Old Winchester Hill National Nature Reserve
Type: Attraction, Nature Reserve
On the Trail
DescriptionNature reserve with the best preserved Iron Age hill fort on the SDW.
Owner: English Nature
Facilities and additional information
Additional informationOld Winchester Hill has been a famous and popular beauty spot since Victorian times and beyond. The views across the valley to Beacon Hill and down to the sea are superb. The 63ha (~150 acre) NNR was designated mainly for its chalk grassland, with many orchid species and butterflies. The extensive scrub is good for birdwatching and there is also always the chance of seeing a Red Kite or Buzzard overhead. The site is managed largely by sheep grazing so dogs need to be kept under close control. Incidentally kite flying is also prohibited - birds interpret kites as predators and flee or hide. The area is rich in archaeology from the Mesolithic (stone age hunter gathers living after the end of the Ice Age) up to WW2. Most visible are the Iron Age hill fort and the earlier Bronze Age barrows or burial mounds. There is a fully accessible trail at the southern side of the reserve with allocated disabled parking nearby, which takes you to the hillfort. The trail does not extend to the hillfort itself, however. Much of the site is flat and most popular areas, including the fort, should be accessible to most powered wheelchairs.