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Buckland Abbey's estate

A view of green fields with a river valley in the distance. Tree branches with spring leaves frame the image.
A view of the Tavy Valley from the Buckland estate | © Laura De'Ath

Discover Buckland's ancient woodland on one of three colour coded walking routes. With abundant wildlife and far reaching views, it's a peaceful and fascinating place to enjoy a stroll.

Buckland Abbey's ancient woodland

Buckland's woodland has a long and important history. For centuries, the Cistercian monks who lived here were responsible for managing it, and today the Rangers and volunteers follow in their footsteps, working hard to protect and care for the land around the Abbey.

Walking through the woods, you'll spot evidence of historic paths such as Cot Lane, which was the monks' main access route from the Abbey to the river. Features such as the carp pond are lasting reminders of how the estate was once managed, and sheep and cattle grazing the fields echo the estate's agricultural past.

In the woodland you'll see evidence of tree felling, where softwood trees have been cleared to make way for the regeneration of broadleaf varieties and native wildflowers. You may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of deer, kingfishers or one of the many other species that have made their home in this special place.

Woodland walks through the estate

These three circular routes take in the best of the Great North Wood and its wildlife.

Yellow route – 0.75 miles (1.2km)
This walk has step-free buggy and Tramper-friendly sections, and lasts about 30–45 minutes. However, please note that it's off-road and follows fields and some woodland tracks. The paths aren’t paved so they can get muddy and there are some slopes and gentle hills
Red route – 2.5 miles (4km)
Allow at least one hour to complete this picturesque route that takes in the fields and woodland. Walking boots or wellies are recommended as the paths can be uneven and get quite muddy, especially after heavy rain.
Blue route – 2.9 miles (4.7km)
For a longer walk, the blue route takes about 1.5–2 hours, heading through the woodlands and has gorgeous views overlooking the river. Walking boots are essential for this walk.
A child stands on wooden balance beams in the play area
Fun for all the family at Buckland's natural play area | © Steven De'Ath

The Natural Play Area

Newly reopened for summer 2023, the play area at the start of the red walk on Buckland's estate is a fantastic place for children to explore and let off steam.

Complete with stepping stones, balance beams, climbing logs and more, all of the timber used in creating the playground was reclaimed from fallen trees on the estate, and crafted by Ranger staff and volunteers.

Making the most of your visit

There are several great picnic spots around the estate. Why not pause on one of the benches and soak up the peace and tranquillity of the place, or visit the Higher Paddock play area before heading into the woods?

Dogs are welcome on all of the estate walks. We ask that they are kept on leads at all times due to livestock grazing and sensitive wildlife habitats in the woodlands.

The exterior of Abbot's tower at Buckland Abbey in the evening light

Discover more at Buckland Abbey

Find out when Buckland Abbey is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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