Knightshayes veteran and champion tree walk
Discover the wonderful champion and veteran trees that grow at Knightshayes. A champion tree is one of the largest of its species on a county or country scale. Veteran trees are of great age, size or cultural or conservational significance. England has the highest number of veteran trees in Europe with the majority of these being located on National Trust land. Knightshayes is home to over 18 champion and veteran trees. This includes both county and country champions, such as the tallest redwood in Devon and the biggest turkey oak in the UK. Come and experience these magnificent trees for yourself and get lost in the swirling bark of a sweet chestnut or under the canopy of a million oak leaves.
The Stables, Knightshayes, EX16 7RQ
Start outside on the stables lawn. Walk down the gravel path to the drive. Continue to walk down the drive for about 73 metres before turning right onto the path with the arrow saying parkland.
Follow that track for 260 metres until you see a green dog waste bin next to a gate, on your left. Go through the gate and the Ash tree is directly on your right next to the fence.
Walk down the field bearing left diagonally towards the ditch with the stream running through it. Cross the ditch and the Redwood tree is diagonally in front of you to the right. The champion and tallest Redwood Tree in Devon is behind the stables on the Impey walk if you would like to take a look, but unfortunately it is not safe to get close to it due to undergrowth. This tree is very similar to it though!
Continue down the field and follow the path around to your right where there is another ditch crossing. Cross the ditch and 54m in front of you is the Holly tree.
Once you are finished admiring the Holly Tree, walk back across the ditch turn right and go through the brown gate. Follow the dirt path up the hill and bear left through the Turkey Oak Avenue. If you have children with you why not bear right and head to the Four Oaks playground first and let the children experience a tree up close and they could even give a 50 things activity a go, such as climbing a tree or get to know a tree. If you need a little more energy to finish the walk why not stop for a picnic here.
At the end of the avenue is a gate. Go through this gate, cross the drive and go through the other gate directly opposite.
Once in the field walk straight forward and then bare left around the first group of trees. And walk straight to the next group of trees. There is a shady path through the trees to the Sweet Chestnut Tree.
Carry on walking up the field to the left and the Turkey Oak tree should be right in front of you.
Once you are finished admiring the Turkey Oak, walk to the top of the field and go through the gate in the left corner. Follow the path for around 48m and the Alder tree is on your right.
Carry on up to the house for about 31m and if you look to your left on the opposite side of the drive is the Aesculus Tree.
If you wish to see more champion and veteran trees you can check out the woodland garden by going through to the smoking room. Access to members is free or if you are not a member you can pay admission. There are many other tree species in the woodland garden including paper birches and some of the tallest Turkey Oaks. If not please follow the gravel path back up to the stables. Congratulations you have finished the Tree Trail!
The Stables, Knightshayes, EX16 7RQ
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