Deer park walk
Arlington Court, Arlington, Near Barnstaple, Devon EX31 4LPRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
See these lovely creatures on a misty autumn morning. This walk takes you through ancient woodland and parts of the area designated a wildlife reserve by Miss Rosalie Chichester, the last owner of Arlington Court.
- Bus stop
Start: Outside Old Kitchen tea-room, grid ref: SS611405
This walk is marked with signs with green arrows on them. From the tea-room, follow signs through the garden to the Stables and Carriage Museum. At the gate leading up to the stable yard, look out for the wooden signs with green arrows that direct you to Deerpark Wood. Walk up the track, and bear right through a bit of woodland to emerge next to the Sawmill building.
Built by Sir Bruce Chichester (father of Rosalie and 2nd Baronet at Arlington Court) in 1864 to house mainly his hunting horses. The stables now host the National Trust Carriage Museum and also the working stables.
Turn right and then take the next path on the right, through woodland to a gate into a field. Go through the gate and bear right. Follow the fence down the hill, until you reach two gates. Go through the left hand gate and follow the path to the left.
After 70m there is a very small path to your right that leads to a bench and viewpoint of the Obelisk and house. Return to the main track to continue the walk
Marking the site of a bonfire held to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, this is also a wonderful place from which to view the house and garden.
Following the main track, go down the hill. There is a sharp left hand turn, followed by a gate into the top of Deerpark Wood. Bear left down a steep path. After approximately 50m there is a fork; take the right hand fork down the hill. Stay on this track to reach Tucker's Bridge.
This is one of the most important wildlife areas on the estate. It is a mixture of wet woodland and boggy grassland a habitat for lichens, bats and butterflies. The origin of the name is not known; Tucker is a local name, but may relate to the wool trade.
Turn right and cross Tucker's Bridge. Bear right again and follow the track towards the Lake. Signposted to 'Lake and Arlington Court'.
Stay on the track until you reach Smallacombe Bridge. Do not cross the bridge. Carry on towards the Lake, then turn right across the dam. This is where you can see the bridge piers from. After the dam, bear left alongside the lake. Stay on this track which begins to slope upwards.
From the dam at the lake, you can see the bridge piers for a suspension bridge that was started in the 1850s, but never completed. You can find out more from the information panel provided at the site.
You will also pass Miss Chichester's urn on the left, this marks her favourite spot and is a lovely viewpoint, offering picturesque views of the grounds. Further along you can take the diversion to the bird-hide, then come back to re-join this walk.
Carry on up the slope for 400m, pass through 3 gates and along the monkey puzzle tree-lined avenue. This then joins the surfaced main drive that winds back to the shop, tea-room and toilets.
End: Old Kitchen tea-room, grid ref: SS611405
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 3 miles (6.4km)
- Time: 2 hours
- OS Map: Explorer 139; Landranger 180
This walk follows footpaths through the estate; some parts can be muddy, some steep.
- How to get here:
By foot: From main car park just 200 yards, through reception. Admission charges will apply during the property's opening times throughout the year.
By bike: National Cycle Network Regional route 56 passes near property. See sustrans website
By bus: TW Coaches 309, Barnstaple-Lynton, infrequent
By train: Barnstaple, 10 miles (16km) from Arlington
By car: 9 miles (14.4km) north-east of Barnstaple, off the A39. Postcode for Sat Nav: EX31 4LP
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