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A brown, orange and cream patterned male Marsh Fritillary butterfly
A male Marsh Fritillary butterfly | © National Trust Images/Matthew Oates

Hod Hill butterfly walk

This mile-long trail involves a gentle stroll around the Iron Age fort at Hod Hill, with a special focus on spotting the many species of butterfly that live here. Marbled whites, blues, small heath and clouded yellows can all be found flitting about the wildflowers that grow here in abundance. Look out also for the remnants of the old Roman fort, built within the ramparts of the much older hillfort and one of the best preserved sites of this kind in the UK.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Car park on Hanford Lane, grid ref: ST855112

Step 1

From the National Trust car park, bear left up a steep hill and through a bridle gate, keeping close to the wood edge on your right.

Step 2

Cross the stile onto Hod Hill. Immediately before the main track turns up towards the hillfort entrance, take the grassy track to your right, along the crest of the lower rampart, above the wood edge.

Step 3

At the bottom, turn left along the main rampart ditch bottom, which opens out onto a section of short turf bank.

Step 4

Carry on along the ditch bottom, past the entrance to the hillfort.

Step 5

At the corner, turn into the hillfort entrance and bear immediate left, to head back along the foot of the inner rampart slope. The sheltered pits (borrow pits) here are good for butterflies on windy days and in late summer.

Step 6

Back at the south-west corner, though this time just inside the hillfort, turn right to head north below the crest of the western ramparts, to the old Roman fortifications. Turn right to follow this broad bank of short turf to the east, and then north until you reach the inner slope of the northern ramparts. Turn left, and you'll arrive back where you entered the hillfort.

End point

Car park on Hanford Lane, grid ref: ST855112

Trail map

Map route for Hod Hill butterfly walk
Hod Hill butterfly walk, Dorset | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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View of Hod Hill, Dorset, and the surrounding countryside

Hod Hill circular walk 

This short walk skirts the ramparts of the Iron Age fort at Hod Hill. Perched high above a meander on the River Stour, if offers sweeping views over the Dorset countryside.

DistanceMiles: 1 (km: 1.6)
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Enjoy impressive views across the Dorset countryside on this circular walk, while discovering the history, flora and fauna of the Iron Age hillfort of Badbury Rings.

DistanceMiles: 3.8 (km: 6.08)

Get in touch

Stourpaine, Nr Blandford Forum, Dorset

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We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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