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A view across the parkland at Arlington Court
A view across the parkland at Arlington Court, Devon | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Centenary walk at Arlington Court

Created in our centenary year, 1995, this steep circular walk through woodland and alongside the lake is designed to show you the views of the house and parkland that visitors would once have enjoyed when entering the estate in their carriages.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Old Kitchen Tea-room, grid ref: SS611405

Step 1

From the tea-room, walk down the tarmac road, following the orange signs to the lake and wider estate. At the gates with the herons on top, keep left and follow the track down through Monkey Puzzle Avenue, which once marked this carriage drive into the main grounds. Planted in the 1860s by Sir Bruce Chichester, there are now only a few of the original monkey puzzle trees left.

Step 2

Continue along the track, through a gate and past a large information board on your left. Stay on this track for about 550yd (500m).

Step 3

To take a detour to the bird hide, follow the sign on the right pointing down a track. The hide is a great place to spot a variety of woodland birds and is ideally placed for views of the ancient heronry.

Step 4

At the junction of two paths, keep following the orange signs right and to the lake. Just around the corner on the banks of the lake is Miss Chichester's memorial urn.

A carved stone urn memorial
Part of the urn memorial for Miss Rosalie Chichester at Arlington Court, Devon | © National Trust Images/Matthew Antrobus

Step 5

Walk alongside the lake and cross the dam. Follow the track for around 27 yd (25m) until you see an orange sign pointing right, taking you along the bank of the lake.

Step 6

After about 27yd (25m), turn left at the orange waymarked Centenary Path sign. Take the path through the woodland for 55yd (50m) then turn right, still following the orange waymarks. You are now on the steepest section of the walk. Take the small track uphill. When you reach a barrier across the path, go up the steps to the left. On the next track, turn right, walk for about 55yd (50m), then take the uphill track on the left.

Step 7

At the top of the woodland is a stile into an open field. Go over the stile and head up the field, following the hedge bank on your left until you reach a gate also on your left. Go through the gate and walk diagonally across the middle of the field to another gate.

Step 8

Once through the gate, keep the hedge bank on your right until you come to another stile. Cross this into a smaller field, head downhill, now keeping the hedge bank on your left, until you reach another stile. This takes you into the woodland and across a narrow wooden footbridge.

Three red deer under a tree in the woodland at Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire
Look out for red deer among the trees | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Step 9

Around 10yd (9m) into the woodland is another stile, on the left by a big gate. Go over the stile onto a woodland track and follow it for 110yd (100m), looking for a waymarked track on your right. Follow this track downhill.

Step 10

At the next junction, follow the smaller track downhill again. Take the steps down to a main track, bear left and at the fork take the right-hand track down the hill. Turn right to cross Smallacombe Bridge and enter the parkland.

Step 11

Follow the track through the parkland, bearing slightly right and uphill. You'll reach the gate at the bottom of the Wilderness.

Step 12

Follow the path up the hill, staying left at the first junction. You'll pass the Wilderness Hideaway with its mud huts and earth oven. Keep going up the hill. You'll eventually reach the bottom of the main garden. You'll emerge from the Wilderness next to the large pond near the church. From here, you can find your way across the garden and back to your starting point at the tea-room.

End point

Old Kitchen Tea-room, grid ref: SS611405

Trail map

Ordnance Survey map of the Arlington Court centenary walk
The Arlington Court centenary walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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More near here

A sign post for the lake walk at Arlington Court

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Get in touch

Arlington, near Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4LP

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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