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Exploring the park at Kedleston

Bluebells in Kedleston parkland
Bluebells in bloom in Kedleston woodland | © National Trust/India Black

Whether you're searching for wildlife, enjoying a short stroll or heading out on a heartier walk, Kedleston's 800 acres of parkland is ready to be explored. Here’s our guide to exploring the park at Kedleston, where you can take in views of the neoclassical Fishing Pavilion, look out for waterfowl and find wooden animal sculptures in the wilderness.

For your safety

No swimming permitted on site.

Short walk

This walk is a 1.7-mile circuit, which usually takes about 45–60 minutes. Amble along the first part of the Adam-inspired circuit walk to take in some of the park’s finest views. This route also takes you past the restored hermitage.

Although a portion of the route crosses back through the parkland, an alternative for those with wheelchairs or pushchairs is to visit the hermitage and then return back down the same path.

You'll spot benches along the way - an opportunity to give you a rest with a wonderful view.

Lakeside Walk Closure

Following the damage from Storm Babet, the Lakeside Walk is currently closed until further notice.

Long walk

This is a longer route with a mixture of habitats along the way. Please be aware that the lakeside section of the path is not surfaced, so we recommend sturdy footwear, especially after wet weather.

This walk is a 3.2-mile circuit, which usually takes about 90 minutes and it's one of the best examples of an 18th-century circuit walk in the country. You’ll be able to retrace the footsteps of Kedleston's aristocratic visitors of the past and stop at the viewpoints that 18th-century visitors would have admired. There are benches along the route to take a rest and enjoy the views.

Lakeside walk

Currently closed following damage from Storm Babet.

This walk is about two miles in length and usually takes around 60 minutes. It is fairly flat but across some uneven ground and there is a wooden footbridge and several gates along the route. This walk offers great views of the hall, weirs, neoclassical style Fishing Pavilion and Grade I listed Robert Adam bridge.

Amongst a rich diversity of wildlife in, on and around the lakes, listen out for oystercatchers calling in the spring and summer, and keep your eyes peeled for Little Egrets, Kingfishers and a host of other birds all year round. Find out more about our seasonal wildlife highlights on 'Visiting the Parkland.'

Wilderness walk

Explore the north side of the lake, known as the wilderness and find veteran oak trees (some are up to 1,000 years old) in the parkland beyond the lake on this walk. With great views of the Robert Adam bridge and the island, where numerous birds nest, you can also look out for the wooden animal sculptures hidden along the route. This walk includes uneven ground and passes through grazing cattle.

You'll find this area of the estate more wild and rugged in comparison to other areas, with fallen trees and long grass. This is all intentional, as a key conservation area of the parkland it provides habitats for all manner of animals from birds to woodland invertebrates.

Listen to our wilderness podcasts for more information about the animals you can find here and our management methods.

The Fishing Pavilion at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire
The Fishing Pavilion at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Spring highlights in the parkland

Spring is the perfect time to head out on an adventure around the parkland. Explore the rolling landscape and miles of unspoilt woodland surrounding Kedleston Hall.

Towards the latter part of spring, Primula and Bluebells will blanket the forest floors. In amongst the many Bluebells are daffodils and delicate Wood anemones which thrive in the dappled woodland of the outer perimeter.

Kedleston is also home to range of eye-catching blossom varieties including Cherry, Apple and Blackthorn. Various shades of primroses also adorn the Short Walk in spring with several species of wild orchids making their presence known in late spring.

As well as spring blooms there is a host of wildlife to be spotted. Birds will be nesting all over the parkland. Spring migrant birds include the swallow, house martin and swift. The lakes are a perfect location to look out for birds. Home to ducks, geese, coots and swans and, before long, broods of ducklings and goslings. Noisy oystercatchers appear each spring to nest, returning from the coast where they spend the winter.

Migratory birds have returned and fill Kedleston with their joyful songs. Listen for great spotted woodpeckers proclaiming their territories by drumming loudly on dead branches high in woodland trees. By far the most common woodland bird is the jackdaw with many pairs nesting in holes in the veteran trees. The most common small birds are blue and great tits along with robins and wrens. These are joined by several pairs of blackcaps returning from Southern Europe where they spend the winter.

Close up of a woodpecker drumming its beak on a tree
Great spotted woodpecker in the woodlands at Kedleston Hall | © National Trust/Kevin Morris

Dog walking in the park

We welcome dogs, but we do ask that they are kept on a lead at all times due to grazing sheep and cows, and wildlife sensitive to disturbance.

To find out about the dog policy here at Kedleston along with facilities available, take a look at our visiting with your dog guide.

Share your walk

Why not take photos on your walk? Share with us online by tagging us on social media #KedlestonHall

Cameras are always welcome, but the use of drones is not permitted anywhere at Kedleston, for the safety of our visitors, buildings and livestock.

Our walking map is available in English, Urdu and in Punjabi. Please refer to our access statement for full access details around the site.

Cows in the parkland with Kedleston Hall in the background

Discover more at Kedleston Hall

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

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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