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A sunburst through autumnal branches in Morgaston Woods
Escaping down a woodland path offers the opportunity to recharge and connect with nature. | © National Trust / Virginia Langer

Woodland walk at The Vyne

Enjoy this relaxing circular stroll through the trees all year round at The Vyne. Look out for the remains of a medieval fish pond and the remnants of a storage site built for use during the Second World War. Currently starts on Step 2 while a project finishes.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Visitor Reception

Step 1

Follow the path straight ahead towards Morgaston Woods. You’ll see The Vyne house and north lawn come into view across the lake on your left. The lake was artificially created after 1754 - until that time it would have been a small brook.

Step 2

Pass through the gates at the end of the path into the woods.

Step 3

Continue to follow the path straight ahead until you see a zig-zag wooden walkway on your left. Follow the walk-way to our purpose-built bird hide. Once a water meadow, from here you can overlook the wetlands, which hosts a variety of bird life as well as some rather elusive water voles. Re-emerge from the bird hide, head back up the zig-zag walkway and turn left.

Step 4

The path you’re walking on runs alongside the Wey Brook. The path is named Beech Walk because of the groves of beech trees that have been planted along it. If you look, you’ll see half its length follows a raised bank. This is what remains of a medieval parkland boundary that was once used to enclose the park and woodland.

Step 5

Keep following the path ahead. As you approach the other side of the wood, you may notice tall slender poplar trees growing on the other side of the bank to your right. If you climb up the bank and peek over the top, you should see a large bowl shape in the ground. Bear in mind that in summer the foliage bushes out, obscuring the view. You can still get an idea of scale by seeing where the tall skinny poplar trees have been planted. This is the outline of a medieval fish pond which would have been used to grow and breed fish that could have been eaten in the house.

Step 6

Located next to the WWII storage site, the open sunny aspect created by this woodland glade is vital for maintaining biodiversity in the woodland. On a quiet day you may just spot a deer emerging from between the trees. With the glade behind you and the storage site to your left, follow the path straight ahead. On your left, you may spot a collection of dens made from sticks and branches among the trees. If you’re feeling creative, go ahead and get involved. At the end of the path, turn right and continue until you find yourself back at the lakeside gate that leads into the grounds.

End point

Lakeside gates

Trail map

Map of the autumn woodland walk at The Vyne in Hampshire
Map of the autumn woodland walk at The Vyne | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Vyne Road, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9HL

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