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The Boathouse at Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire.
The Boathouse at Woodchester Park | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler
Gloucestershire & the Cotswolds

Woodchester Park boathouse walk

Discover a woodland trail through the secluded valley of Woodchester Park. Nestled in the Cotswolds, it's home to the remains of an 18th- and 19th-century landscape park, a Victorian mansion, a chain of five lakes fringed by woodland and pasture, and an abundance of wildlife.

A chance to see bats

If you're on the trail close to dusk on a warm, dry day in summer, you could be lucky enough to spot bats near Woodchester mansion, where there's a breeding roost of greater horseshoe bats.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

Woodchester Park car park, grid ref: SO797012

Step 1

From the car park, turn right down the hill, following the pink waymarkers of the Boathouse Walk into the woods.

Step 2

As you emerge from the woods, you'll see a pasture to your right, which was restored from conifer plantation in 1997. It's now grazed by traditional Welsh black cattle.

Step 3

Bear left at the waymarked junction. You'll see the remains of the coach house and stables that were associated with the Georgian mansion to your left. Property details prepared for the sale of Woodchester in 1846 describe these buildings as everything the most fastidious Gentleman can desire: a coach house for eight carriages and stables with 12 stalls and harness rooms.

Step 4

Continue onwards to the Temple Site (now a small ruin). The wooded valley enclosed by the curve of the track contains the remains of terraced gardens, which were created in the early 1800s. Historic records describe a temple overlooking Italian-style gardens with fountains playing in ornamental ponds.

Step 5

Entering the pasture, continue downhill to where you'll see Brick Kiln Pond. Brick Kiln, Old and Middle ponds are the first three of a chain of lakes created by the middle of the 18th century. The dam was breached in the 1940s and there's now a plan to restore the lake. Larch plantations have been removed so that visitors can enjoy the historic views once again.

Step 6

Having walked the length of Middle Pond, turn right onto the dam. These deep lakes were created through the damming of a small stream.

Step 7

From a series of boardwalks the Boathouse comes into view. Continue to follow the pink waymarkers.

Step 8

Passing Woodchester Mansion on your right, continue up the hill to retrace your steps to the car park.

End point

Woodchester Park car park, grid ref: SO797012

Trail map

Map showing the route of the Woodchester Park boathouse walk
Woodchester Park boathouse walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Tinkley Lane, near Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, GL10 3UH

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.

Visit website 

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