Attingham Park food and fungi walk
Autumn brings out the best in the Mile Walk – and the best harvest in the Walled Garden. The leafy trees surrounding the route will be a blaze of colours from yellows to oranges, and in late autumn the leaves will start to fall, providing a crisp carpet of muted reds, browns and oranges.
A fantastic family walk with gorgeous autumn colour
Discover the best places to try and spot the fantastic fungi displays among the changing woodlands, and stop off to admire the vibrant rainbow colours of the harvest in the walled garden. Whilst you can’t eat the fungi, you can treat yourself to some freshly-picked produce from the Walled Garden in our shop.
Attingham Park Stables Courtyard, grid ref: SJ550098
From the car park make your way through the Stables Courtyard, past the cottage garden, and bear left, following signs for the Walled Garden.
At the fork in the path bear left and follow the path round through the red brick wall and into the Walled Garden. Spend a while in this tranquil location and see what colours you can spot: all kinds of fruit and vegetables are grown here, from green beans to purple damsons.
Restoring the Walled Garden
The Walled Garden is now full of colourful plants and produce, but eleven years ago it was an empty plot of land that had been neglected for decades. Our restoration project has seen our staff and volunteers patiently restoring the grounds, using pigs to turn the soil and selecting crops according to the sorts of produce we know were grown in the garden’s heyday.
Once you have explored the Walled Garden, head through the east archway to the frameyard. Be sure not to miss the surprises you might find in the borders of the Walled Garden.
Keep an eye out for our brightly coloured pumpkins throughout the Walled Garden on your way.
Explore the frame yard and admire the colours. This is the second year that our cut flower garden has been blooming, and the borders by the Bothy are always full of bright flowers to inspire our gardeners as they arrive for work. Why not pop in to find out more about the garden and say hello?
The Walled Garden was created to provide food for the estate – but also to impress. Its walls provided shelter and gave gardeners a chance to grow more exotic produce, such as peaches, and the glasshouses allowed even more exotic experiments like the melons you can see today. We know from the archives that there used to be a pineapple pit here – the pineapple was such an exotic fruit that having one would show that you could afford the best gardeners. They were often displayed as centrepieces to impress guests at dinner.
Enter the orchard through either of the archways in the frame yard. The orchard is a beautiful spot for a picnic and the 37 varieties of cooking and eating apples form a red and green display in the trees in September.
We have around 160 apple trees in the orchard, which are all labelled. Many of them are old varieties, with evocative names including Adams Pearmain, Lord Derby and Golden Russett, which you won’t see in any shops or supermarkets. Please don’t pick them as we need some for our tea-room – leftover apples are sold in our shop, and you can taste their fresh juice when our gardening team press the harvest on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October this year (2018).
Walk along the path beside the wall to find our see-through observation beehive in the lean-to and watch the bees at work.
Take a moment to watch the bees in our observation beehive. Our beehives in the orchard are full of bees busily creating honey, which our Beekeeper spins into honey to sell in the autumn months. Every year the honey is slightly different, and changes depending on what the bees have eaten!
Leave the orchard, walking past the other side of the Bothy, and bear left along the Mile Walk.
The Mile Walk is lined with trees and a great place to look out for fungi. As the wet weather comes along, colourful displays will start to pop up on living and dead trees throughout the parkland, and in the damp undergrowth. The fungi come in all shapes and sizes, and can be any colour from delicate brown to vivid yellow. Be careful not to eat any fungi, as there are many poisonous varieties.
At the junction bear right following signs for the Mile Walk. Enjoy the colours of the changing leaves around you, with vivid reds and golds appearing.
At the next junction, continue to bear right, following signs for the Mile Walk. As the walk opens up, take in the view of the river to your left - you might spot some of our wildlife over in the deer park as well.
Mile Walk - or Mill Walk?
As you follow this path you will be able to see across the river Tern on your left. The meadow you can see across the river was once called the mill meadow. As our Mile Walk isn't precisely a mile in length, some think that the name is a corrupted form of "Mill Walk".
When you come to a junction, take the right turn. Bear left at the cut through onto the main path, bearing right when you reach it to head back towards the Stables Courtyard.
No food walk would be complete without a treat, so why not finish your food trail with a visit to our Carriage House Café, open in the Stables Courtyard daily from 9am. Our kitchens use a variety of produce fresh from the Walled Garden - keep an eye out for our famous apple cake. You can also take a taste of Attingham home with you by picking up some fresh produce from the Walled Garden in our stables shop.
Attingham Park Stables Courtyard, grid ref: SJ550098
You made it
Following this trail on mobile or tablet? Share your experience.