Things to see and do at Stockbridge Down
A walk across Stockbridge Down offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape, a variety of wildlife to spot and a chance to discover ancient history.
Views across Hampshire and beyond
The Down offers spectacular, far-reaching views of the surrounding area. Rosalind Hill donated Stockbridge Down to the National Trust in 1947; her memorial bench now gives sweeping northerly views over Hampshire and across Salisbury Plain.
A chalk hill supporting grassland, areas of scrub and partially wooded margins, the habitat diversity of Stockbridge Down is hugely beneficial to local wildlife.
‘Time passes differently when I’m here, a day can feel like an hour and, when I leave and cross the boundary into the real world, I feel renewed and restored.’
- Cat Hadler, Area Ranger
A site of importance for archaeology
A walk across the Down is a gateway through to our ancient past. Look out for small circular fences which surround 4,000-year-old tumuli (burial mounds), which are Scheduled Ancient Monuments dating from the Bronze Age.
The highest point of the Down is an Iron Age hillfort, Woolbury Ring, with hand-dug ramparts thought to be more than 3,000 years old; this was used in the Second World War as a lookout post for enemy aircraft.
Downhill from the ramparts are a series of levelled areas with steep slopes between, known as ‘lynchets’, which would have been dug by hand to provide level areas for arable production. These are believed to be 3,000 – 4,000 years old and are considered to be some of the best preserved lynchets in the country.
Winter on Stockbridge Down
Bronze age barrows appear more prominent as the grass growth of summer has died back, and over-wintering birds such as bullfinches, field fares and waxwings can be seen darting through the scrub.
Help us care for the countryside
Please be aware that camping is not permitted on Stockbridge Down, and it's not suitable for bikes. You can help us look after the countryside by closing gates behind you, keeping dogs under control, not using barbecues or campfires, taking all rubbish home and leaving no trace of your visit. Thank you.
Explore Mottisfont’s diverse estate, traversed by the crystal-clear River Test, and south Hampshire countryside sites of Stockbridge Down and Marsh and Curbridge Nature Reserve.
Dogs are welcome at the Mottisfont estate woodlands, Stockbridge Down, Stockbridge Marsh and Curbridge Nature Reserve. Find out about licences for professional dog walkers.
We’re doing lots of work to look after the countryside sites of Stockbridge Down, Stockbridge Marsh and Curbridge Nature Reserve in order to provide key habitats for rare species.
Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.
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