Improving traffic flow into Calke Abbey

Lime Avenue at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

As more and more visitors come to enjoy over 600 acres of historic parkland at Calke Abbey, the Middle Lodge admissions point has become a significant pinch point on very busy days. We’re making some alterations to alleviate the pressure in this area, so we can offer a warm and sunny welcome every time (even on rainy days!).

What are we doing?

We’re moving the park admissions hut further down the drive away from Middle Lodge and extending the second and third lanes to improve traffic flow into the parkland.

The longer lanes will provide more space for queuing vehicles, giving visitors extra time to choose a lane – ultimately speeding up the flow of vehicles through Middle Lodge. This also means we’ll have more time to welcome visitors to Calke Abbey, giving you all the information you’ll need upon arrival.

Eventually, we’re going to redesign the park entry hut to have less impact on the wider landscape, although this will be installed at a later date. This will be located near an existing ash tree, and will make our staff more visible – give them a wave!

Why is the work needed?

During our busiest times, the admission point at Middle Lodge becomes a significant bottleneck as visitors enter the park, and the resulting queuing traffic has an impact on the wider estate and on people's first impressions of Calke, including the welcome we're able to give.

We're committed to providing an exceptional service, and these changes will give us the opportunity to say hello properly.

When will the work begin?

The work starts on Monday 21 January and will take five weeks to complete. You will notice some disruption on arrival but, as we've planned the work to take place at a quieter time of the year, we hope this won't heavily impact your entry to Calke.

The admission point will operate as usual, although the second lane will be closed to all traffic, meaning that all vehicles will proceed along the main driveway. This may cause minor delays upon entry for the duration of the works, but we’ll do our best to keep queuing to a minimum.

Lime Tree Avenue is ablaze with colour
A view of Lime Tree Avenue at Calke in winter
Lime Tree Avenue is ablaze with colour

Parking at Ragg’s Close

The work at Middle Lodge means that vehicles will no longer be able to park on Ragg’s Close, the large expanse of grassland beyond the pay point. We recommend that visitors park in the main car park instead, where you can access lots of parkland walks – or later in the year, you’ll be able to park in the new Calke Explore car park.

With Calke Explore developments underway, there’s a lot going on at Calke this winter. If you want to find some peace and quiet, follow the links below and discover were you can relax at Calke. 

Your visits help us to keep Calke alive

The upkeep of Calke Park costs £375 every day. Your park admission fee helps us to continue this work, so that Calke Abbey and its amazing, inspiring parkland can be enjoyed for generations to come.

If you’re a National Trust member, every time we scan your membership card, Calke Abbey receives a £2.50 member credit. That’s why it’s important to show your card on every visit.

Thank you for helping us to preserve this special place for ever, for everyone.