Skip to content

Things to see and do at Stockbridge Down

View south over Stockbridge Down, Hampshire
View south over Stockbridge Down, Hampshire | © National Trust Images/John Miller

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.

Take in the views with this 1.5 mile circular walk.

‘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.

Spring on Stockbridge Down

Stockbridge Down is scattered with blossoming wildflowers in spring and summer thanks to careful management and conservation grazing.

Blackthorn and hawthorn produce clusters of pretty white blossom in the hedgerows, while the grassy slopes of the Down change colour as different wildflowers emerge. Bright yellow bird's foot trefoil, purple wild thyme and blue milkwort all add to this natural tapestry.

Plants like these are a vital nectar source for insects. Stockbridge Down is home to over 40 secies of butterfly thanks to its array of different grasses and wildflowers. The first adult hibernator butterflies start to emerge in spring: look out for orange tips, grizzled and dingy skippers, and red admirals from April onwards.

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.

Horses grazing in summer at Stockbridge Down, Hampshire

Discover more at Stockbridge Down

Find out how to get to Stockbridge Down, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

You might also be interested in

Path sloping through chalk downland, with fields and trees in background, Stockbridge Down, Hampshire

Explore the Mottisfont estate 

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.

An image of a small black and tan dog on a lead next to its owner who is wearing a pair of navy blue wellies with small dogs printed on them

Visiting the south-west Hampshire countryside with your dog 

Dogs are welcome at the Mottisfont estate woodlands, Stockbridge Down, Stockbridge Marsh and Curbridge Nature Reserve. Find out about licences for professional dog walkers.

Black cattle grazing on grassland, with trees beyond,  Stockbridge marsh at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Our work in the south-west Hampshire countryside 

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.

Visitors  walk through a round structure of twigs in Walk Wood, Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex

Countryside and woodland 

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.

Walkers climbing rocks against a bright blue sky with the mountains in the distance at Sugarloaf, Monmouthshire


Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.

View of Cadnam Common from Stagbury Hill in summer, with path through green bracken, New Forest, Hampshire

Countryside and woodland in Hampshire 

Enjoy the varied landscapes around Hampshire, from the huge expanses of New Forest common to the wildlife-rich downland and marshes of Stockbridge.