 11 miles away.
The 340 Shaftesbury - Dorchester bus stops at Child Okeford (Wed only).
National Cycle Route 25 runs adjacent to Hambledon Hill.
From the summit of the hillfort you can see across three counties - Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire - getting a real sense of Hambledon’s prehistoric strategic importance and why it’s considered one of the finest Iron Age hillforts in Dorset.
Wildlife in the air
An impressive 28 species of butterfly including the Adonis blue, dark green fritillary and green hairstreak have been recorded on Hambledon Hill. Bird watchers can also spot skylarks, buzzards, kestrels, meadow pipits, blackcaps, white-throats, chiff chaffs and willow warblers.
Chalk grassland site
This chalk grassland site is home to at least five species of orchids including the early purple, bee, pyramidal, common spotted and autumn lady's tresses. Keep an eye out for glow worms and brown hares too.
From panoramic views to ancient landmarks, there’s much to see and do at Hambledon Hill, an Iron Age hillfort that’s now a national nature reserve.
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 accesss 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 fritillary.
Find out about the project has changed how we care for nature and history across Dorset and Wiltshire's hillforts, while inspiring communities to connect with heritage and nature.