Watership Down, Hampshire
Watership Down is a hill, or down, at Ecchinswell in the civil parish of Ecchinswell, Sydmonton and Bishops Green in the English county of Hampshire. It rises fairly steeply on its northern flank (the scarp side), but to the south the slope is much gentler (the dip side). grid reference SU497570.
The Down is best known as the setting for Richard Adams' 1972 novel about rabbits, also called Watership Down. The area is popular with cyclists and walkers. A bridleway, the Wayfarer's Walk cross county footpath, runs along the ridge of the Down which lies at the south-eastern edge of the North Wessex Downs Area of Natural Beauty. Other nearby features include Ladle Hill, on Great Litchfield Down, immediately to the west. Part of the hill is a 10.37 hectares (26 acres) biological SSSI, first notified in 1978. The hill has a partially completed Iron Age hill fort on its summit, and the surrounding area is rich in Iron Age tumuli, enclosures, lynchets and field systems. Further to the west lies Beacon Hill.
Watership Down is accessible via the village of Kingsclere. There are no signposts nor guide boards on the Down itself, and there is no official guide or visitor information. This is partly because much of the area is privately owned (by Andrew Lloyd Webber).
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