Venture into the woodlands at Cliveden
Positioned on top of chalk cliffs and overlooking the River Thames, Cliveden's magnificent gardens and woodlands offer breathtaking views that have been admired for centuries. The spot was chosen by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham in 1666 for its striking view to the River Thames. On this route you will discover some of the lesser-known beauty spots and glorious views.
Exit the car park via the ornate gates near the Information Centre and immediately turn left. Having passed through a second metal gate, follow the right-hand path signed "Woodlands" to skirt the edge of the Water Garden.
Exit the Water Garden via the wooden gate and follow the avenue straight ahead. Known as Green Drive, this route will take you past our entry kiosk (take care crossing the road) and into the woodlands.
Continue along Green Drive for a further 0.6 miles (1km).
Shortly after passing the final houses in the Cliveden Village development on your left, look out for a path on your right signed 'Play Trail' in yellow writing. Turn right at the sign to follow the path away from Green Drive. For the Play Trail, follow the yellow arrows to the right. To continue on this walk, bear left.
A woodland trail with a difference... around every corner on our Play Trail you'll find a new place to play and test your climbing, balancing and den building skills. Nearby, Clive's Den is big enough for the whole family hide in plus there's picnic tables and wooden musical chimes to play. The Play Trail is designed with children age 6+ in mind.
In approximately 180ft (50m), where the path splits again, take the right hand fork. Note: to visit the Woodland Lounge where you will find toilets and a picnic area follow the left fork. The building will come into view to your left, just around the corner. If visiting the lounge, retrace your step to this point to continue the walk (do not proceed further along the left fork as the paths do not rejoin).
After a further 100ft (30m), at the 'T' junction, turn right.
Continue along the wide path to follow the cliff top, following finger posts to "Dukes Statue". To your left, you'll start to catch glimpses of the surrounding countryside and River Thames below.
Far reaching views
The panoramic views over the countryside and to the River Thames below have been admired by visitors to the estate for centuries. Indeed it was this enviable elevated position that attracted the Duke of Buckingham, who built the first great house here. Although less formal than the gardens, the woodlands are part of the designed landscape with carefully constructed avenues and viewpoints.
The path eventually brings you to a viewpoint with sweeping views over the countryside. Follow the path to your right (away from the river) where you'll see a striking view of Cliveden House and the Parterre. Continue along this lime avenue to rejoin Green Drive.
The Duke of Sutherland
This marble statue originally sat on the Grand Avenue until Lord Astor relocated it here in the 1890s to make way for the arrival of the Fountain of Love. The Duke and Duchess of Sutherland purchased Cliveden in 1849, but within months fire devastated the house. They commissioned Charles Barry to rebuild the house and it is this three-storey Italianate villa you see today.
At the second cross roads bear left onto Green Drive and follow the finger posts to retrace your steps back to the Water Garden.
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