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A great and ancient Downland estate

Slindon Estate is 1,400 hectares of woodland, downland, farmland, and parkland. With countless historic landscape features and its unspoilt Sussex village, there is something for every visitor.

Take a couple of hours to stroll around the village or a whole day to stride out upon the 40km of rights of way that criss-cross the estate. In spring, there are spectacular woodland flower displays and a lambing event at Gaston Farm. In summer, wander the shady woodland lanes up through the estate to encounter butterflies on the springy downland turf of Bignor. Autumn brings Slindon’s famous pumpkin display, and a fantastic leafy show of colours in Park Wood. Winter is a brilliant time to seek out Slindon’s many historic landscape features such as Stane Street - over three miles of Roman road - and the Medieval Pale (deer park boundary).

Whatever the season, take in the long wide views down to the Weald, along the Downs, and out across the coastal plain to the sea. Whether you explore on foot, by bike, or on horseback Slindon is like a book that you can’t put down.

Wildlife wanderings

Badgers love to nibble on our plants in the garden © National Trust

Badgers love to nibble on our plants in the garden

Slindon has a rich and wonderfully varied wildlife, from swallows and swifts nesting in old eaves and bats hunting for insects at dawn to families of badgers exploring at dusk. The woods and meadows are perfect habitats for spotting butterflies and wild flowers and sometimes even glow worms, so take a stroll and see what you can find.

Historical highlights

Stane Street near Eartham, crossed by oak roots © Katie Archer

Stane Street near Eartham, crossed by oak roots

The many past inhabitants of Slindon have left their mark on the landscape. The best-preserved section of Stane Street, the Roman road that links Chichester to London, crosses the Downs at Slindon; a medieval deer bank ‘park pale’ surrounds the old deer park; and remnants of a dummy airfield can still be seen at Gumber Farm.

Wonderful wild flowers

A close up of a primrose ’Primula Vulgarus’ in bloom © Stephen Robson

A close up of a primrose ’Primula Vulgarus’ in bloom

Slindon is a fantastic place to see wild flowers throughout the year. Woodland flowers make the most of the light reaching the floor before the leaves come out and the canopy closes. Violets, primroses, wood anemones can all be seen in the woods. Around Slindon Village and on Nore Hill there is a particularly good show of bluebells.

Outstanding orchids

Greater butterfly orchid on the South Downs © Graham Wellfare

Greater butterfly orchid on the South Downs

Slindon is a wonderful place to spot orchids. From the striking spotted leaves of the early purple orchid to fly orchids, small but pretty in the woodland light, white helleborines flourishing in the beech woods, common twayblades in damp shady places and the wonderful greater butterfly orchid in areas of dappled woodland light.

Birds on the wing

Listen out for the Bullfinch’s mournful call all year round ©

Listen out for the Bullfinch’s mournful call all year round

Greater spotted woodpeckers drum, green woodpeckers laughingly ‘yaffle’ in flight and the treecreeper, a tiny brown relative of the woodpecker, feeds on tree trunks. Bullfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch and greenfinch gather in the open woods. Skylarks. yellowhammers and linnets are common here, and swifts and swallows feed on the wing.

Slindon Forge

Like many villages, Slindon has lost vital services in recent years, including the Post Office, shop and one of the pubs.

A community project has created a new village shop and café at the Slindon Forge.

  • It opened successfully on Tuesday 16 October 2012 and serves a delicious range of local food and drinks.
  • The Forge presents a wonderful opportunity to provide vital services to ensure the village remains a vibrant community.
  • It also gives an important new lease of life and public access to a historically important village building.
  • Currently the Forge is open 8.30am to 6pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 10am to 5pm on Sundays.

50 things to do before you're 11¾

50 Things To Do

Come and try one of our fantastic '50 things' activities? Here are our top five favourites:

  • Climb a tree
  • Build a den
  • Go star gazing
  • Track wild animals
  • Find a geocache