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Exploring the parkland at Hardwick

Ewe with lambs in the parkland
Explore the park this winter | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Enjoy the frosty crunch underfoot as you explore Hardwick historic and listed park this winter. Enjoy the stillness of this time of year and see the animals more clearly through the bare leaved trees.

The parkland at Hardwick

The Hardwick Estate surrounding the magnificent Hall, covers around 2,500 acres of parkland and includes a variety of habitats from woodland and wetland to farmland.

Many layers of history make the park a fascinating place to visit. Visit the restored Duck Decoy and Ice House, both of which helped to supply the Hall in past times.

Walking routes 

There’s plenty of walking routes to try around the wider estate at Hardwick. From shorter dog walks around Lady Spencer's Woods to wider Estate walks across the parkland and beyond. You'll be rewarded with some spectacular views, gently framed by an abundance of veteran trees.

Walk with us

This new walking programme offers free guided group walks focusing on fitness and friendship. With 3 trails to explore, there is a walk for all ages and abilities.

Spring in the estate

Beyond the gardens visitors can enjoy a stroll around the Oak Walk and see the beautiful carpets of bluebells in Lodge Wood. You can also spot the quintessential sight of spring when the lambs are spotted leaping out in the park, often over towards the area known as the Wine Glass.

Spring wildlife at Hardwick

As spring plants reach their most vibrant, discover the wildlife that enjoys them across the Hardwick Estate.

Birds at Hardwick

The early mornings are a chorus of birdsong as they continue to define their territory and provide for their young, the melodic tune of the blackbird and the constant chatter of finches make this a truly wonderful spectacle on a misty morning. The swallows have arrived from their long journey north, and if you are lucky the sound of a cuckoo makes the day a special one.

Buzzards are often either soaring around the Hardwick estate or perched in the branches of the tall trees in the woods or parkland.

In Lady Spencer's Wood, and other parts of woodland, the birds you're likely to hear and see are great tit, blue tit, long-tailed tit, robin, wren, blackbird, nuthatch and treecreeper. An extra special treat might be the sighting of a goldcrest. 

On the ponds we have many feathered visitors, including mute swan, mallard, Canada goose, coot, moorhen, goosander, tufted duck, and black-headed gulls. Kingfishers also visit Hardwick, if you're very lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of one of these dazzling birds.

Buzzard perched on the bare branches of a tree at Roundwood Quay, Trelissick, Cornwall
A buzzard at Hardwick | © National Trust Images/Hilary Daniel

Butterflies and insects

With the abundance of spring flowers coming to life across the estate, butterflies, bees and other insects thrive in this habitat. Common butterflies known to call Hardwick their home are red admirals, peacock butterflies and cabbage white. More uncommon species have been seen at Hardwick including the purple hairstreak butterfly.

View along the Yew Alley towards the hall at Hardwick, Derbyshire

Discover more at Hardwick

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

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