Alfred's Tower Logo
Where Is It?
Aerial Photo

Looking South over Dorset.  This picture copyright Armin Grewe.King Alfred's Tower is at grid reference ST746351 (Ordnance Survey Explorer sheet 142).  The National Trust has provided a free car park for visitors a few hundred metres away (grid reference ST749354).  Note that there are no toilets, gift shops or refreshments available here (although an ice-cream van often parks here at weekends and bank holidays, and for the 2004 season bottled water is sold by the NT custodian at the Tower).  Please also be aware that unattended cars can be a target for thieves, so you are advised to lock your car and remove any valuables.

The tower is signposted from the B3092 about 2½ miles north of Mere. Click here to view a map on the Streetmap website.

There is a lay-by in the lane much nearer the tower than the car-park, allocated for disabled visitors, with room for two cars.  This lay-by has a reasonably level grass path leading to the tower.  Sadly these disabled spaces often appear to be occupied by able-bodied visitors' cars.  (NB As at March 2003 the signs denoting disabled parking have been removed).

View to the East looking towards Whitesheet Hill.  Picture copyright Armin Grewe.The best way to approach the tower is either to take one of the several lovely walks from Stourhead, or to park in the Alfred's Tower visitors' car-park and walk across the lane by the car-park entrance.  This way you will approach the tower from the East, and will be able to admire the beauty of the tower, and the statue of King Alfred set into the wall above the door, as you approach.

Opening Times

King Alfred's Tower is usually closed during the winter but in 2015 it will be completely closed until August.  Whilst a visit to the tower is always pleasant, for your first visit try to go on a clear day when the tower is open so that you can climb the steps to the top and enjoy the views.  During 2015 the tower will only be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1st August until 31st October between 12pm and 4pm.  Last admission is 30 minutes before the tower closes.  Note that dogs are not permitted in the tower, and a post for attaching a dog's lead is provided nearby.

N.B. The National Trust sometimes alters these published times at short notice so before making travel plans to visit the Tower you are advised to telephone the Stourhead Estate Office on 01747 841152 to confirm the latest opening times.

Admission Charges

This picture copyright Phil Tuck When the tower is open a National Trust custodian is present to take the entrance fee and answer questions.  Admittance is free of charge to NT members; otherwise the 2015 charges are adults £3.40, children £1.70, families £7.40.  A Gift Aid scheme has been introduced in which visitors are invited to pay an additional "voluntary donation" (40p per adult, 20p per child, or 80p per family).   The Trust offers a £1 voucher for use in the Stourhead shop or restaurant to visitors who arrive on foot, by bicycle, or by public transport although it is unclear how they will verify this.   This website will offer a similar £1 voucher to the first person who can identify any public transport that runs to and from Alfred's Tower.  At present the only souvenir available from the tower is a postcard with a colour photograph of the tower.

Most of the forest surrounding King Alfred's Tower is not owned by the National Trust. Much of the surrounding woodland is part of is a Tax-Exempt Heritage Asset, which means that the owner has given an undertaking to the Inland Revenue to preserve the character of the land and allow reasonable public access in exchange for exemption from inheritance tax.  Details of this agreement and a map of the estate may be viewed on a web page maintained by the Inland Revenue by clicking here.  During the summer, these woods are a popular place for camping, walking, and cycling.


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