This striking monument on the edge of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty, stands as a tribute to the Duke of Wellington and his victory at the Battle of Waterloo.
At 175 feet, Wellington Monument is the tallest three sided obelisk in the world. The foundation stone was laid in 1817 and it was finally finished in 1853 after more than three decades of building work.
In contrast to other memorials to the Duke, the Wellington Monument has a more informal countryside setting. It can be approached along a path lined with beech hedgerows and is surrounded by a wildlife rich meadow. It’s an ideal place for a picnic or to fly a kite.
The walk from the carpark to the monument is along a level gravel pathway 1.5 miles there and back.
Discover the history of RAF Dunkeswell during the second world war at Dunkeswell Airfield Heritage Centre.
Step back in time and see artefacts and memorabilia, mission narratives and replica uniforms, along with more than 400 photographs and archive film documenting the history of this historic airfield.
While you’re there why not stop for refreshments at The Aviator Coffee Bar & Restaurant and watch the aircraft and parachutists who still use the airfield to this day.
Dunkeswell Airfield was built by George Wimpey & Co and, following its completion in 1943, it was occupied by the USAAF 479th Anti Submarine Squadron and later the US Navy. From March 1944 Dunkeswell was the only US Navy base in Europe.
Visit the Dunkeswell War Stories website to explore our video memory bank and download teaching resources.
Staple Hill Easy Access Trail
Staple Hill Easy Access Trail allows everyone, including those with limited mobility, to enjoy the beautiful countryside the Blackdown Hills AONB has to offer.
This is the highest point in the Blackdown Hills and from here you can see spectacular views across the Vale of Taunton. On a clear day you can see all the way to Wales!
Staple Hill is part of the Forestry Commission woodlands and one of the points on the Staple Fitzpaine Herepath.
The Easy Access Trail is a loop walk of 800m, starting from the car parking area and taking in two viewpoints. The trail has been designed and built to national ‘all ability’ access standards and is suitable for disabled access, so it is easy for everyone to use.
The viewpoints have picnic benches and seating and the kissing gates are big enough for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are also no steep gradients and the wide compacted path surface makes pushing wheelchairs and pushchairs easy.
Upottery Airfield Heritage Centre
RAF Upottery (also known as Smeatharpe) is a former second world war airfield. Active between 1944 and 1948, and was used by the Royal Air Force, the United States Army Air Forces and the United States Navy.
The Upottery Heritage Centre documents the major role this historic airfield played during the D-day operations of June 1944 and the bravery of the men who flew from Upottery.
During the war RAF Upottery was used primarily as a transport airfield and for antisubmarine patrols. It later returned to use as agricultural land, but in 2001 it made an appearance in the first episode of the television mini-series Band of Brothers, an American war drama.
The exhibition is housed within the officers’ complex and original Nissen hut. Exhibits include film of the D-day landings, local second world war memorabilia, weapons, and even uniforms for children to dress up in.
A unique photographic archive shows pilots being trained and briefed, and there area pictures of the troops literally minutes before they flew to Normandy.
Refreshments are available at the Heritage Centre or the Sidmouth Arms in the nearby village of Upottery.
The Heritage Centre access is all on ground level, with the exception of one room.