QECP and Butser Ancient Farm

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Wild flowers on Butser Hill © Barry Shimmon
South Downs Way in QECP © Chris Heaton
Replica iron-age roundhouse, Butser Farm © Nick Smith

Butser Hill is the highest point on the South Downs Way and the descent from the flat summit to Queen Elizabeth Country Park (QECP) is not to be missed.

Tea and cakes in QECP Visitor Centre cafe will give you the energy to cycle through the forest back up to the South Downs ridge above Buriton. Then follows a gentle descent and a sharp climb through country lanes to Chalton and the fascinating Butser Ancient Farm.

The trail passes two pubs, one at Chalton and the other at Clanfield before returning via the South Downs Way at Tegdown Hill.

Butser Hill

At 271 metres (889 ft) high this chalk hill is one of the highest points in Hampshire and the highest point on the South Downs ridge. On the flat summit there are panoramic views in all directions. The hill was used for growing wheat but now the only farming activity is sheep grazing. Butser Hill National Nature Reserve is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

QECP

Queen Elizabeth Country Park is Hampshire's biggest Country Park with 2,000 acres of open access woodland and downland set within the South Downs National Park, including the Butser Hill National Nature Reserve. The main facilities of the park are open all year round and include a visitor centre with shop, cafe, theatre and activity area. There are 2 children play areas, BBQ sites, picnic areas and 20 miles of trails for walking, cycling and horse riding.

Butser Ancient Farm

Butser Ancient Farm is an experimental archaeological site of worldwide standing. Containing reconstructions of late prehistoric buildings such as Iron Age roundhouses, it is used as both a tourist attraction and a site for the undertaking of experimental archaeology. In this latter capacity, it was designed so that archaeologists could learn more about the agricultural and domestic economy in Britain during the millennium that lasted from circa 400 BCE to 400 CE, in what was the Late British Iron Age and Romano-British periods. It is open seven days a week (most of the year) to the public and schools.

The Sustainability Centre

In an idyllic setting on the South Downs ridge above East Meon, the Sustainability Centre is spread across 55 acres of woodland and natural chalk downland. The Centre aims to educate, enable and inspire people from all walks of life to make positive changes to the way they live and work. The Centre welcomes families and schools; professionals and special interest groups; walkers and cyclists on the South Downs Way; children and young people; and simply anyone with an interest in what they do.

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