Last weekend we decided to go on a short camper van adventure and visited Stoney Littleton Long Barrow. This is a multichambered Neolithic burial tomb, about a mile outside the village of Wellow, Somerset.
Stoney Littleton Long Barrow is a Neolithic chambered tomb with multiple burial chambers and was built around 3500 BC. The gallery inside is around 42 feet long and has 3 pairs of chambers leading from it. When it was excavated in 1816/17 the bones of several individuals were found inside.
Access to the site is pretty easy once you manage to locate it and find the track leading up to the Barrow itself. Once you arrive you are treated with some really great views out across Somerset and the Village of Wellow. The trick is to actually find the track to start off with.
If you head down into Littleton Lane (Sat Nav: BA2 8NR) you will find what English Heritage (who owns and manages the site) calls a free car park. This is in reality little more than a graveled layby so be aware that you are not looking for anything fancy. Essentially you park up opposite a farm. If you are lucky you’ll meet a rather friendly horse called Bella in this field, but either way there is a little wooden cabin opposite the entrance. If you ring the bell on the cabin a lovely lady will arrive to sell you tea, coffee, cake and other delicious treats.
But I am leaping ahead of myself – a word about Littleton Lane. It is narrow and not that well maintained and there are few passing spots. To cap it all the trees have formed a kind of tunnel arrangement which is very pretty but not much fun if you are driving a 1988 high top camper. Larger vans would not fare well down here at all. We had all sorts of problems on the way back even though we went the other way to avoid the trees. No passing places and drivers who don’t really understand that VW campers can’t pull over into a muddy ditch if they want to get back out again or that they are not particularly easy to manoeuvre. That said if you are in a normal sized car it should be fine. The only benefit we had in taking the van down was we were able to make tea and have snacks in the van after the walk.
Once you reach the car park there is a small bridge over a stream. Cross this and follow the path. You will come to an area next to a gate where it is a bit ambiguous where you go next. Don’t go through the gate just continue along and you will come to a style. Hop the style and follow your nose and you’ll arrive. It is not an ambitiously long or steep walk but the view at the top is lovely.
The best bits about Stoney Littleton Long Barrow:
- You don’t get many people up there which means you can take your time inside the barrow and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
- Lovely views
- Great for dog walking but there are sheep grazing and plenty of notices telling you to keep your four-legged friend on a lead.
- Expect to see the usual grazing animals, plus horses, magpies, buzzards, and pheasants.
Useful to know:
- It can get muddy so good walking boots are recommended.
- English Heritage did provide some wind-up torches for use in the Barrow, however, these have (predictably) been stolen so take your own.
- You may want to access the site from a layby on Hassage Hill. This is the lane that leads from Wellow to Faulkland village. From there you can use a bridleway towards the Barrow which leads along the side of the hill. Keep the brook to your right. If you go this way a map will be useful as it is not signposted.
Address for sat nav: Littleton Ln, Bath BA2 8NR