Holway Woods

A mixture of mature woodland, offering superb views of South Somerset


Holway Woods

OS Map Reference

A static map of Holway Woods

Know before you go

16 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Parking for 1 or 2 cars at quarry or lay-by.

Bicycle parking


Grazing animals


Walking trails

More or less circular loop through northern wood connected by short stretch along road. Linear route into southern wood. Links to the Monarch's and Macmillan Way long distance routes.

Please click here for more information and guidance about dogs on DWT nature reserves.


Difficult access for those with limited mobility - unsurfaced, narrow paths go up hill into north wood from both car parking areas. Some roots and mammal holes across paths as well as occasional branch fall, variable slopes, small number of steps. Pedestrian gate into south wood.

A well worn path loops through the northern part of the wood joining the quarry and the lay-by areas with a partly grassy linear path giving access to the recently planted wood and on to a path making a loop of more mature part of the south wood. The ground is a little rough and uneven in places with some roots exposed at the surface of the path. The woodland floor has numerous holes from the extensive badger activity here. Please be aware of the risk of falling branches in or following strong winds and take car when crossing the road to pass between the two woodland blocks.

Ticks may be present on site. Please see our Visitor Information page for more details.


On a lead
Please remove all dog mess from site. See above for more information about dogs on nature reserves.

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

Spring and summer

About the reserve

A mixture of mature and recently planted woodland, offering superb views over the surrounding countryside.

Sitting high on the Sherborne escarpment with superb views of South Somerset and the Glastonbury Tor, this reserve is a mixture of mature woodland, with a scatter of impressive twisted old sweet chestnuts, and recently planted woodland designed to link the two older woodland blocks. Although a fairly narrow band of woodland the reserve supports a good variety of birds, plants, insects and mammals.

Tawny owls, song thrushes, great spotted woodpecker, treecreeper and nuthatch are present throughout the year, with spotted flycatchers & willow warblers arriving as summer migrants. Mammals include roe deer, badger and 4 species of bat. In spring and summer look out for butterflies like brimstone and speckled wood . For flowers the best time is spring, with a wonderful show of bluebells, primroses and pink purslane (an attractive, non-native plant introduced to the UK in the 18th century).

Useful Information

Take the B3145 heading north out of Sherborne (the Charlton Horethorne/Wincanton road). After just under two miles turn left where the road forks at a red finger post then take the next left soon afterwards down a narrow lane.  The reserve is 1/2 mile down this road. Parking is in a small old quarry on the right at the top of the hill or a lay-by on the left at the bottom of the hill. Enter the north wood from the quarry or lay-by, or cross the road from the quarry to enter the south wood where there are steps up from the road.

Contact us

Holway Woods Nature Reserve Map

Holway Woods Nature Reserve Map