Enjoy Charlecote's parkland this spring

View of Charlecote parkland including river in spring

Charlecote’s tranquil parkland is the perfect place to picnic, play or wander all year round. Clear your head with a relaxing stroll.

Bring your binoculars

Our riverside setting is a wildlife haven and you'll see more before the leaves unfurl on the trees. It’s an ideal spot for birdwatching - did you know we have one of the largest heronries in Warwickshire? We've seen kingfishers on the rivers and the lake, be patient and you may be lucky.

One of our resident kingfishers spotted by our very patient volunteer photographer
Kingfisher on branch in parkland at Charlecote Park in summer
One of our resident kingfishers spotted by our very patient volunteer photographer

Guided walks

Find out more about how we look after this special habitat and about our wildlife by joining a free guided park walk when you visit - staff in Visitor Reception can tell you if these volunteer-led walks are running when you visit. No need to book ahead.

Pause for a moment to enjoy the beauty of nature in the parkland
Spring has sprung at Charlecote, enjoy a relaxing walk through the parkland
Pause for a moment to enjoy the beauty of nature in the parkland

Pick up our tree walk guide or bird spotter sheet on your way in to discover more, or see the dates of our our volunteer-led themed park walks list here:

Charlecote parkland walks 2019 (PDF / 0.1MB) download

A time to relax

Find picnic benches by the river, or bring a rug and choose your favourite spot. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, we’re always less busy first thing in the morning and at the end of the day.

You'll often see herons along the river in the parkland
Heron flies along river in parkland at Charlecote Park
You'll often see herons along the river in the parkland

Charlecote’s historic fallow deer herd

There has been a fallow deer herd at Charlecote for centuries, and legend has it that a young William Shakespeare was prosecuted for poaching here. We manage the herd to the highest possible welfare standards and our venison has won Fine Farm Food awards.

Please don't ever approach the deer. They are wild animals and can be unpredictable. Even our Ranger and her team never handle the deer.

Take a walk through the parkland and see what you can discover today
Young fallow deer in the parkland at Charlecote in spring
Take a walk through the parkland and see what you can discover today

Centuries of tradition

Have you noticed the traditional cleft oak paling fencing? This is a rural craft that we're delighted to be able to keep alive. The varied heights of the panels confuse the deer so that they don't jump over the fence, although they easily could.

We have introduced old varieties of wild flowers throughout the meadow over several years for the benefit of a wide range of insects and to delight our visitors.

Enjoy the wild flowers in the meadow
Enjoy the wild flowers when you stroll through the meadow at Charlecote Park
Enjoy the wild flowers in the meadow

Spotting the spotty sheep

The fallow deer happily share the parkland with our pedigree herd of Jacob sheep with their characteristic chocolate-blotch fleeces.

You'll see the lambs in the parkland from early April.

Did you know that George Lucy introduced the very first flock of Jacobs to England from Portugal in 1755?

Adorable new additions to our rare breed Jacob sheep herd
Jacob sheep ewe and lambs at Charlecote Park in spring
Adorable new additions to our rare breed Jacob sheep herd

Caring for the environment

As part of the Higher Level Stewardship scheme we manage the parkland to ensure the widest possible environmental benefits.

We look after our ancient trees in the park and manage our rare fruit varieties in the orchard, grafting some of the trees to ensure their continuity and planting new rare varieties too.

Horse chestnut 'candle' flowers have a sweet scent on warm days
Horse chestnut tree candle flowers in parkland at Charlecote
Horse chestnut 'candle' flowers have a sweet scent on warm days

We manage the grassland and rivers for the benefit of the insects, invertebrates, mammals, birds, and plants that co-exist here.

Flowing through the park are both Shakespeare's Avon and its tributary the little river Dene, meeting at the cascade. The add diversity to the wildlife in the parkland throughout the year, and you'll find benches where you can pause to see what's around today.

A small herd of rare-breed Devon Red Polls graze the grassland for the benefit of our wildlife
Devon Red Poll cattle in parkland at Charlecote Park
A small herd of rare-breed Devon Red Polls graze the grassland for the benefit of our wildlife

Bringing in this small rare-breed herd benefits both the owner and livestock as there is plenty of grazing here. Our wildlife benefits too, as the cattle are less selective when they graze and create a varied grass height, favourable for many insects, birds and other wildlife.

The family church

Your parkland stroll will bring you to St Leonard's church, rebuilt by Mary Elizabeth Lucy in memory of her husband. It contains many interesting family monuments.

Please note that there's no re-entry to the parkland from St Leonard's church
View of St Leonards church in parkland at Charlecote
Please note that there's no re-entry to the parkland from St Leonard's church

Please note that the gate is one-way and does not allow re-entry to the parkland. If you decide to pop in here before you've finished your visit to Charlecote, just call in again to Visitor Reception with your sticker and they'll re-admit you.