Calke Park deer shelter walk

Walking trail

Explore Calke’s wetland area and discover a preserved 18th-century deer shelter on this pleasant amble through an ancient parkland landscape. Please note that wetland area of this route is currently inaccessible due to construction work, and we recommend following one of our other trails at this time.

Deer herd in winter at National Trust Calke Abbey in Derbyshire


Map route for Calke Park deer shelter walk


Main overflow car park at Calke Abbey, grid ref: SK367226


From the main car park follow the exit road past the stables and down to a gravel track on the right. Turn half right and walk uphill across the grass towards the preserved deer shelter, which is visible through the trees.

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After visiting it, continue ahead keeping the fence on your left then descend to the carriage drive that is stoned. Turn left to follow this to a corner, a white gate on the left and a wall ahead.


Turn right on reaching the wall and follow it to the main drive. The mound high on the right is part of the original water supply for the house. Designed by Henry Marley Burton in 1865 it was specifically for fire-fighting after a potentially devastating fire at the abbey. The water was taken from Pistern Hills (the skyline on the left) along cast iron pipes. Cross straight over here and walk down the side of the road, turning left onto a track. Leading into Poker Leys Wood.


Go through the gate and turn right into a wetland area. At this point you might like to take a detour along the path on the right to a bird hide. Afterwards return to continue along the track keeping a fence on the left. Cross a stile at the end.

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Follow the fence line on the right, around the field and cross over the next stile leading into woodland.


Stroll through the woodland on the path. Enter the field and head uphill.


Cross a stile on the right. Follow the path through a narrow strip of woodland to reach another stile and open grassland with the ticket check above on the left.


Cross the road and pass through the gate in the fence about 50 metres below the ticket check. Veer right across this field in a diagonal direction towards a large wooden gate in a wall. Here you enter the National Nature Reserve. Turn right.

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Go through the gate at the end of the wall and follow the woodland path, which bears round to the left.


Come out of the wood into the Fisherman's car park. To see the oldest tree in the park, The Old Man of Calke, walk a short way beyond the car park through a kissing gate on the left. The tree stands 50 metres on the left and is protected by railings. Return to the car park.


Follow the narrow stoned then stepped path down from the car park to Betty's Pond. Bear left and go between two ponds. Next ascend steps after a gate. A number of Calke's ancient trees (some over 800 years old) can be seen on the left.


Keep to the upper path to return to the car park.


Main overflow car park at Calke Abbey, grid ref: SK367226

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Calke Park deer shelter walk


The circular route takes you over rough grassland. It also has stepped and stone paths, kissing gates and stiles. Enquire at Calke Abbey for more accessible routes. Please note, dogs are not permitted, as the route takes you through the wetlands conservation area.

Calke Park deer shelter walk

Contact us

Calke Park deer shelter walk

How to get here

Ticknall, Derbyshire, DE73 7LE (if using SatNav please use postcode DE73 7JF)
By train

Derby, 9.5 miles (15.2km); Burton-on-Trent, 10 miles (16km)

By road

10 miles (16km) south of Derby on A514 at Ticknall. M42/A42 exit 13 and A50 Derby South. Signposted from the A42

By bus

Number 61, Derby to Swadlincote (passing close to Derby Station), alight Ticknall then 1.5 miles (2.5km) walk through park to house

By bicycle

National Cycle Network traffic-free route, 5 miles (8km) away

Calke Park deer shelter walk

Facilities and access

  • Relax in our restaurant and enjoy the warming local and seasonal food on our lunch menu or delicious cakes to go with your afternoon tea
  • A wide range of gifts are available in our shop for you to treat yourself or someone special
  • Buy local food in the new Calke Pantry
  • Baby-changing facilities available
  • Front-carrying baby slings and hip-carrying infant seats for loan
  • Designated mobility parking
  • Mobility toilet available near visitor reception
  • Wheelchairs available to borrow (limited)