Set in the Cranborne Chase AONB, Hod Hill is less famous then its neighbour Hambledon Hill.

But Hod Hill is Dorset’s largest hill fort!

Its multiple ramparts date back to the Iron Age and Roman period and it once protected an Iron Age village of over 250 roundhouses.

There is a small car parking area at the base of Hod Hill; to reach it take the Child Okeford and Hanford turning from the A350.

After turning off the A350 the small car park for Hod Hill can be found on the left after half a mile.

Images by Cool Places Britain

Several walking trails begin here; one leads through woodland and along the River Stour to Stourpaine, while another leads to the top of Hod Hill.

The steep walk up is worth the effort because the views of the surrounding countryside are glorious.

This hill fort is also home to a variety of plants and animals. Its rich chalk grassland with a colourful carpet of wildflowers attract a wealth of butterflies.

You can easily combine Hod Hill with Hambledon Hill.

We started off with a walk on Hambledon Hill. Then we had a great lunch at the Cricketers pub in Shroton at the foot of Hambledon Hill before climbing to the top of Hod Hill.

It was such a great day!

Wessex Ridgeway

If you are up for a challenge then you should consider the Wessex Ridgeway Trail. A magnificent ridge-top route crossing Dorset’s rural heartland.

This walking, cycling and horse riding trail offers vistas across the county and breathtaking views far beyond. 

The walking route starts at Ashmore on the Dorset/Wiltshire border, whereas the cycling and riding section starts at Tollard Royal. 

The route meanders across the chalk downs, climbs magnificent hillforts such as Hod Hill and Hambledon Hill and crosses over chalk streams brimming with wildlife.

Along the way you will pass many attractive villages such as Cerne Abbas and take in stunning views of the Blackmore and Marshwood Vales, before sauntering down through rolling farmland to finish in the seaside town of Lyme Regis on the dramatic Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Cool Places to Explore: Shaftesbury | Hambledon Hill | Win Green | Milton Abbas | Old Wardour Castle.

Cool Places to Stay: King John Inn.

Cool Places to Eat: The Cricketers at Shroton.