Family Walk at Dumpdon Hill – History
Dumpdon Hill is in the Blackdown Hills in East Devon. Dumpdon Hill was the site of an Iron Age hill fort. It is thought to date from 750BC to AD43. The top is more than 250 metres high and is one of the highest points in the Otter Valley. The site covers a sizeable 62 acres. The earth ramparts at the top of the hill are up to 2 metres high. However, archaeologists believe that the hill fort was never finished or lived in. The hill fort would have made a striking sight and invaders would have found it imposing.
However, these days the site is owned by the National Trust and makes for a pleasant walk. Local farmers use the hill for grazing and for making hay. Dumpdon Hill is registered as common land. This means that certain different people have rights to use the land in different ways, such as grazing or taking wood for fuel.
Family Walk at Dumpdon Hill – Visiting
Large numbers of bluebells bloom in the spring, along with carpets of yellow buttercups. We visited for the first time in May and were lucky to catch the tail end of the bluebells.
The site was not busy when we visited. I suspect visitors are limited by the two tiny car parks that fit about 4 cars in each. We park at the one on Dumpdon Lane, marked with a National Trust sign. This made it a great place for our 4 year old to burn off some steam. There are fairly obvious footpaths around the site and up to the top of the hill. She had great fun being the ‘tour guide’ and choosing which way to go next!
Obviously the walk up to the top of the hill is a little steep, but I found it easy enough to tackle with a baby in a carrier. I used our Tula Free-To-Grow baby carrier. This is a great carrier for travel as it packs fairly small. You can use it for both front and back carrys. We found a circular walk around the base of the hill. This circular walk plus some wandering around at the top of the hill creates a walk of around 2.5km.
From the top you get some fantastic views across the countryside.
On our latest walk we found a wooded area at the top of the hill. These small woods are perfect for den building. You can also keep an eye out for a stone pillar at the top of the hill. This is a trig point, used to create maps in the past; read more about how here.
Come equipped with drinks, snacks and anything else you may need because there are no facilities at all.
If you would like to check out this walk on a map, you need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 115 Exmouth & Sidmouth.
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