Know before you go
Parking informationParking 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.
Grazing animalsCattle: Apr - Oct
Steep slopes in parts, access via kissing gates
Steep slopes in parts, access via kissing gates.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch to October
About the reserve
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
- Enjoy a peaceful, woodland walk
- Listen to the audio trail and discover the reserve's secrets
- Have a picnic
- Find the monolith
- Hug an ancient tree
- Listen out for green woodpeckers
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 024 7630 2912.
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. The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The audio trail can be listened to here.
For more information about the Welcombe Hills, we recommend Gavin Griffiths' website www.thewelcombehills.co.uk.