Chirk Castle woodland walk
This easy circular woodland walk has spectacular views of the parkland, and a little surprise in the middle. It is mainly on paths, but the last section is through open fields.
Chirk Castle car park
Leave the car park and go up the hill towards the castle.
Go straight on, past a road off to your right.
Follow the footpath to the right, signposted to the woodland walk.
The Bird Hide is on your right, have a look inside to see what you can spot through the trees.
Bear left where the track forks.
There is a gate ahead of you into the Deershed Wood. Either continue straight through and skip to point 8, or take the path down to your right to see a beautiful old Sweet Chestnut at point 7.
About halfway along the path on your left side you will see the Sweet Chestnut tree (pictured). This tree is about 8m (25ft) around, and dates from around the time of King Henry VIII - making it over 500 years old! After seeing the Sweet Chestnut retrace your steps back to the gate.
Go through the gate into Deer Shed Wood, and take the path directly ahead through the trees and up the slope. Look out for a small path on your right.
At the end of this path you will find the plinth where the statue of Hercules used to stand, overlooking the Davies Gates at the estate exit. After finding the plinth, head back to the main path and follow it along through Deer Shed Wood.
Hercules and Mars
The lead statues of Hercules and Mars have stood in various different locations since they arrived on the estate in the early 18th century. Initially they stood in a forecourt directly in front of the castle, just behind the Davies Brothers Gates. Around 1770 the statue of Hercules was moved to this location, and the statue of Mars to the upper wood. Although Mars has been lost, the statue of Hercules survived at this location until the 1980s when the National Trust took over the estate, at which time it was moved by helicopter to its current location in the gardens. The modern plinth on which the statue now stands is a copy of this one, with the same inscription.
Go through the gate directly ahead, leaving Deer Shed Wood, and continue straight on across the field following the blue arrow markers.
When you reach the corner of the field, go through the kissing gate and turn left.
Continue straight along the field following the blue arrow markers up a shallow climb. Eventually you will be walking alongside the Pleasure Ground Wood on your left, and the estate ha-ha designed to keep livestock out of the formal gardens without needing a fence. Continue until you reach a gate by the driveway up to the castle on your left. To complete your walk go straight ahead to return to the car park.
Chirk Castle car park
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