Deer rut rambles

One of nature’s most spectacular sights is the autumn deer rut. Pay a visit to some of our places to see the male deer (stags or bucks) compete for females (hinds or does). The drama and noise as they lock antlers is an unforgettable wildlife wonder.

A single fallow deer in the autumn at Ashridge
Walking trail

Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire 

There have been deer at Ashridge for hundreds of years, possibly since Richard of Cornwall (the son of King John) established a hunting ground here. It could be that the fallow deer here today are the descendants of those that roamed the 13th-century deer park. You can also look out for smaller muntjac deer, thought to be descended from escapees from Woburn in the late 19th century.

Attingham's deer herd are descended from the orginal herd brought to Attingham by the second Lord Berwick in the 1700s
Walking trail

Attingham Park, Shropshire 

See if you can spot the deer rutting during this easy two mile walk. Explore the changing colours of the orange-gold trees that mark the start of the woodland, and take in the views over the open landscape to the river.

Deer laying in long grass on the Calke estate
Walking trail

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire 

The park is a rich and varied landscape of grassland, ponds and wood pasture – one of the rarest habitats in Europe. There are no public roads at Calke so it's perfect for a peaceful walk to see if you can spot the resident deer herd.

Fallow deer in woodland at Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire
Walking trail

Dinefwr, Camarthenshire 

As well as a herd of White Park Cattle, Dinefwr is also home to more than 100 fallow deer which graze the parkland. Pay a visit in September or October you may well see the stags battling each other during the annual rut and the path you'll follow was designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in 1775, when he visited Dinefwr.

A buck takes a break from the autumn deer rut at Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire 

Dyrham Park’s name originates from the Saxon word for deer. The park has been populated by these beautiful creatures for centuries, and today it is home to 200 wild fallow deer. In autumn the clang of the antlers and loud grunts can be heard across the park as these deer go head to head, competing for mates.

 Red deer at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
Walking trail

Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire 

Our deer warden John has picked this walk as one of his favourites within the park. As you follow the circular route, look out for some of the 500 wild deer that live here.

Deer in Knole Park, Kent
Walking trail

Knole, Kent 

The whole family can enjoy our all-ability walk exploring the wildlife of Kent’s only remaining deer park at Knole, which has remained substantially unchanged since medieval times. The park has been home to the same fallow deer herd since at least the 15th century, and were joined by some Japanese sika deer in the 1890s.

Deer in front of The Cage at Lyme Park, House and Garden
Walking trail

Lyme Park, Cheshire 

During this walk you’ll be able to explore lesser-visited areas of Lyme’s parkland, and experience stunning views across the countryside. You may also spot the resident herd of red deer, who often spend their time in the east of the park.

Petworth House and Park deer
Walking trail

Petworth House and Park, West Sussex 

On this walk you can see the view that inspired Turner’s painting ‘Sunset, Fighting Bucks’, complete with the rutting deer. Petworth is famous for its extensive art collection made by George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont, containing many works by his friend J.M.W Turner.