I had heard about prehistoric Cley Hill since first moving to the West Country over three years ago. But unfortunately, the thought of going there went on the mental shelf where it stayed for quite a while. Until last autumn that is, when my family and I finally trekked up the wee hill.
Just a little unassuming hill…or so I thought. Once the views began to appear, I could see why the car park was filled.
Wow. What to say? I think I imagined just a nice pleasant walk, but oh my, the views: Somerset and Wiltshire showing off their gorgeous wavy, green pasture lands. I also thought it would be just a small hill on top, a look around and then right back down. But oh no, it is chuck full of nooks and crannies and dips to explore once you make it to the top. And so many ancient paths down as well. But, back to the views. As with our time in Cornwall, this was another exceptionally beautifully warm, sun-shiny day. All the better to see that spectacular panorama.
Now, for a little bit of what makes Cley Hill extra special. I write nooks and crannies, but the real terms are: bowl barrows (type of burial mound), strip lynchets (ancient field systems of vertical rows) and a cross dyke (prehistoric boundary of a linear ditch). Once upon an iron aged time this hill was used to guard folks’ boundaries. Such a fun place to imagine who walked there over the last few thousand years or so. Far too much to share here, but those who enjoy history or perhaps if you want to learn more for a school project, check out these two sites (here and here) for more information on the history of Cley Hill and iron age living.
Getting here by car – Address: Corsley, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7QU. The car park is just off the A362.
Little ones? Not a problem. The walk up wasn’t as steep as I imagined and my then 16 month old and 2 1/2 year-old managed it just fine.
Dogs are allowed to roam and run, just be aware there may be cattle grazing.
If at all possible, do visit on a clear day as the views are spectacular.
There is a free (but quite small) car park at the base of the hill. From there it will be about a 1/4 of mile walk to the hill.
Do be aware that if you go off the beaten path, it can be quite steep and uneven.
For more information on opening times and such, please check here.
There are many beautiful walks in the West Country and this is most certainly one them. It is very much worth adding to your list of places to explore. Just don’t wait as long as I did to get there.
Also in the nearby area: Longleat Estate and Lake Shearwater
Happy Walking, Happy Travels :)