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A long glass greenhouse and conservatory at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
The Glasshouses at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Jerry Harpur
Nottinghamshire & Lincolnshire

Clumber Park curiosities long walk

A 7.5-mile route on good paths, this walk visits both familiar and more hidden features of Clumber Park, spanning the periods when it was a ducal estate and a Second World War munitions store.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

National Trust Clumber Park main car park, grid ref SK625745

Step 1

Leave the main car park and follow the signs for the café and toilets. These will take you past the shop and plant sales, in the old Laundry Cottage, and through to the Turning Yard. Go through the hedge and continue along the path, past the Duke's Study. You'll soon see the Parsonage on your left.

Step 2

Follow the path as it bears left in front of the Chapel. Immediately after the Chapel, turn right. Follow this path past the Roman Temple, the first of two follies. Look across the lake and you'll see the second, the Greek Temple. Ignoring paths off to the right, continue to a T junction at the far end of the Pleasure Grounds. Here, turn right and follow the path to the lake then turn left to walk down the steps to the iron railings. This is the Boat House and Dock.

Step 3

Go back up the steps and follow the lakeside path until you come to the Gun Battery on your left.

Step 4

Head across the grass towards the visitor facilities on your right. To your left is the site of Clumber House, with the outline laid out on the grass in stone. Go into the Turning Yard by the café. Here, turn left, follow the path past the toilets and then turn left again. Follow the road, which is usually car free, as it bears right. At a wooden barrier, just before a small parking area, turn left onto a path that goes downhill through woodland. This leads to the Grotto. Leaving the Grotto, go back to the path, turn left and head to the road, where you'll see Clumber Bridge on your left.

An ornate arched stone bridge across a lake at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
Clumber Bridge, spanning the lake at Cumber Park, Nottinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Step 5

Turn right and follow the road as it bears right. Go past a red signpost. This road is often busy so walk with care on the verge. When the road goes slightly downhill, you'll come to a crossroad and another red signpost. Turn left, going round a wooden barrier to follow this road. After about 100m, look out for a track on the right. Take the track and you'll soon see a fence on your left-hand side.

Step 6

Follow the track for about 400m until the fence on your left ends at a junction of tracks. Immediately before the junction, take a track on the right through the grove of yew trees. You'll pass two huge sweet chestnut trees with distinctive twisted bark. These will be useful landmarks when you retrace your steps. Continue through the trees and after about 100m bear diagonally left and you'll notice some scattered stonework in front of you. This marks the entrance to the Icehouse. A few metres further on is an information board. Retrace your steps to the fence and junction of tracks.

Step 7

Turn right and continue along the track you were on previously, until you reach a road. This is the main route to the car park, so take care. Turn right and follow the road as it bears left towards the car park and the cycle hire facilities. Past the cycle hire, as the road bears left again, continue straight, onto a gravel path. Just before a set of gates, turn left up Cedar Avenue. You will see the greenhouses of the Walled Kitchen Garden ahead of you.

Step 8

At the iron gates, turn left and follow the path around the wall to the Basecamp. From here, follow the path past a wooden barrier to a road. Turn right and take a path immediately on your right, passing Central Bark café, and follow a sign for the toilets into a small car park. Turn left and, after a short distance, you'll see the entrance to the Walled Kitchen Garden and the Garden Tea House on your right.

People queuing outside a tall red brick building, the Garden Tea House at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
Visitors outside the former Head Gardener's House, now the Garden Tea House, at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Step 9

Take care as you leave the car park, heading back to the road where you turn left. The road eventually becomes a track and after about 350m you'll reach a wooden barrier and a sign for the Bird Hide. Continue straight on and over a crossroad of tracks. Almost immediately afterwards, take the first track on the right. Where this track forks, take the left fork down to the lakeside track and turn left onto it. As the lakeside track bends sharply to the left you'll see a faint path on the right. Turn down this path. You'll come to a large log and some smaller logs. Go diagonally right in front of the smaller logs, continuing towards the lake. About five metres before the lake shore you'll notice a large paved area. This is thought to have been the site of a Second World War searchlight or anti-aircraft gun.

Step 10

Retrace your steps to the lakeside track, turn right and follow the track until you come to a crossroad of tracks. Turn left and, after about 150m and shortly before a telegraph pole, you will see the Mirbeck evergreen oak on your left. Retrace your steps then follow the track down and cross the causeway. Turn right at the end of the causeway and right again at the end of the fence line to walk through a small parking area.

Step 11

Follow the track out of the car park with the lake on your right. Look out on the left for a corrugated iron building, which was the village hall for Hardwick. Continue towards Hardwick at the head of the lake where there are toilets and usually a pop-up café. Cross the bridge over the weir. Notice the strip of green matting on the left side of the weir that allows eels into and out of the lake. Continue along the lakeside track. After some time, you'll reach the Greek Temple. Looking across the lake you can see the Pleasure Grounds with the features you walked past earlier.

Step 12

Continue along the track until you come to a wooden barrier and a car parking area. Walk through the car park and you will notice the Cascade on your right, with Clumber Bridge ahead of you. Walk over the bridge, taking care as it's often busy. Take the path immediately to the right leading into woodland and down towards the Grotto. Walk past the Grotto and continue along the path to the road where you turn right. Follow the road back to the visitor facilities.

End point

Visitor facilities, next to National Trust Clumber Park main car park, grid ref SK625745

Trail map

Ordnance Survey map for Clumber long curiosities walk
The Clumber Park Curiosities longer walking route | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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