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Families explore by the lake at Stourhead, which is surrounded by trees in autumn yellows and oranges
The lake at Stourhead | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Stourhead Park Hill Camp walk

This scenic circular walk takes in Park Hill Camp Iron Age hillfort and returns along Six Wells Valley. Make sure to look and listen out for nuthatches, tree creepers and long-tailed tits on the way, and enjoy the carpets of bluebells in the woodland in spring.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Stourhead visitor reception, grid ref: ST778340

Step 1

From the main car park, go through visitor reception. Take the zig-zag path down to the Spread Eagle Inn. Walk through the car park and courtyard. Watching out for traffic, turn left here and walk down the road, passing St Peter’s Church on your left. Continue along the road until you pass under the Rock Arch, where you turn right.

Step 2

Continue walking with Turner’s Paddock lake and the waterwheel on your left. Keep following the track beside the cattle grid, past Beech Cottage on your right and over a stile. Go a little further on the main track and where it forks, take the right-hand track and go through the gate. Follow the track along the top of the field. Go over the stile – the ruins of Tucking Mill and cottages are hidden in the trees on your left.

Step 3

Follow the track for about 250yd (220m). At the red waymarker turn right, following the steep path until you reach the top. Go straight on. Turning left at the T-junction you will see Park Hill Iron Age hillfort and the information panel straight in front of you.

Step 4

Facing the panel, turn immediately right along the fence, following the narrow path along the edge of the hillfort. Then turn right at the next track, and after a short distance take the next sharp left down to the valley of Six Wells. At the end of the track, climb over the stile. Looking to your left, you will see St Peter’s Pump in the distance.

Step 5

Turn right to walk diagonally down the valley until the medieval fish ponds come into sight and then walk diagonally uphill to the left. Upon reaching a gate, go through it and head up the woodland track, then through a second gate and walk left up a short slope. You will now be in Great Oar Meadow at the foot of the Obelisk. The original was erected in 1746 as a focal point at the end of Fir Walk but it deteriorated and was replaced in 1839. Fourteen years later it was restored after being struck by lightning.

Step 6

With your back to the Obelisk inscription, turn left and cut diagonally across the great Oar Meadow to join the track (18th-century carriage ride). Turn right and head towards Stourhead House. Follow the drive in front of the house, turning right just before you reach the clock arch to walk through the walled garden. Cross the bridge over the road and follow the zig-zag path back up to the visitor reception car park.

End point

Stourhead visitor reception, grid ref: ST778340

Trail map

Stourhead Park Hill Camp walk map
Park Hill Camp walk map | © Ordnance Survey

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near Mere, Wiltshire, BA12 6QD

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