Spring walks around Sheffield Park and Garden

couple walking up hill in spring

As the days get longer and warmer, come and rediscover the outdoors at Sheffield Park and Garden. There's more to explore than just the formal garden, so why not take a walk to one of these areas next time you visit to reconnect with nature?

Stir up your senses as nature awakens to a new year of growth. Join us in the outdoors this spring and feel new shoots of optimism grow with the new grass and blossoming trees. Come rain or shine, there are plenty of areas to explore around Sheffield Park and Garden, so grab your wellies and plan a day out with us this spring.

Stroll amongst the trees in Walk Wood

Tucked away on the north side of Sheffield Park and Garden is Walk Wood, an area of woodland steeped in history with abundance of wildlife and natural art sculptures.You can follow the network of paths and boardwalks around the woods, or just dive in and explore the area. As spring develops, the bluebells carpet the floor and wildlife is abundant. Look out for the series of natural art sculptures too as you follow the paths round. These were created by local artist, Keith Pettit, using materials from the woods and provide some great interventions to the landscape. Sculpture trail maps are available at reception if you'd like to hear more about the artist's thoughts behind them.

Bluebells in Walk Wood at Sheffield Park and Garden
Bluebells in Walk Wood at Sheffield Park and Garden
Bluebells in Walk Wood at Sheffield Park and Garden

Access to Walk Wood is from Flint Road and Big Tree Walk. It's sometimes necessary to close it for periods of time for maintenance work to take place, so please check the opening times section of the website for details.

Head to historic East Park

Just below the cricket pitch is East Park, another area of woodland steeped in Second World War history. As you walk around here you may see the tell-tale signs of concrete paths, brick and concrete from Nissen Hut foundations. This area was known as Fletching Camp while the section that stretched from the road entrance to the bottom of Lower Woman's Way Pond was called Sheffield Park Camp. An archaeological excavation took place last year where networks of paths, hut foundations and washing facilities were discovered, as well as a few personal items such as a beer bottles. 

Nissen huts in the grounds of Sheffield Park and Garden during the Second World War
Sheffield Park Second World War Nissen huts
Nissen huts in the grounds of Sheffield Park and Garden during the Second World War

Take some time to explore this quieter area of the estate, where dogs on short leads are welcome to go with you at any time of day.

Roam wild on the Parkland

There's so much to explore on the parkland. From Ringwood Toll to the Skyglade to the River Ouse. If you're visiting with children, they'll enjoy exploring Ringwood Toll where they can follow the natural play trail and enjoy the challenges of jumping from tree stump to tree stump, or playing on the see-saw. All the equipment has been made from trees from within Ringwood Toll by our ranger and volunteers. You can also have a go at den building, or just enjoy one of the dens that's already there.

Join in den building in Ringwood Toll
Sheffield Park Den Building
Join in den building in Ringwood Toll

Whilst the kids are off having fun, take a minute to admire the macro-photography display in the centre of Ringwood Toll by volunteer Nigel Higson. All the pictures were taken of wildlife or trees within Ringwood Toll, but can you figure out what they are?

Macro-photography display in Ringwood Toll by volunteer, Nigel Higson.
Macro-photography display in Ringwood Toll by volunteer, Nigel Higson.
Macro-photography display in Ringwood Toll by volunteer, Nigel Higson.

Next, head over to the Skyglade to lean against one of the eight 12ft panels of Sussex oak, all taken from the same tree. Placed at compass points, the panels create a viewing circle, perfect for leaning against and enjoying some cloud spotting. Even if you don't know your cumulus from your altostratus, finding shapes in the clouds is something all ages can enjoy, so look up for a dinosaur, fish or face suspended in the air. Take a moment to lean back and enjoy the relaxing sounds of the countryside too.

Further down from Ringwood Toll, you'll discover a little-known area of Sheffield Park next to the River Ouse. It's could be a muddy walk at this time of year so make sure you wear your wellies before you set off.

The river has recently undergone a restoration project which has involved removing some of the overgrown trees along the river bank, adding some berms to break the flow of the water, plus the addition of two new bridges so you can cross the river to reach new areas.

The new rope bridge across the historic lock to the island in the River Ouse
Sheffield Park rope bridge on parkland
The new rope bridge across the historic lock to the island in the River Ouse

The rope bridge takes you over Irongates Lock onto the island. The lock is due to undergo restoration but it's the first time visitors have been able to explore the island for many years. The wooden bridge takes you across to the opposite bank where you can join the Ouse Valley Way path network to explore beyond Sheffield Park. The village of Newick is only a short walk away along this path.

Follow our walking trail

To take in all of the sights on the parkland, you can download this walking route we've put together that starts from the car park and takes you in a loop of the parkland. Watch out for wildlife up above and enjoy the peace and tranquility of such an open expanse of parkland.

A welcome stop at the tearoom

No visit is complete without a rest in the tearoom with a refreshing drink and something to eat. Whether you arrive at lunchtime to enjoy a sandwich, jacket potato, soup or light lunch, or come mid-morning for coffee or in the afternoon for a slice of cake, you'll be guaranteed a warm welcome and an array of freshly prepared meals, cakes and snacks for you to choose from.

Sheffield Park and Garden tearoom staff
Sheffield Park and Garden tearoom staff
Sheffield Park and Garden tearoom staff

So embrace the new season and plan to get outdoors to feel the sun on your face. At Sheffield Park and Garden we've so much for you to explore, we hope you have fun doing it.