From the layby and its flowery verges we will ascend up to the ramparts of Little Solsbury Hill. We will be focussing on the natural history story of Solsbury as we make a circuit of the hill and explore some of the quarried slopes just below the summit.

However we won’t forget the ancient historical context of the hill and its more recent cultural significance – and of course there are some stunning views to enjoy too before we return downhill to our starting point.

Little Solsbury Hill has multiple interest – it is an ancient hill fort and is linked with the history of Bath. More recently it featured in a famous song by Peter Gabriel and was linked with the campaign against the building of the Batheaston bypass. On a clear day it has stunning panoramic views across Bath and towards the Westbury White Horse/ Wiltshire Downs. It has significant natural history interest which will be a strong focus of our walk.

 

Photo By Iain Macaulay

Start Date Tuesday 18th September 2018
Start Time 10:00
Duration 3 hours
Distance 2 miles. 3-4 km
Places Available 20
Meeting Point Starting and finishing from the layby on the Solsbury (east) side of the A46 at Swainswick where there is an intersection with Swainswick Lane. GR ST761682 Landranger 172/Explorer 155 Postcode: BA1 8BJ.

Details

Start / Finish

The layby on the Solsbury (east) side of the A46 at Swainswick where there is an intersection with Swainswick Lane.
GR ST762682 Landranger 172/Explorer 155
Postcode: BA1 8BJ

Terrain

There are steep slopes and a couple of stiles up to the ramparts of this iron age hillfort. The area is grazed by cattle during the summer months so there may be some poaching or muddy areas near the stiles and definitely some cowpats! There are some wet flushes on the sides of the ramparts and uneven ground although the summit is fairly flat. We may venture down some of the side slopes into the quarried areas to look for special wildlife.
It is an exposed site and hence can be quite breezy so windproof layers are advisable. Sturdy footwear advisable.

Facilities

There are no facilities on the route we will be taking.

Leader(s)

Alan and Marion Rayner, from Bath Natural History Society

Meeting Point

Starting and finishing from the layby on the Solsbury (east) side of the A46 at Swainswick where there is an intersection with Swainswick Lane. GR ST761682 Landranger 172/Explorer 155 Postcode: BA1 8BJ.