Killerton ancient trees walk

Killerton Estate, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon EX5 3LE

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
These rare tulip trees were planted by John Veitch in the 1770s © D Melhuish

These rare tulip trees were planted by John Veitch in the 1770s

Enjoy many ancient trees as you explore the Killerton Estate © D Melhuish

Enjoy many ancient trees as you explore the Killerton Estate

These gnarled old sweet chestnuts were planted around 250 years ago © D Melhuish

These gnarled old sweet chestnuts were planted around 250 years ago

There are many more enjoyable walks around the Killerton Estate © M. Jarvis

There are many more enjoyable walks around the Killerton Estate

Route overview

This walk highlights some of the many ancient trees around the garden and park, but do look around you as you follow the walk for many more.

Route details

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

Route of the ancient trees walk at Killerton in Devon
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Visitor car park, grid ref: SS973001

  1. From the car park, walk through the stable block and turn right, following the footpath towards the path into the chapel grounds.

    Show/HideLandscaped parkland

    Sir Thomas Dyke Acland started Killertons historical tree collection during the 1770s, with his gardener and land steward, John Veitch. Veitch developed into an exceptional landscaper and today, Killerton exhibits rare veteran trees from around the world, many of which are the first of their kind to be planted in this country. Look out for a grove of tulip trees (pictured) planted in the chapel grounds by Veitch over 200 years ago.

    These rare tulip trees were planted by John Veitch in the 1770s © D Melhuish
  2. Leaving the chapel by the wooden gate at the top, follow the track and turn right towards the wrought iron fence and gate by the balancing plank. Go through the gate into the open parkland. Continue straight ahead and then turn left along the track.

  3. Along this track are stunning views over the estate and ancient oak trees that once lined field boundaries. Some of these are over 600 years old. These trees are of great ecological value and provide an important habitat to a variety of insects, fungi, lichen and bats. Killerton is home to over 12 species of bats.

  4. Bear left into the plain of the park, an open area with ancient birches, redwoods and thorns. One of the thorns in the left hand corner dates back to the early 1800s.

    Show/HideAncient birch

    Killerton is a wonderful place for its range of ancient, veteran and champion trees.

    Enjoy many ancient trees as you explore the Killerton Estate © D Melhuish
  5. Head towards the top right corner of the plain and go through the wooden gate, then turn left through another gate onto the Iron Age hill fort.

  6. Go across the clump and straight over the cross roads in the path. Head towards the wrought iron fencing that encloses the garden and through the gate into the garden.

  7. Head down through the garden looking out for the old sweet chestnuts, the giant redwood and a wide range of unusual trees.

    Show/HideSweet chestnut trees

    A strong feature of the parkland and garden at Killerton are the gnarled sweet chestnuts, which were planted in the 1770s or possibly earlier.

    These gnarled old sweet chestnuts were planted around 250 years ago © D Melhuish
  8. Follow the garden path past the front of the house, through the garden gate and head down the drive back to your start point.

    Show/HideKillerton Estate

    If you fancy exploring more of the estate, there are extensive woodland walks around Killerton Park, Ashclyst Forest and Danes Wood. Pick up a walks leaflet for Ashclyst Forest from the Gift Shop or check http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/killerton.

    There are many more enjoyable walks around the Killerton Estate © M. Jarvis

End: Visitor car park, grid ref: SS973001

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 2 miles (3.2km)
  • Time: 1 hour
  • OS Map: Landranger 192; Explorer 114
  • Terrain:

    Easy terrain in general, with some uphill sections. Dogs are welcome in the park but sorry, not in the chapel grounds or garden.

  • How to get here:

    By bike: National Cycle Network, number 52

    By bus: Stagecoach in Devon 1/A/B, Exeter to Tiverton Parkway, alight at Killerton then 0.75 mile (1.2km) walk

    By train: Pinhoe (not Sun) 4.5 miles (7.2km); Whimple 6 miles (9.7km); Exeter and St Davids 7 miles (11.3km)

    By car: Follow Exeter to Cullompton on B3181; from M5 northbound, exit junction 30 via Pinhoe and Broadclyst; from M5 southbound, exit junction 28. Parking is free. Postcode for SatNav, EX5 3LE

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