Things to see and do at Calke Explore
Calke Explore is open all year round, offering lots of opportunities to get outdoors and active at Calke Abbey, with easy access to walking and cycling routes, cycle hire facilities, natural play areas and a refreshments kiosk. Find out more about outdoor adventures at Calke Explore here.
What is Calke Explore?
Nestled into a peaceful woodland area away from the house and gardens, Calke Explore is the perfect base to start your outdoor adventures at Calke Abbey.
With a car park, toilet facilities, a Changing Places toilet and refreshments kiosk, Calke Explore offers easy access to the wider parkland. Step straight onto walking and cycling routes, discover exciting natural play areas in the woods, and find new spaces for relaxation and reflection in the wetlands.
Walking and cycling at Calke Explore
Situated in the heart of the parkland, Calke Explore has access to lots of walking routes, allowing you to explore a little further.
Jump straight on the Tramway Trail from the car park – a family friendly, multi-use route with hard paths, making this a great wet-weather route. You can also use this path to find the once-industrious Limeyards at Calke, or wander across the meadows to discover ancient woodland. Take a photo of the map at Calke Explore to find your next adventure.
Bike rides and cycle hire
Cycle hire is now closed until spring 2024.
From Saturday 4 March – Sunday 5 November, cycle hire will be available at Calke Explore every weekend, bank holiday and school holiday, from 10am to 4.30pm (last hire 2.30pm).
For cyclists, head over to the Tramway Trail to find Calke’s multi-use path. With hard surfaced paths, a relatively flat terrain and figure-of-eight route, it’s ideal for beginner cyclists and anyone seeking a picturesque ride through the countryside.
Prices: £8 per adult bike, £5 per child bike (under 18s), £5 per trailer (including dog trailers) and £13 per electric bike. Bikes are available to hire for two hours. Balance bikes are free of charge.
Things to do for families
Families are invited to come out and play at Calke Explore, where you’ll find a natural outdoor play area tucked away in the woodland – open all year round. Explore inside the human-sized badger sett, balance on big tree trunks and make your own den from fallen branches.
If you’re looking to tick off some of your '50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾', Calke Explore is full of hidden places to explore. Follow the board walk to find a giant bug hotel or peek inside the bird hide to spot some wildlife.
During school holidays, there are lots of great activities taking places on the meadow at Calke Explore. Join us to get outdoors and active on your next visit.
Accessibility at Calke Explore
Everyone is welcome at Calke Explore, and we’ve been looking at creating solutions for accessibility so that you can enjoy the parkland fully. You'll find 10 accessible parking bays next to the facilities, a disabled access toilet, and an adult Changing Places facility if you have additional needs.
Calke Explore is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, with a short trail suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, as well as direct access to the Tramway Trail – a flat, circular route with a hard surface. Families can be inspired by nature in the human-sized badger sett, which is wheelchair accessible.
If you'd like more information about access, get in touch or speak to a member of the team when you arrive. We'll be happy to help.
Getting to Calke Explore
If the car park is full at Calke Explore, it’s a 10–15-minute walk from the main car park. Either follow the driveway back to Calke Explore (please be aware of cars) or pick up the yellow waymarked path from the main car park. Go past the ponds, through a wooded area and turn left when you reach a sloping track. Carefully cross the driveway and follow the footpath into Calke Explore.
Discover picturesque views of the Calke Estate on a bike ride along the Tramway Trail, with cycle hire and guided rides available.
Reconnect with nature and make yourself at home in acres of historic parkland on the Calke Abbey estate in Derbyshire.
Find inspiration for family days out at Calke Abbey, with natural play trails, cycle hire at Calke Explore, and family activities to keep the kids entertained all year round.
Calke Abbey is a three pawprint rated place. Visiting with your dog is one of the best ways to explore Calke's vast parkland, gardens and stableyards.
Discover the 'un-stately' home at Calke Abbey, where peeling paint and abandoned rooms vividly portray a period when many country houses didn't survive.
Explore a vibrant and productive walled garden, look inside the faded glasshouses and explore Calke's fascinating collection of garden buildings.
There are plenty of places to refresh and refuel at Calke Abbey, where you'll find a café, shop, second-hand bookshop and seasonal pop-up facilities throughout the year.