Front Park and The Clump Walk
A circular dog-friendly walk stroll across Front Park and up Dolbury Hill. Climb an extinct volcano, home to a legendary dragon. At the top you'll find an Iron Age hill fort and views across the Exe Valley. Can be muddy so unsuitable for pushchairs.
A lovely family and dog friendly walk.
Please keep your dog on a lead where we are grazing sheep and ponies, and keep an eye on your dog around wildlife and cattle.
From visitor reception, cross the drive and walk through the gate a little way towards the house to enter the field. Head towards the large pond. The Acland family were great dog-lovers and the ivy-covered mausoleum on the island in the pond was their pet's final peaceful resting place.
The pond is a haven for wildlife such as damselflies and dragonflies. You may spot water birds taking a rest on the pond including ducks, coots and moorhens.
Bear right to follow the remains of an old Roman coach road which appears as a dip in the ground. Head straight across Front Park, keeping the cricket pitch on your right, and enjoy the view of the house and garden.
Front Park was designed to viewed from the house as sweeping open parkland, with the best view back to the garden and tree-lined hill behind it. The hill is called Dolbury Hill, locally known as The Clump. This extinct volcano is steeped in thousands of years of history and legends.
Turn right to pass the cricket pavilion, marked towards Bluebell Gate. The pavilion was built in 2014 to replace an older one in bad repair. Larch was sourced and milled on the estate for the timber frame and cladding, along with 9000 western red cedar roof shingles.
Keep straight ahead leaving Front Park through a kissing gate to the left. Turn right following the sign to Bluebell Gate, climbing up the hill. Look out for birds and butterflies in the hawthorn hedgerow.
The Memorial Cross
As you begin to climb, to your right are some veteran Lucombe oak trees. At 200 years old these are thought to be some of the oldest in the area. You will pass a granite memorial cross that is not a war memorial, but a tribute to Sir Thomas Acland, 10th Baronet. It was erected in his memory in 1873 by his friends whose names are inscribed on the plinth.
Stop at the bench and take a seat to enjoy views down the River Culm and across the Exe Valley. Go through Bluebell Gate on your right and head through the next kissing gate on your right. This is a beautiful place to see bluebells in the spring. Follow the path as it bends up to the left towards another bench.
Take the right fork in the path to join the main track and continue uphill onto the Clump. On the left is the top of Dolbury Hill, the site of an Iron Age hill fort dating back to 406BC. The lava rock features in many of the buildings on the Killerton estate including the chapel. The rock was also used for building runways at Exeter Airport during the Second World War.
Dolbury Hill is brimming with folklore. Legend says a friendly dragon was born out of the flames of this volcano and lives here to keep watch over treasures and the people who live and work on the Killerton estate. For hundreds of years the fabled dragon has been shared with Fursdon, a neighbouring estate across the Exe Valley. Every day it flies between Dolbury Hill and Cadbury Hill to keep watch over both.
Stick to the path you are on and continue ahead. For a view north east towards the Culm Valley, take a short detour to your left and back again.
Bear off right on a path downhill to some wooden steps to a kissing gate above the Deer Park. Go through the gate.
Bear right towards a black metal gate. Go through this gate, following signs to Stables Cafe and Shop to return back to where this walk started. Alternatively turn left after the gate. This will lead to a path that goes past the chapel grounds.
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