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View of Hod Hill, Dorset, and the surrounding countryside
View of Hod Hill and the surrounding countryside | © National Trust Images/Ross Hoddinott

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 and is home to an array of wildflowers and butterflies. You will also be able to see the remains of one of the best preserved Roman forts in the UK, built within the earthen walls that were built some 450 years before the legions arrived in Britain.

Total steps: 10

Total steps: 10

Start point

Car park on Hanford Lane, grid ref: ST855112

Step 1

From the car park, go through the gate and up the steep grassy field, keeping the woodland to your right.

Step 2

At the top of the hill, go through the gate beside the National Trust Hod Hill omega sign.

Step 3

Turn right (anti-clockwise) along the ramparts.

Step 4

The more sheltered woody edge provides a place for butterflies like the speckled wood. There is a constant battle to prevent scrub from colonising the very important SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) grassland and smothering the chalk flora.

Step 5

Keep going for about 218yd (200m).

Step 6

Continue along the ramparts and have a look down to the River Stour on its route from Stourhead to Christchurch.

Step 7

The next section of ramparts is particularly rich in wildflowers including cowslip, common spotted, pyramidal and fragrant orchid, agrimony and clustered bellflower.

Step 8

Turn left upon reaching the corner of the rampart and continue along its top. There's a path here which drops down an old lane to Stourpaine.

Step 9

Keep going round the hillfort and take in the fantastic views over rural Dorset and the Cranborne Chase towards Melbury Down.

Step 10

Go back through the gate you came through and return down to the car park.

End point

Car park on Hanford Lane, grid ref: ST855112

Trail map

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

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More near here

A brown, orange and cream patterned male Marsh Fritillary butterfly

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.

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Walk at Eye Bridge and Pamphill, Kingston Lacy 

Enjoy a peaceful walk upstream along this picturesque stretch of the Stour river, with ancient woodland and an array of interesting birdlife to observe along the way.

DistanceMiles: 3.4 (km: 5.44)

Get in touch

Stourpaine, Nr Blandford Forum, Dorset

Our partners

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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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