Cliveden green walking trail
Overlooking the River Thames, Cliveden's spectacular country estate is open daily for most of the year.
Enjoy views of the Berkshire countyside and River Thames
On this short stroll you'll explore the woodlands, discovering a former owner of the estate as well as glorious views of the surrounding countryside that are only available on foot.
Woodland car park, grid ref: SU909832
From the woodland car park follow the path signposted 'picnic and sculpture area' and go through the kissing gate. The elephant and bear wood carvings will be on your right. Follow the route to the left past the picnic benches.
Discover the elephant, bear and tiger wood carvings as well as the famous Cliveden snails ornately carved by local woodcarver Nick Garnett. These wooden snails, carved using a chainsaw, depict the tiny 'papillifera papillaris' snail living in the the Borghese Balustrade. The snails were 'imported' from Rome in 1896, with the 100ft marble balustrade that now runs along the top of the Parterre. Common around the Mediterranean, these snails are one of the only sightings of this species in the UK.
Continue down the slope and past the Cliveden snails. At the viewing area ahead take a moment to look out over the Berkshire countryside and River Thames below. To your right, you'll also catch your first glimpse of Cliveden House in the distance.
Built on a 200ft (61m) chalk cliff with a dene or valley running below, the estate was originally named Clief-dene. We've owned the house and gardens since 1942, but have let the house as a hotel since the late 1980s. There are clear views of Cliveden House and the famous Parterre from the Duke of Sutherland's statue.
Turn right and follow the path along the cliff top.
Following the green route markers, the path will eventually lead you to a viewpoint where there are sweeping views of the countryside below. The Duke of Sutherland's statue will be on your right and from here there is one of the best views of Cliveden House and the Parterre.
The Duke of Sutherland
This marble statue of the Duke of Sutherland once sat on the Grand Avenue until Lord Astor moved it to make way for the arrival of the Fountain of Love. The current position of the statue is known as the Duke's Seat and can be seen from the South Terrace. If you look out from the statue you will see widespread views of Cliveden House, the Parterre and surrounding countryside.
Standing at the corner of the turning take a few steps down the 'River path'. Straight ahead of you, underneath corrugated roofing, you will find the Sequoia section. Then retrace your steps to the Duke's Seat. Follow the lime avenue back into the woods (away from the river).
The sequoia section, a 16ft 6in (5.03m) section of Californian Redwood, was originally imported by the 1st Lord Astor in 1897. It was suggested at the time that Lord Astor brought it here in order to win a bet, wagering that a single section of redwood could seat 40 people for dinner. It is the largest known section of a sequoia gigantean in Britain and is now kept under cover to protect it from the weather.
At the end of the lime avenue, you will reach a map of the estate. Turn right onto an avenue known as Green Drive, this will lead you back to the woodland car park. At its end the avenue will narrow. Take the kissing gate on your right. Head straight through the central small walkway with fields on your left before entering a sheltered woodland area back to the woodland car park.
Extend your walk
Alternatively, turn left at this junction to explore the gardens before walking back to your car. Walking from this junction to the gardens will take you approximately 20 minutes (one way) at a moderate walking speed.
Woodland car park, grid ref: SU909832
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