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Canons Ashby Parkland tree trunk
Stretch your legs in the parkland | © National Trust
Leicestershire & Northamptonshire

Canons Ashby parkland walk

Follow this short family-friendly walk to discover more about the history around Canons Ashby's ancient parkland, and catch glimpses of early medieval landscapes. Please note – some walks are largely on public land not owned or maintained by the National Trust. Landmarks, signage and other features may change and some parts may not be fully accessible after heavy rain or high winds.

Please be aware of grazing cattle in the Parkland

Walking near livestock Here are some tips to help you stay safe around the livestock you may encounter on the farmland: Try not to startle livestock As you’re approaching, whistle or talk to the livestock so they’re aware of your presence. If you then walk past calmly and quietly, the animals are more likely to ignore you. Cattle may become excitable or frightened by large groups, so try to keep members of your group calm and quiet as you pass. Don’t panic or run if cattle approach you Cows can be very inquisitive and may move towards you, but they will usually stop before they reach you. If this happens, be confident and don’t panic. If you run, they may try to follow you. Think ahead Don’t allow yourself to become cornered by a group of cattle. They may just be curious, but cows pushing from the back of the herd could cause those in front to panic if they are forced too close to you. If you find cattle blocking your way, clap your hands loudly as you approach and they should move out of your way. If not, leave the path and go round them. Take extra care when livestock are with their young Don’t get between mothers and their young. Most are very protective and can become aggressive. Make sure you give them lots of space. Leave all gates as you find them A farmer might have closed a gate to stop their livestock from wandering or left a gate open to let their animals move more freely. Do your bit to help farmers by leaving all gates as you find them.

Total steps: 11

Total steps: 11

Start point

Canons Ashby car park, grid ref: SP577506

Step 1

Start from the car park entrance, turn right and go through the gate into the field, where you will see the large fenced oak. Turn left heading towards the lakes.

Step 2

Make your way down to the lakes. These lakes were dug for the Augustinian Canons over 800 years ago, so that they could keep fish to eat on holy days when they were forbidden to eat meat. As you walk beside the lakes, look to your right to see the ridge and furrow.

Step 3

Continue to follow the edge of the parkland, keeping the poplar grove on your left. Your first sighting of the mound should soon come into view.

Step 4

Head towards the mound. In the field to the right, you will see a small 19th-century byre, identical to the one in the paddock near the house. A byre was used as a shelter for cows and is now home to barn owls and bats.

Group of Brown long-eared bats (Plecotus auritus) clustered together in wooden loft space
Group of Brown long-eared bats (Plecotus auritus) in loft space | © National Trust Images/Bat Conservation Trust/Hugh Clark

Step 5

Once you reach the mound, turn right. You'll see the ground littered with pine cones from giant redwoods, a tree first seen in England in the 1850s.

Step 6

After turning right, head towards the gate on your left. On your way there is a well-trodden path. Follow it and you will pass a beech grove on the left.

Step 7

There is a medieval village in the next field. Go through the gate, (making sure to close it behind you) and turn left up the road. Walk for a short distance until you see a kissing gate into the field on your right. Go through the kissing gate and on your left, you'll see an ancient pond, which is a favourite spot of great crested newts.

Step 8

Turn right on entering the field.

Step 9

Follow the medieval high street towards the end of the field.

Step 10

Go through the kissing gate in the right-hand corner of this field – take care when crossing the road. This will take you back to the house, and Coach House reception.

Step 11

From the courtyard, follow the path towards the car park. Turn left and take the path through the paddock. Go through the wooden gate and cross the road to the church.

End point

Canons Ashby car park, grid ref: SP577506

Trail map

Map route for Canons Ashby parkland walk
Map route for Canons Ashby parkland walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

near Daventry, Northamptonshire, NN11 3SD

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