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Guided tours at Calke Abbey

A group of visitors enjoying a dawn chorus guided walk in the park at Calke Abbey, focused on a visitor using a pair of binoculars to see the birds
Visitors enjoying a guided walk at Calke Abbey | © National Trust/Susan Guy

With a calendar of guided tours inside and out, there are lots of ways you can learn more about Calke Abbey and get the most out of your visit. Find out what tours are currently available, how to book and what to bring here.  

House tours

Discover more about the historic collections and stories of Calke that you wouldn’t normally see, with a choice of two guided tours this winter.

Please note: all visitors, including National Trust members, need to pre-book their guided tour.

Buggy service available over winter

The buggy service will be available daily from 10.30am – 2.30pm (subject to volunteer availability) during winter, providing visitors with mobility needs or wheelchair users access to the house and gardens from the ticket office.

Treasures and Tales

Available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 6 November 2023 –29 February 2024, excluding Christmas Day.

Featuring for the first time this winter, delve into Calke's varied collection and discover items you've never seen before on this exclusive tour. Every object has a different tale to tell and provides valuable insight into the history of Calke and its people. Unearth these stories with your knowledgable guide.

In the Steps of Servants

Available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 November 2023 – 29 February 2024.

Follow in the footsteps of the people who kept this great house running like clockwork and discover their stories and the contributions they made to this great estate. Explore rooms and spaces specifically connected to the servants, venturing into areas not seen on the normal visitor route.

Garden tours at Calke Abbey

Garden tours are unavailable until spring 2024.

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 11.30am and 2pm

Ever wondered what secrets are buried in Calke’s gardens? Join a garden guide to discover the hidden history of the walled gardens, tucked away in the wooded pleasure grounds – from its faded glasshouses and boiler buildings, to the abundance of vibrant flowers and colourful produce overflowing from the beds.

A visitor taking a photograph of flowers growing in the Physic Garden on a sunny day at Calke Abbey
Visitors enjoying the garden at Calke Abbey | © National Trust/Gillian Day

How to join a garden tour

Where to meet: Tours start at the front of the house by the sundial – look out for the garden guides in red shirts. Tours last approximately 45–50 minutes.

Booking: Not needed, although tours are limited to 15 people to ensure you get the most out of your experience. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

What to bring: Please wear suitable clothing for this outdoor tour and consider bringing a brolly in case of wet weather. We’re not deterred by a bit of rain!

Accessibility: The garden paths are accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, although there are some steps into the glasshouses. A Tramper is available to book during your visit.

Dogs: Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome to join a garden tour.

Park guided walks in the Calke Estate

Exclusive guided walks

We have a programme of exclusive guided walks, approximately monthly, on a range of different topics. Keep an eye on the events page to find out about upcoming walks.

Park guided walks

Park guided walks are unavailable until spring 2024.

Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 11am and 2pm

If only these trees could talk... Calke’s ancient parkland is steeped in history, from its roots as a religious ground to its status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserve. So what stories does this vast landscape have to tell? Join our knowledgeable park guides to find out – whether you’re new to Calke or a seasoned walker, we guarantee you’ll discover something new on these fascinating rambles.

How to join a park guided walk

Where to meet: Tours start outside the ticket office – look out for our park guides in red shirts. Walks last around 90 minutes.

Booking: Not needed, although groups are limited to 20 people on a first come, first served basis.

What to bring: We recommend wearing sturdy footwear, such as walking boots or comfortable wellies, and suitable clothing for the weather.

Accessibility: There may be steps, uneven ground and hills, so these walks aren’t suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs – but we can be flexible and tailor walks to suit your ability. Speak to a park guide for more information.

Dogs: Well-behaved dogs are welcome on a lead, except in the Deer Park – ask a park guide if today’s walk is suitable for dogs.

A view of the west side of the house and  a glimpse of the Pleasure Grounds through trees on a sunny day at Calke Abbey

Discover more at Calke Abbey

Find out when Calke Abbey is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Calke and Stoneywell Talks Service 

Thanks to a dedicated team of speakers, we offer a Talks Service to bring Calke Abbey and Stoneywell’s stories directly to your group or society.