The Deer Park at Petworth House and Park
The 700-acre Deer Park at Petworth is one of the finest surviving and unspoilt examples of an English landscape designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Boasting far-reaching views of the South Downs, the historic park is an ideal place to escape the crowds, take an invigorating walk and let the children run wild. Petworth Park is open for you and your dog to enjoy every day of the year.
A historic herd
The magnificent herd of fallow deer have called Petworth Park home for over 500 years; they were reportedly hunted by Henry VIII on his visit to Petworth in the 1520s. Today between 700 and 800 deer grace the parkland. You may be able to glimpse a few as you explore.
Ancient trees at Petworth
Petworth Park is home to an assortment of ancient and veteran trees, some of which are nearly 1,000 years old. Here are some highlights to look out for:
Three ancient oak trees, one of which was a sapling during the Norman conquest of 1066 and is likely older than any of the buildings at Petworth.
The ‘Beelzebub’ oak dates back to 1779 and marked the parish boundary; it has been suggested that its name came from the superstition that land outside the parish was dangerous.
Sweet chestnuts up to 600 years old, some gnarled and twisted from lightning strikes.
A hollow common lime tree, at least 500 years old but able to continue as a hollow shell for hundreds more.
How the Park is managed
The grounds are managed sustainably for wildlife and are protected under a Higher Level Stewardship agreement with Natural England. Please be mindful of the environment and follow the Countryside Code when you visit.
Autumn in the park
Beech trees add a russet glow to the landscape, and the scarlet oaks turn a vivid crimson. Last year we planted ten more scarlet oaks in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, to create more dramatic vistas and rich autumn colour in this historic parkland.
Many birds can be seen this time of year including stonechats and meadow pipits, and you may spot flocks flying south for the winter.
Autumn is the best time to try our themed walking trails, plus there’s a chance to experience a dramatic deer rut too, on our deer rut guided walks.
Please refrain from entering the water in Petworth Park. The water quality isn't tested and there is a high risk of waterborne diseases and toxins in standing water. There are also underwater obstructions and no lifeguards to watch over your safety; swimming is not permitted.
Find out what to see in the garden at Petworth House. From the peaceful woodland walk to the impressive Doric Temple, there's much to take in during a stroll.
Petworth is a two pawprint rated place. Find out about bringing your dog to Petworth to walk through the Deer Park or soak up the peace and beauty of the Pleasure Garden.
With plenty of space to run, jump and play there's lots to fun for families to have at Petworth.
Enjoy food and drink in the historic Audit Room Café. Shop for art inspired gifts, pick up a plant to take home or browse for the perfect pre-loved book.
From the medieval interiors of the chapel to the rooms of the historic kitchens, find out what you can see on a visit to the house at Petworth.
Brown designed landscapes that fitted in seamlessly with the surrounding countryside. So how do you spot the designs of one of the greatest gardeners of all time?
Discover the wide array of countryside settings around Sussex, from the highest point of East Sussex at Ditchling Beacon to the incredible rolling landscape of the South Downs.