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Welcombe Hills

Flower rich grassland, woods and ponds

What's it like to visit?
The Welcombe Hills offer delightful walks through grassland and woodland. Woolly thistle, quaking-grass and the diminutive adder’s-tongue grow in the grasslands where ant hills created by yellow meadow ants are a distinctive feature. The woodland contains oak, horse-chestnut and beech with English elm. Birds are plentiful, with great spotted woodpecker, sparrowhawk, little owl, treecreeper and finches enjoying the woodland where ravens breed in spring. Brimstone butterflies are numerous in the spring sunshine. 


History of the Welcombe Hills: a Shakespearean tale

The reserve may have got its name from a historic well found here with its inscription 'SJC 1686'. Margaret, daughter of William Clopton who died in 1592 supposedly drowned here. It was around this time that Shakespeare was writing his famous play, Hamlet, and its believed that this tragic event provided the inspiration for his 'Ophelia' and her lonely death. 


What you can do here


Volunteer work party at this reserve!

Meet monthly on a Friday: 

  • Try out conservation tasks on your local nature reserve
  • Meet new people and make new friends!
  • Help protect wildlife and restore wildflower meadows
  • Do your bit for your local community
  • No prior experience or minimum commitment required

Want to find out more?

Let us know you’re interested! Email or call 024 7630 2912. 


Audio trail

In the spring of 2016, a unique partnership project from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Playbox Theatre and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust completed an audio trail across the Welcombe Hills - details about the project can be found here. The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The audio trail can be downloaded prior to your visit or you can access the audio on your mobile phone by scanning the QR codes located at key points on site or visit Warwickshire Wildlife Trust's 'Wild Trails' web site to access the audio and download them to your phone.

For more information about the Welcombe Hills, we recommend Gavin Griffiths' web site

Nearby nature reserves

Snitterfield Bushes
2 miles - Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
Hampton Wood & Meadow
4 miles - Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
Loxley Church Meadow
4 miles - Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Close to the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 6XR
Map reference
SP 205 565
Great for...
stunning views
Best time to visit
Mar - May
Jul - Oct
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
60.00 hectares

Steep slopes in parts, access via kissing gates.
Walking information
Steep slopes in parts, access via kissing gates
Parking available in Maidenhead Road and off Ingon Lane, Clopton. Alternatively there is a car park on the A439. Take care when crossing this busy road. As you leave the car park, cross the road and turn right.
Dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Cattle: Apr - Oct
Reserve manager
Karl Curtis
Tel: 02476 302912 from reserve pages