Lake walk

Arlington Court, Arlington, Near Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4LP

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Arlington Court dominates the landscape © Arnhel de Serra

Arlington Court dominates the landscape

Miss Chichester's urn by the lake at Arlington Court © Sharon Ford

Miss Chichester's urn by the lake at Arlington Court

Early morning mist over the lake at Arlington Court. © Sharon Ford

Early morning mist over the lake at Arlington Court.

Path to Smallacombe bridge in Autumn © Arlington Court Staff

Path to Smallacombe bridge in Autumn

Ruby Red Devon cattle. © Sharon Ford

Ruby Red Devon cattle.

Route overview

Get closer to nature at the bird hide and heronry. This is our most popular and established walk around the designed landscape of Arlington Court, created by the Chichester family over three generations, including carriage drives to view the best of the estate.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Arlington Court lake walk map, Devon
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Old Kitchen tea-room, grid ref: SS611405

  1. This walk is marked with signs with RED arrows on them. From the tea-room walk down the tarmac road, following the signs to the Lake and Wider Estate. At the gates with herons on the top, keep left and follow the track down through the Monkey Puzzle Avenue.

    Show/HideMonkey Puzzle Avenue

    Planted in the 1860s by Sir Bruce Chichester, there are now only a few of the original monkey puzzle trees left that marked this carraige drive into the main grounds.

    Arlington Court dominates the landscape © Arnhel de Serra
  2. Continue along this track, through a gate and past a large information board (on your left). Keep on this track for about 500 metres.

  3. BIRD HIDE DIVERSION: If you want to try out our bird hide look out for a sign saying Bird Hide, which is on the right pointing you down a track. Follow this along until you reach the hide. To return to the main walk just retrace your steps.

  4. At the junction of two paths follow the red arrow to the right and to the lake. Just around the corner on the banks of the lake is Miss Chichester's Memorial Urn.

    Show/HideMemorial Urn

    This urn marks the favourite spot of Miss Rosalie Chichester who donated the Arlington estate to the National Trust.

    Miss Chichester's urn by the lake at Arlington Court © Sharon Ford
  5. Walk alongside the lake, cross the dam (look out for the bridge piers and an information board with artist's impression of how the finished bridge might have looked) and then bear left.

    Show/HideBridge Piers

    These are not the remains, but in fact the uncompleted beginnings of a suspension bridge that was begun by Sir John Chichester before his death in 1851. It was intended to link his new carriage drive down from Woolley Lodge at the top of the estate to the new house, completed in 1823.

    Early morning mist over the lake at Arlington Court. © Sharon Ford
  6. Follow the track for 200 metres and then turn left to cross Smallacombe Bridge and into the parkland.

    Show/HideSmallacombe Bridge

    This is a beautiful little bridge crossing the River Yeo, linking woodlands to the park, also part of the 19th-century designed landscape.

    Path to Smallacombe bridge in Autumn © Arlington Court Staff
  7. Follow the track through the parkland (bear slightly right) and uphill. You will reach the gate at the bottom of the Wilderness.

    Show/HideRuby Red Devon Cattle

    We use this ancient breed of Devon cattle to help us manage the parkland. Their grazing stops the grassland from overgrowing and their dung attracts insects that bats can feast upon.

    Ruby Red Devon cattle. © Sharon Ford
  8. Follow the path up the hill, staying left at first junction. You will pass the Wilderness Hideaway with mud huts, an earth oven and more. Keep going up the hill, eventually reaching the bottom of the main garden. You emerge from the Wilderness next to the large pond, near the church. From here you can fnd your way across the garden to the tea-room.

End: Old Kitchen tea-room, grid ref: SS611405

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 1.75 miles (3km)
  • Time: 1 hour
  • OS Map: Landranger 180; Explorer 139
  • Terrain:

    Fairly easy terrain, one steady climb. Follows wide footpaths through the estate, some parts can be muddy.

  • 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 nearby. See sustrans website

    By bus: TW Coaches 309, Barnstaple to Lynton, infrequent

    By train: Barnstaple, 10 miles (16.1km) from Arlington

    By car: 9 miles (14.4km) north-east of Barnstaple, off the A39. Postcode for Sat Nav: EX31 4LP

     

     

  • Contact us