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The trials and tribulations of a community of rabbits living in the Hampshire countryside. The book explores the themes of exile, survival, heroism, political responsibility, and the “making of a hero and a community”.
What many who read Watership Down do not realise is that it is a real place and well worth visiting once you’ve read the book.
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). Ordnance Survey grid reference SU497570.
The area is popular with cyclists, walkers and rabbits. A bridleway 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 ancient tumuli and earthworks, including 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 Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber).