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Exploring the estate at Sizergh

View of the wetland at Park End from the bird hide at Sizergh, Cumbria
View of Sizergh’s surrounding countryside | © National Trust/Annapurna Mellor

Pull on your walking shoes and explore the wider countryside around Sizergh with its ancient woodland, farmland and abundance of wildlife, as well as a wild play trail for families to enjoy.

Walking at Sizergh

There are several footpaths through the estate taking you through woodland, wetland and limestone grassland. Enjoy far-reaching views across the countryside from the viewpoint at Helsington Barrows; rare flowers and wildlife living on Sizergh Fell, or keep your eyes peeled for wetland birds from the hide at Park End Moss.

A free map detailing three favourite waymarked routes is available from reception.

Guided estate walks

Join a free guided walk to find out what makes Sizergh’s countryside so special. Knowledgeable volunteers will show you some of the best bits of the estate. These run every Monday and more information can be found under the 'What's on' section in the 'Things to see and do' tab on this website.

Access path to Holeslack

The second phase of the new access path at Sizergh is complete. A third phase - including benches and orientation - is set to be finished soon.

The path is a 1.5km route which goes up to Holeslack and through Holeslack wood. This estate path has been designed for all to enjoy, with accessibility in mind – all of the gates are easily accessible, and a large part of the route is fenced off from livestock. It will be suitable for prams, buggies, trampers, wheelchairs and visitors with reduced mobility.

Bike hire at Sizergh

Fancy an adventure on two wheels? Pick up your e-bike from Sizergh and explore the Lyth Valley, South Lakes and Kendal - follow local guided routes or plan your own journey. With single or multi-day hire, full training and equipment included, Ease E Ride bikes are a great way to discover our local landscape and travel sustainably.

The gunpowder works

Remains of the gunpowder works at Sedgwick on Sizergh's estate.

Sizergh's Gunpowder Works

The gunpowder works at Sedgwick are a fascinating part of the history of Sizergh's estate, and the remains can still be seen today. We've been looking into the hidden histories of the people who lived and worked there.

Buzzard in southern woods at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire
Buzzard perched on a branch at Sizergh | © National Trust Images/Derek Hatton

Wildlife at Sizergh

The woodlands, wetland and farmland are home to a vast amount of wildlife and it helps to know what to look out for before you set off. Here are some favourites to look out for.


Sizergh is famous for hawfinches. These elusive birds favour the car park area around the visitor centre and feed on the hornbeam tree seeds. They are best seen from February to early April, when the leaves are not fully out on the trees.


While walking through the woods, you may also flush out a woodcock. The Latin name is Scolopax rusticola, meaning 'rural dweller'.

Their camouflage plumage makes them very hard to see as they sit tight among the leaf litter during the day. Only at night do they give themselves up when they feed in open fields using their long bill to probe for worms.


Look out for these birds of prey when you are walking through Sizergh’s woodlands. They are large birds that often glide on air currents with their huge wings outstretched, looking for small mammals. Listen out for their distinctive cat-like call.

Fritillary butterflies

Sizergh’s estate has a rich and diverse number of fritillary butterflies ranging from the pearl bordered to the high brown fritillary. Countryfile has named Sizergh as one of the best places to photograph these butterflies, and they’re best spotted on sunny days in the summer months basking on the woodland edges and along the brambles and bracken either side of the footpaths.

Young girl building a den at Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex
Taking part in den building at Sizergh | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

Family fun on the Sizergh estate

The wild play trail

Sizergh’s wild play trial is free to explore and is a roughly mile-long loop returning you to the car park. Wellies and boots may be required as the trail can get muddy in wet conditions.

Ancient trees, unusual fungi and woodland flowers surround the trail along with a variety of animals hand-crafted from wood – see how many you can spot.

How to find the wild play trail

Follow Sizergh's driveway all the way up to the car park. As you enter the car park, you'll go over a cattle grid and on your left is the entrance to the play trail and the first clue to get you started. If you struggle finding this starting point, the staff at reception can point you in the right direction.

‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’

The wild play trail takes you through Chapel Wood which is the perfect place to tick off tasks on the ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activity list.

There are plenty of self-led ‘50 things’ activities such as building a den, racing a snail, hunting for bugs, birdwatching, making your own insect house and much more.

'Build a den' is number four on the ‘50 things’ challenge, and there are plenty of natural materials in the woodland to turn your den into a fort, a pirate ship or a cosy hide out.

Pop into reception at Sizergh to pick up your free ‘50 things’ activity booklet then get out and about and start ticking items off your list.

Sizergh Castle in the snow, viewed through the trees from the driveway

Discover more at Sizergh

Find out when Sizergh is open, how to get here, things to see and do and more

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