Reflections trail at Calke Abbey
Calke Abbey, Ticknall, Derbyshire, DE73 7LERoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Take in the beautiful views of the original drive and discover hidden views and spaces on this amble through Calke's ancient parkland.
- Bus stop
Start: Main car park
Begin at the main overflow car park. With your back to the Ticket Office head to the left side (north) side of the car park. Follow the gravel path and walk down the steps to the ponds. Turn right and follow the deer fencing to the top of the hill, until it meets the old park boundary wall close to an interpretation board.
Turn left away from the deer fence and follow the path near the wall through Serpentine Wood.
Spot yellow archangel and bluebells in the woodlands in spring, and self-heal and sheep's sorrel in the grasslands. Birds of prey such as hobby, buzzard and the occasional red kite may be seen, as well as woodland birds such as woodpeckers, tree creepers, nuthatch, starling and tits. Over half of the UK's 16 bat species have been recorded here, and the rough grassland is home to voles, shrews, wood mice, weasels and stoats. Badgers make their homes in the woods along with over 350 types of beetles which thrive on the dead wood.
Go through the kissing gate at the end of the wall and follow the woodland path which bears round to the left.
Come out of the wood into the Fisherman's car park.
Follow the narrow stoned then stepped path which you will find to the right of the gateway. The path leads you down to Betty's Pond. Bear left and go between the two ponds.
Take the gate to your right and follow the path directly uphill, through the wood pasture which is part of the National Nature Reserve. Do not cross over the stile but bear right to meet an avenue of ancient oak trees after 30 metres. Turn left to follow the avenue and then continue straight ahead to meet the road.
Cross the road and turn right walking parallel with the road until you meet the park boundary wall.
Turn left and follow the track keeping the wall on your right until you enter a small copse of trees and a large white gate. Look out for bat boxes fixed to some of the trees.
Turn left and follow the old main carriage drive.
This is the original drive to Calke and is the route that people would have taken in their carriages. Imagine that you are visiting the house for the first time and reflect on this impressive view.
Follow an approximately 150m short detour uphill to take in the old deer shelter. After viewing, return downhill to the carriage drive until you reach the road.
The shelter was built in the 18th century, amid old ridge and furrow land, to entice deer into the open parkland. The family could then observe them from the comfort of the house. Two hundred years later, red and fallow deer were re-introduced to Calke as an enclosed herd, and you can still see them today.
Turn left and walk parallel with road until you reach the visitor facilities and car park.
End: Main car park
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 2.4 miles
- Time: 1.5 hour
Circular walk with stoned paths, kissing gates and some steps. Enquire at property for more accessible routes. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads as livestock graze in the surrounding fields.
- How to get here:
By bike: National Cycle Network traffic-free route, 5 miles (8km) away
By bus: Number 61, Derby to Swadlincote , alight Ticknall then 1.5-mile (2.5km) walk through park to house
By train: Derby, 9.5 miles (15.2km); Burton-on-Trent, 10 miles (16km)
By car: 10 miles (16km) south of Derby on A514 at Ticknall. M42/A42 exit 13 and A50 Derby South
Toilets, restaurant and shop are located off the main car park.
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