Centenary walk at Arlington Court
A steep climb, but worth it for the stunning views. The parkland is particularly magnificent in winter when there are no leaves on the trees. Created in the our centenary year, 1995, this walk is designed to show you the views of the house and parkland that you would have enjoyed had you entered the estate in your carriage at Woolley Lodge.
Please book ahead before visiting
The car park, garden and toilets at Arlington are open and you need to
book tickets before you visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. We'll be releasing tickets every Friday. Please note we’ll be turning people away who arrive and haven't booked. We're looking forward to welcoming you back.
Old Kitchen tea-room, grid ref: SS611405
From the tea-room walk down the tarmac road, following the orange 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. Planted in the 1860s by Sir Bruce Chichester, there are now only a few of the original monkey puzzle trees left that marked this carriage drive into the main grounds.
Continue along this track, through a gate and past a large information board (on your left). Keep on this track for about 550yd (500m).
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. Come here to spot a variety of woodland birds, it is also an ideal look out to the ancient heronry.
At the junction of two paths keep following the orange signs to the right and to the lake. Just around the corner on the banks of the lake is Miss Chichester’s Memorial Urn.
Walk alongside the lake, cross the dam (look out for the bridge piers part of an unfinished nineteenth century project) and follow the track for 25m until you see an orange sign pointing right, taking you along the bank of the lake.
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 built in 1823.
After 25m turn left at sign for 'Centenary Path' (orange waymark). Follow path through the woodland for 50m and turn right (orange waymark). You are now on the steepest section, follow small track uphill, when you reach a barrier across the path follow the steps to the left. On next track turn right, follow for 50m, then take the uphill track on the left.
At the top of the woodland you reach a stile into open fields. Cross the stile and head up the field following the hedgebank on your left until you reach a gate on your left. Go through the gate and diagonally across the middle of the field to the gate.
Once through the gate, keep the hedgebank on your right until you come to another stile. Cross this into a smaller field, head downhill, keeping hedgebank on your left, until you reach another stile to go into the woodland, crossing a narrow wooden footbridge.
This woodland is criss-crossed with deer tracks and you may be lucky enough to spot one moving through the trees.
10yd into the woodland is another stile on the left by a big gate. Go over the stile onto a woodland track, follow for 110yd (100m), looking for a waymarked track on your right. Follow the track downhill.
You will walk through an area of ancient woodland; there are references to Woolley Wood in the Domesday Book.
At next junction follow smaller track downhill again, go down steps onto a main track, bear left and at the fork take the right hand fork down the hill. Turn right to cross Smallacombe Bridge and into the parkland.
Follow the track through the parkland (bear slightly right) and uphill. You will reach the gate at the bottom of the Wilderness.
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.
Old Kitchen tea-room, grid ref: SS611405
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