Travel and Local

Barnack Hills and Holes National Nature Reserve.

May 23, 2015

We are very lucky to live where we do, surrounded by all sorts of historical and natural, beautiful and exciting places to visit, either within walking distance or a short drive away and today’s trip was a simple example of some of the wonders that you can find in and around Peterborough.

Also known as Hills and Hollows, Barnack Hills and Holes is one of Britain’s most important wildlife sites. The site is home to half of the remaining limestone grassland and is a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’
What was once a medieval limestone quarry has now become covered in a blanket of grasses and wild flowers such as the ‘man orchid’. The area is traditionally grazed by around 300 sheep in the autumn that graze on the summer growth and build up of leaves and grasses that would otherwise choke the rarer lime loving plants.

The limestone was formed during the Jurassic period and is actually the remains of sea creatures that lived in the shallow water that covered the area at the time. The hills and the holes that form the landscape and give the area its name were created by quarrying for the valuable stone which has been used in the building works of many grand buildings, including both Peterborough and Ely Cathedrals. We’ve visited Ely with Dexter last year so now that I know this, we will be sure to go back there and visit the Cathedral too.

In terms of things to do, the place isn’t a theme park and there are no wild rides but it is a perfectly beautiful place to visit with the family and enjoy. Your children will be sure to love running up and down the hills and slopes and hiding from each other or if they are like Dexter, they can enjoy looking for bugs and creepy crawlies and perhaps identifying the wildlife they see too.DSC00349
Located roughly 15/20 minutes drive from Peterborough and with free parking, it’s a great little spot for an afternoon walk. Dogs are welcome too but with the terrain, I wouldn’t recommend buggies or wheelchairs. The guided foot path takes roughly half hour to walk round unless, like us, you dawdle.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Claire May 23, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    This looks like a beautiful spot. Dexter looks like he’s really enjoying looking at the flowers. X

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby May 23, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      Hehehe. He was looking for bees. They’re his favourite bug.

  • Reply Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) May 25, 2015 at 4:33 am

    What a stunning place. Love the blooms’ photo and so cute of your son with his magnifying lens =) #countrykids

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby May 25, 2015 at 9:17 am

      Thank you. He loves that magnifying glass! Funny boy.

  • Reply beth May 30, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Looks like you all had great fun! I love days out like this with family. No need to spend money, just run around and enjoy!

    Stunning photos by the way!

    Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky Hope too see you again Sunday!

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby June 2, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      Yep, all you need is a bit of petrol and you’re away 🙂

  • Reply Mama Herself June 1, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Some lovely wild flowers there. I don’t know whether this spring has been particularly good for them or whether I have just been out in places that let me notice them, but it’s been excellent. Nothing as varied as this though. Interesting spot.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby June 2, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      Yeah its a lovely little place 🙂

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.