Hampshire Countryside Service

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Do you have a question about Beacon Hill? Seen a plant or animal you can't identify?

Ask a ranger and we will try to help! We will aim to get back to you with an answer within 3 working days.

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27 questions so far


29/08/2013 08:18am

simon M

Why can’t you access the hill fort, or it's access route, from the North? Stiles allow access to Cross Dyke which, in turn, brings you up onto the North side of the hill. However, from there, the W-E barbed wire fence prevents all access to the fort (which is also surrounded by its own barbed wire!) or it's access corridor. Even worse. The N-S barbed wire fence at the bottom of the hill then prevents access to the car park (and thence the access corridor). The only exit from the North side of the hill is to backtrack and drop down to Ivory Farm and walk round (which means that you have to climb up the hill again! This seems crazy, especially since there is an old padlocked gate (again topped with barbed wire) near the top of the W-E fence which provides access to the hill via a kissing gate

Also why has the track S of the car park (past the disused pit) been closed/marked as no footpath since this would provide access to Thorndown Plantation and the Wayfarers Walk without having to go on a large loop via Old Burghclere

Not impressed!

A Ranger replies

Thank you for your detailed question, but on this occasion, there is no easy answer. Unfortunately, the majority of the land you are referring to is owned and managed by the Highclere Estate and is not in our jurisdiction. The fences you refer to are all managed and maintained by the Estate as are the padlocked gates. The best forum to air any particular concerns or requests about specific rights of way issues is to use the online reporting system. Many thanks for your interest in this site and sorry not to have been more help.



06/08/2013 01:07pm

Mike Osborne

Can you please tell me what the total elevation and distance is if we walk from the car park to the top of beacon hill? We only walked into the centre of the hill and didn't walk around the perimeter.

A ranger replies

The total elevation of the hillfort is 261m and the total distance from the picnic area, around the hillfort and back down is 2km. There are some spectacular views form the top as you walk around the site. The entire site is Open Access, so access can be gained to the rest of the hill to the south. Enjoy your walk!



23/07/2013 08:52am

Gemma Le Claire

Please could you let me know if there is an area to have a BBQ picnic on Beacon Hill. If not would you be able to suggest somewhere near by that you can use a BBQ.

A Ranger replies

We don't provide barbeque facilities at Beacon Hill. The site is protected by Byelaws which prohibit the use of barbeques. The only Hampshire County Council public barbeques are located some distance from the Beacon Hill area, so it might be worth contacting West Berkshire District Council, tel 01635 42400. There is certainly barbeque facilities at Snelsmore Common in Newbury only a few miles away.



23/07/2013 10:05am

Tom Barr

Is paragliding permitted from Beacon Hill? If it is not permitted why is this, given that it is only an occasional and harmless activity? Many thanks in advance for your reply.

A Ranger replies

Beacon Hill is part of a privately owned estate. Although Hampshire County Council manages part of the site to facilitate access to the top of the hill, the Estate has rules as to what activities can take place here.

Although hang-gliding and paragliding may seem harmless the hill is grazed by sheep which can easily be worried by such activities causing them to overheat from stress and exhaustion.

Please respect the owners wishes to restrict these activities from their property.



27/06/2013 11:48am

tony collier

Can the public walk west of Beacon Hill car park towards the stud, then turn north through Beacon Pass and Lime Tree Avenue and then onto the Castle. Thanks for any info.

A Ranger replies

Beacon Hill is Open Access land under the Countryside & Right of Way Act 2000, but it is managed by more than one body. Hampshire County Council leases the land including the picnic area, access up the hill and the hillfort itself. Access can be gained to the rest of the hill (south of the hillfort) via a kissing gate. Any further access is part of the Estate and it is uncertain if there is any route through to the Castle.



10/04/2013 10:21am

Lesley Macintosh

Is there a picnic area close to a car park where there is not too much climbing involved, please?

A Ranger replies

There is a picnic area next to the car park with no climbing involved. It id not however particularly picturesque. being next to the A34.



21/06/2012 02:40pm

nicholas orpin

I am planning to organise a small sponsored walk to Beacon Hill for Hearing Dogs on 30 September. We are planning to group at the car park and then climb the hill and walk round the fort. Just wanted to check that it doesn't pose a problem for you. I have already contacted Highclere Office.

Also,I have done the walk several times, but find it impossible to judge the distance! What do you tell people? Finally, I haven't been as far as the 'Aviator Stone' to the south, how far is it?

A Ranger replies

We are happy to accommodate your request, but would like to remind you of a few things. The site is Open Access and therefore available to the public to walk. The site is also part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, which means it is protected for it's chalk downland habitat and associated flora. Please be mindful of this and stick to the pathways already in use up and down the hill. The incline is steep and he surface of the paths is also variable , both in topography and condition and can be very slippery after periods of rain. If you are intending to take any dogs with you, please remember that there is a 'dogs on leads' policy in place due to grazing livestock on site.

In terms of distance, I have measured the route on our mapping system and to walk from the car park up the hill, around the hill fort and return back down, it would be 1.25 miles. There is public access onto the rest of Beacon Hill from the top of the hill fort, but there are no Rights of Way which lead directly to the De Havilland monument from here."



01/06/2012 07:52am

Lois Wood

I have been reading the discussion about Beacon Hill and the Jubilee Beacon lighting. I realise the actual event may be cornered off but is there anything to stop us climbing up the hill to watch all the other beacons in the area?



19/05/2012 03:20pm


Are there any details of the Jubilee beacon on Beacon Hill available? I would like to attend but want to make sure the hill isn't closed off before hand.

A Ranger replies

There is a Jubilee Beacon lighting event at Beacon Hill, but it is NOT a public event.

The event is being run by the Scout Association and Lions Club as a private event. The only Hampshire County Council Jubilee Beacon event is being held at Lepe Country Park. Details of this event and other public Jubilee Beacon events in Hampshire.



15/05/2012 05:30pm

Mannah Begum

Are you allowed to use disposable BBQs in the park?

A Ranger replies

We are sorry but it is against the bylaws to have barbecues on Beacon Hill. There are however areas for picnicking.


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