Hambledon Hill National Nature Reserve lies within an impressive Iron Age hill fort, managed by the National Trust for all to enjoy.

Take in the far reaching views into the neighbouring counties of Wiltshire and Somerset.

Visit in spring and summer for butterflies such as the Adonis Blue, Grizzled and Dingy skippers, and enjoy an abundance of wild flowers including orchids, horseshoe vetch and chalk milkwort.

Take a closer look

A hill with a long history and sweeping views!

Hambledon Hill is one of the most iconic sites in Dorset, rising steeply to 190 metres above the Blackmore Vale and the river Stour.

Park in the village of Child Okeford and follow the rugged path up the steep slope to the top where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking 360 degree views and a real sense of history.

Hambledon is one of the best preserved and most notable Iron Age hill forts in Great Britain and one of the best preserved Neolithic landscapes in Europe.  The hilltop is encircled by an Iron Age earthwork and there are extensive Neolithic features, making it a major archaeological site.

Spring time view across Hambledon Hill

Take your binoculars!  From the summit of the hill fort you can see across three counties – Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire – allowing a real sense of Hambledon’s prehistoric strategic importance and just why it’s considered one of the finest Iron Age hill forts in Dorset.

It is one of a chain of hill forts that extended from the port at Hengistbury. It seems likely there was a major trade route to/from there that extended north to Dudsbury Camp, Badbury Rings, Spetisbury Rings, Hod Hill and Hambledon Hill.

Discover more about the history of hill forts in this National Trust guide.

National Nature Reserve

As well as being historically significant, Hambledon Hill is a haven for nature lovers.  Visit in spring and summer to discover an abundance of wildlife and wild flowers.

Explore nature at your feet
This chalk grassland site is home to at least five species of orchids including the early purple, bee, pyramidal, common spotted and autumn lady’s tresses. Keep an eye out for glow worms and brown hares too.

Spot wildlife in the air
An impressive 28 species of butterfly including the Adonis blue, Dark green fritillary and Green hairstreak have been recorded on Hambledon Hill. Bird watchers can spot skylarks, buzzards, kestrels, meadow pipits, blackcaps, white-throats, chiff chaffs and willow warblers.

The rare Adonis blue butterfly

Hod Hill

Hod Hill is the little sister of Hambledon Hill, also an Iron Age hill fort and also a great place for views … try it for a shorter walk or combine the two for a longer hike.

More to do

Try out geo-caching on Hambledon Hill, the perfect setting for an outdoor digital treasure hunt!

Keep walking –  both the Stour Valley National Trail and the Wessex Ridgeway run across the hill. So why not plan a route and explore further?

If this has given you a taste for discovering Dorset’s ancient history, our Dorset Pedal route has more way to explore by bike.

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