Orchid walk at Calke Abbey

Walking trail

This tranquil walk will take you through a varied landscape of grasslands, arable farmland and one of Europe's rarest habitats – wood pasture.

See more than 300 fragrant orchids at the Limeyards

Along the way you will take in the Ticknall Limeyards, which date back to the 15th century, managed now to allow calcareous grassland flora to thrive.

Orchids at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire


Map route for orchid walk at Calke Abbey


Calke Abbey main car park, grid ref: SK367226


Begin at the northern edge of the main car park with your back to the ticket office. Use the gravel path then down steps to the pond. Turn right and follow the deer fencing to the top of the hill, until it meets the old park boundary wall close to an interpretation board.

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Turn left for 22yd (20m) then go through the gate on the right. Turn left, cross stile and walk down the field to cross the lane leading to White Leys Cottage on the left. Continue ahead.

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At the wall turn right and follow the footpath along the wall on the left. Go over a stile and now keep the hedge on the right to meet woodland at the edge of Ticknall Limeyards.


Continue ahead along the wide stoned track that bears right. Look out for a path descending on the left. This leads to a stile by a gate. For a slight detour to see the orchids in summer turn right after the stile. Return to the path and turn right.

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Common spotted orchid and other wildflowers in long grass


Follow the path (a quarry face over on the left). Cross another stile. You are on the route of Ticknall tramway. This path weaves its way through the woodland. Walk under a bridge then through a gate; next admire the old limekiln with a bridge over it. Continue on the stoned path andcross another bridge as you progress. Interpretation boards give the history of the area.


Eventually you meet a tunnel. Go through it to another stile. Cross it and after 11yd (10m) turn left following a stoned path up to a gate. Turn right to walk along the stoned path by the hedgerow. This is the route of the National Forest Way marked by yellow topped posts with orange discs.

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Follow the route through open parkland, use the narrow gate and cross the open area aiming downhill to reach the next marker post at the edge of the woodland pasture. Walk on, cross a track to eventually pass between two ponds. Next ascend steps after a gate. A number of Calke's ancient trees (some more than 800 years old) can be seen on the left.


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


Calke Abbey main car park, grid ref: SK367226

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Orchid walk at Calke Abbey


This circular route has stepped and stone paths, kissing gates and stiles. The route takes you alongside a main road for a short distance.

Dogs welcome but please keep on a lead as there are livestock in surroundings fields.

Orchid walk at Calke Abbey

Contact us

Orchid walk at Calke Abbey

How to get here

Calke Abbey, Ticknall, Derby, South Derbyshire DE73 7LE (if using SatNav please use postcode DE73 7JF)
By road

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

By bus

Service 61 Derby-Swadlincote (passing close to Derby), alight Ticknall then 1.5 (2.5km) mile walk through park to house.  Burton-on-Trent is 10 miles (16km) away. If you are arriving by bus you may wish to start this walk at step 3 and follow the circular route until until you finish back in Ticknall.

By bicycle

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

Orchid walk at Calke Abbey

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome but please keep on a lead as there are livestock in surroundings fields