Winter walking adventures at Kedleston
The hall may be closed over the winter months for conservation and maintenance but there's still plenty of adventures to be had in Kedleston's parkland. You can follow one of four mapped walks making sure you see all of the best bits of the estate and test out the newly resurfaced long and short walks.
This walk is a 1.7 mile circuit which usually takes about 45 minutes. Amble along the first part of the Adam-inspired circuit walk to take in some of the parks finest views. This route also takes you past the recently restored Hermitage.
This route has recently been resurfaced meaning that you no longer have to battle with the mud! Although a portion of the route crosses back across the parkland an alternative for those with wheelchairs or pushchairs is to visit the hermitage and then return back down the same path. You'll be able to get right up to the Hermitage building now that relandscaping work has begun.
Newly resurfaced in late 2017 this walk is now accessible in all weathers without the fear of losing your boots in the mud! Hardstanding runs right around from the pleasure grounds, through the woodland and back via the splash pool. Please be aware that the lakeside section of the path is not surfaced so we still recommend sturdy footwear, especially after wet weather.
This walk is a 3.2 mile circuit which usually takes about and hour and 20 minutes. It is one of the best examples of an 18th-century circuit walk in the country, You'll be able to retrace the footsteps of Kedleston's aristocratic visitors of the past and stop at the viewpoints that 18th-century visitors would have admired the Hall. Don't worry there's benches along the route to take a rest and enjoy the views.
This walk is about 2 miles and usually takes about 50 minutes. It takes you across the lovely grade I listed Adam bridge and follows the edge of the Upper Lake. Admire the cascades and the neoclassical style Fishing Pavilion perched on the lake's edge. Winter is a brilliant time to walk along the lake, be sure to bring your binoculars as this is when birdlife if at its best here at Kedleston. We know of over 40 species of bird that call Kedleston's lake home in winter, see how many you can spot.
Explore the estates wilderness and find veteran oak trees in the parkland beyond the lake on this easy walk. You can find some of the county's oldest trees here, some are up to 1000 years old. You'll find this area of the estate more wild and rugged in comparison to other areas, with fallen trees, close copses and long grass. This is all intentional as a key conservation area of the parkland it provides habitats for all manner of animals from birds to woodland invertebrates.
See if you can find all of our wooden animal sculptures hidden along the route and also search our wilderness podcasts for more information about the animals you can find here and our management methods.
Although there are visible paths on these walks, winter weather does sometimes take its toll. After heavy rain some parts of the park and pleasure grounds may become quite muddy. We are currently looking at improving problem areas on the paths, but for the time being boots are advised, especially down by the lakes.
The back end of 2017 saw the full resurfacing of our long and short walks meaning we now have an all weather option for those rainy winter afternoons.
Bring your four pawed pals
We welcome four pawed family members but we do ask that they are kept on a lead at all times. Sheep and Dexter cows graze in the park and are easily spooked which can be dangerous. Keeping your dog on a lead minimises stress to the animals that call the parkland their home. There are bins provided for dog waste at intervals on the walk circuits and we do ask that everyone clears up after their pets. Dog waste can be very dangerous for agricultural animals, spreading disease and in some cases abortion of calves. In the interest of both your safety and the interest of our Dexters we ask that you adhere to our requests.
Sadly dogs are not permitted in our restaurant but we'll happily provide take away options or outdoor seating. We also have a small building which used to be the game larder which offers an indoor alternative. Pick up a map in visitor reception for more details our just ask one of our visitor welcome team.