Hampshire Countryside Service

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24 questions so far


29/07/2015 09:55am

jenny wolf

Hi. I was pleased to find this Q&A site. We are shortly on a brief visit from New Zealand and unfortunately only have early morning time to drive out of our way to get a view of Highclere Castle - would you suggest the best view is from Beacon Hill? I'm gathering that the Castle is not easily seen from the Estate main gate? Any other recommendations on local hill view aspects would be greatly appreciated.

Hello Jenny

I think that the best view you will get is certainly going to be from atop Beacon Hill.  It is a steep climb but well worth the effort, not just for the views of the Castle but for the views of the surrounding countryside.  With sky larks and meadow pippits nesting in the grass and buzzards and red kites soring over head and orchids scattered over the hill top it is well worth the climb.


The ranger team.



20/04/2015 04:02pm

graham ryder

I recently visited Beacon Hill and was surprised to find my car sinking into the very deep potholes thus scraping the bottom of my car. On closer inspection I found the asphalt showing many sc marks. I reported the problem to HCC Countryside who said it was the responsibility of the local authority, not HCC, however I have not be able to find out who is responsibility. CaN you tell me who is responsible so the holes can be filled in. Thank you.

The Ranger replies

Sorry to hear of the incident with your car at Beacon Hill. The person you spoke to at HCC is correct in stating that the 'driveway' and car park at Beacon Hill is not HCC's responsibility, but incorrect in saying it is the local authority's. The land you are enquiring about is actually part of the Highclere Estate and the upkeep of it is their responsibility. Please contact them direct on 01635 253210 or theoffice@highclerecastle.co.uk.



20/04/2015 04:03pm


Who maintains the car park and footpath at Beacon Hill? The car park has a deep rut which is hidden by a pool of water. The bottom of the footpath is very muddy and slippery.

The Ranger replies

The car park is the responsibility of Highclere Estate. They can be contacted on 01635 253210 or on theoffice@highclerecastle.co.uk. The steps are within our remit and are currently being looked at in terms of refurbuishment. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the geology of the site, conditions are often slippery underfoot and appropriate caution should be taken when climbing the steep slope.



12/01/2015 11:07am

Jean Cousens

My father used to be a keen hillwalker but now can walk only a few hundred yards on the level.

I like to take him to places along the A3 (from his care home in Walton) from which we can get good views in the car with possibly a short walk he can manage.

Are there any such hilltops in Hampshire with carparks at or near the top from which he can see a view?

Thank you


The Ranger Replies

There are a number of areas you could visit. Have you tried Butser Hill just off the A3 or Ashford Hangers near Hawkley. Both these sites are in the Petersfield area just off the A3 and are managed by Hampshire County Council. Alternatively, you could try Hindhead Common and the Devil's Punchbowl. You can park at the visitor centre and there is a great view across the Surrey Hills a short walk from the car park. This is a National Trust site. I hope this helps.



01/12/2014 03:04pm

I see that there is open access land on beacon hill, I wondered if there was a map which details the extent of this area and defines the perimeter of it?

The Ranger replies

Hi, the open Access land extent can be viewed on www.magic.gov.uk. This website shows all the conservation desigations for the UK and should be able to show you what you want to know. Go to the interactive map and if you click on 'Access' in the 'Table of contents on the left, you will be able to view Access land on the map. Hope this helps.



02/10/2014 03:52pm



Where is the car park in Burghclere? I am going for a walk up Beacon hill on Saturday.

Thank you

The Ranger replies

Information on Beacon Hill can be found at www.hants.gov.uk/countryside/beacon-hill. Parking is located off the Northbound carriageway of the A34.



17/03/2014 12:41pm

Alison Bents

I was planning on leading my local Surrey Ramblers group on a walk starting from the CP at Beacon Hill on 3/8/14 as there will be a special Heroes at Highclere event with a flypast. However after checking with Highclere Castle they have told me that there are no views of Highclere from Beacon Hill. The whole idea of the walk was for us to be able to view Highclere Castle from the top of Beacon Hill. Can you please confirm if this is correct and that it is not possible to see Highclere Castle from Beacon Hill ?

The Senior Ranger replies



The Castle is visible from the top of the hill if distant and best seen through binoculars.  A fly past would certainly be visible.





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.


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