The Woodland Trail at Kingston Lacy in Dorset
The woodland trail will lead you through beautiful woodland and along old carriage drives that were created by the Bankes family. It reveals stunning views of the house and parkland and you might even come across the estate's herd of Red Ruby cattle along the way. Why not stop for a picnic and see how much wildlife you can spot.
The car park, part of the garden, parkland and toilets at Kingston Lacy have now reopened and you’ll need to
book tickets before you visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. We'll be releasing tickets every Friday. Please note we’ll be turning people away who arrive and haven't booked. We're looking forward to welcoming you back.
Kingston lacy car park
Our Woodland trail starts from the car park at Kingston Lacy. Call in and see the team at Visitor Reception who can then direct you onto the trail.
Follow the trail and pass through a large white gate. Once you have passed through the gate take the small black gate to your right.
Continue along the trail following the green signs until you come to a wooden gate on your left. Pass through the gate and continue following the trail with the fence to your right.
With the gate behind you turn right to enter the woodland section of the trail. Follow the trail as it winds its way through our native deciduous woodland.
Seasonal highlights in the woodland
Throughout spring look out for the daffodils, followed by bluebells and wild garlic. Summer sees an abundance of life throughout the woodland and autumn offers all the red and golden hues of beautiful autumn colour. Wrap up warm in winter when you can admire the structural form of the trees and the extensive views across the parkland when there is less foliage to block the view.
The path passes by the Woodland Play Area. All the natural play elements are open but please maintain social distancing when using the equipment.
Woodland play area
Climb through the tunnel logs, test your balance skills on the stepping logs and climbing net, spin a yarn in our storytelling area and see if you can spot the tortoise (former owner William Bankes' favourite pet!). Hungry? this is the perfect place for a picnic!
The path passes by Blandford Lodge. Follow the path around and when you reach the tarmac road turn right and follow the green sign.
The historic carriageway of the Bankes Family
This section of the Woodland Trail offers you access to previously inaccessible parts of the parkland. The gate to your left was used as the main entrance by the Bankes family who would have entered this way in order to get the best views of the house each time they returned. You will now follow the historic carriage way that they would have used - walking (or cycling) in the footsteps of history!
At the end of this section of the trail you will need to cross over the entrance drive. Take care to look for passing traffic and cross the drive at the marked crossing point. Once across the road follow the trail along the side of the drive and through the black gate. Continue through the woodland and along the boardwalk.
Look out for our Red Devon herd
Did you know we have the oldest recorded herd of Ruby Red Devon cattle in the world! They graze this part of the parkland in the warmer months to you may well see them if visiting in this time. Brought to Kingston Lacy by Walter Bankes in the 19th century, their grazing continues to help us manage the estate for wildlife and visitors today.
At the end of the boardwalk go through the gate and follow the trail in front of you.
The boardwalk is a new feature in this section of the trail and protects the ground which gets very boggy in the winter. Can you spot the water course and the log stack here? These offer great habitats to all sorts of wildlife such as the Greater Crested Newt.
At the track junction turn right.
At the track junction turn right. You will now follow the tarmac path back towards Kingston Lacy house.
After you have passed Kingston Lacy house you will need to walk your bike back to visitor reception as this area can get busy with visitors.
Kingston Lacy car park
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