Basset Hound Walkers Ham Hill

To round off a miserable year let's return to Ham Hill and cheer ourselves up where we started these walks some 12 years ago. It's easy to find just two miles off the A303, which is usually well supported by our group. To refresh your memory here is what happened last year. (NB Mark, the King of the Fudge was with us then - and may be with us again, the only survivor).

For those who've not done this walk before, it is straightforward to get to for most of our far-flung group as Ham Hill lies above Stoke sub Hamdon, just off the A303, six miles north of Yeovil. We start from the car park on top of the hill, convenient toilets there, walk five miles, then back to the Prince of Wales pub close by - if it's open - a very dog-friendly pub. All this area and most of the village is part of the Duchy of Cornwall: so T-shirts with "Queen Camilla?" may not be welcomed.

Ham Hill is now a Country Park but is in essence a hamstone quarry (still part used) that goes back to Roman times. The main bowl is full of hummocks and a rather twee Stonehenge. It has now become quite a popular picnic spot so we are likely to see many pets, which going on our last experience could be quite invigorating . . .

There are superb views over much of the county, though it is not particularly high. We walk along the ridge, through woods and drop down to the fringe of Montacute, a gorgeous village with of course the historic NT house, one of the best of the smaller houses in the country. We then circulate through a lost village and look down on Norton sub Hamdon where Paddy Ashdown used to live. The walk can best be described as gently undulating.

Please bring a picnic as we will be stopping to munch.

To find the start (10.30). SatNav of the pub is TA14 6RW.
Almost everyone will turn off the A303 at Stoke sub Hamdon I would imagine. You will see the monument on top of the hill (right) from some way away. Look for signs to "Stoke sub Hamdon" and "Norton sub Hamdon". Once off the A303 - if coming from Exeter - drive up into the village. In the centre look for the brown sign to Ham Hill and turn right up the steep hill.

If coming from Wincanton direction turn off the A303 signed to Stoke sub Hamdon. Drive up to the centre of the village, and at the T junction turn left then immediately right by the brown Ham Hill sign.

At the top you have a choice of parking. The nearest but also maybe busiest parks will be signed to your left (see the photo on right). You just pull off the sandy track. Unless you get there first I will be at the entrance. If these are full drive 50yds and park on the lay-by on the right overlooking the view (there is sometimes an ice-cream van here). If this is also busy, carry on 200 yds past the bend and you will see a large car park on the right marked Norton Car Park. If incredibly this is also full there are two more car parks a wee bit further on. Wherever you park walk back and meet by the same large green entrance sign shown on the right.

Please click on the map below to enlarge. The map reference is ST478168; or for SatNav TA14 6RW is the Prince of Wales pub. Start at 10.30am. (Distance 5 miles).

 

Ham Hill map Ham Hill map

 

Montacute

Montacute House in the distance.

Ham Hill monument

Our very first walk above, and below, the monument
clearly visible from the A303 for some miles away.

Ham Hill monument

Ham Hill car park

Meet here, the car park sign at main entrance

Ham Hill stone circle

This is Somerset's answer to Stonehenge
(but not quite so old)

 

 

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