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Clumber Park

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Clumber Park
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 03 Apr 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Nottinghamshire, Worksop
Walk Type: Garden or park
Clumber Park
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 5 mile circular trail around Clumber Park, a large estate managed by the National Trust in Nottinghamshire. The route will give you chance to see many of the park’s key features including Clumber Lake, Clumber Bridge, Clumber Chapel (often referred to as the ‘Cathedral in Miniature’) and a section of Limetree Avenue (the longest double-lined avenue of lime trees in Europe).

The route is fairly flat with no stiles or gates. There are a couple of short flights of steps and some of the paths can get a little muddy and uneven but generally the ground is very good, so the route would be suitable for a rugged pushchair. The park is generally open during daylight hours but check on the National Trust website before you visit. Dogs are welcome in Clumber Park. The park gets very busy during summer weekends and bank holidays so if you want some peace then it would be best to avoid these times. There is a cafe and toilets at the start of the walk, and more toilets half way round. Approximate time 2 hours.

The walk starts from the Visitor Centre within Clumber Park. The park is about 4.5 miles south east of Worksop and there are several entrances including one from Blythe Road (A614) via Limetree Avenue. There are brown tourism signs to guide you to the entrances. Once within the park follow signs for Visitor Information to park near the visitor centre. There is a fee for parking (£6 per car for the day in April 2013) and parking is free for National Trust members. Approximate post code S80 3AZ.

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Walk Sections

Start to Lakeside
Start to Lakeside

Start point: 53.2645 lat, -1.0639 long
End point: 53.2651 lat, -1.0591 long

The walk starts within the courtyard surrounded by the visitor centre and shop in the centre of Clumber Park. With your back to the shop, walk downhill through the courtyard and pass through the gate in the bottom left-hand corner signed to the Chapel and Lake. Continue through the next courtyard, exiting through the gap in the hedge at the bottom.

Ahead you will see the lake. Keep left on the paved path with the lake to your right and passing the bay window of the cafe to the left. Follow the stone path between planted borders to reach the cathedral. Keep ahead with Clumber Chapel on your left and on the right you’ll also see a viewing platform for an art installation suspended in the large tree – when we visited it was a leopard-print chaise long suspended in the branches!

Take some time to enjoy the view of the chapel. Clumber Chapel was commissioned in 1886 by the 7th Duke of Newcastle and was completed in 1889. The chapel has a 180ft spire, is Grade I listed and is often referred to as the ‘Cathedral in Miniature’.

Keep straight ahead through the planted borders of rhododendrons and pine trees and then bear right to join the path heading directly for the lake edge. You will reach a T-junction with the lake in front of you and a Grecian Folly on the opposite banks.

Lakeside to Boathouse
Lakeside to Boathouse

Start point: 53.2651 lat, -1.0591 long
End point: 53.2671 lat, -1.0543 long

Turn left onto the paved path running with the lake directly to the right.

Clumber Lake is a serpentine lake covering 87 acres. It was created in 1774 by creating a dam across the River Poulter.

Follow this path as it winds between rhododendrons and then down some steps between a pair of curved stone benches with carved lions each end. Keep ahead down some more sets of steps and you will come to some railings ahead. This water inlet marks the position of the old boathouse which was part of the estate. This once housed the impressive boats kept by the Duke of Newcastle, including a one-third scale naval frigate called The Lincoln.

Boathouse to Wooden Bridge
Boathouse to Wooden Bridge

Start point: 53.2671 lat, -1.0543 long
End point: 53.2731 lat, -1.0523 long

Turn left, keeping the railings to the right, and follow the path as it bends left to reach a T-junction. Turn right here and then keep right again to follow the path between tall planted borders. A short distance later you will pass out of the Pleasure Gardens via the ornate stone gateway.

Keep ahead along a short fenced track. Across to the left you will have great views of the glasshouse which forms part of the Walled Kitchen Garden. (This is the longest stretch of glasshouse cared for by the National Trust and well worth a visit after your walk if you have time – entrance fees apply.)

As you approach the pair of stone pillars ahead, fork right in front of them to join the path running to the right of woodland. Follow this stone and dirt track which soon enters the edge of the woodland with the lake to your right. Continue on the path as it keeps swinging round to the left. You’ll emerge to a T-junction with an earth-banked bridge with wooden railings visible to the right.

Wooden Bridge to Weir
Wooden Bridge to Weir

Start point: 53.2731 lat, -1.0523 long
End point: 53.2704 lat, -1.0436 long

Turn right to cross over the bridge and at the far side turn right along the vehicle lane again with water both sides. Keep right into the stone car park marked with a sign for Lakeside Parking. Keep ahead alongside the wooden low vehicle barrier to join the lakeside path again.

Follow this path enjoying the variety of birdlife visible across the lake. You’ll pass by toilets on the left hand side and soon after you’ll reach a bridge over a weir.

Weir to Grecian Folly
Weir to Grecian Folly

Start point: 53.2704 lat, -1.0436 long
End point: 53.2642 lat, -1.0574 long

Cross this bridge enjoying the spectacular rushing water below. On the left you’ll see an area of wetland which was formed during the 1980s when subsidence caused flooding of agricultural land. This is now a haven for wetland birds.

Keep ahead on the raised embankment, as you reach the woodland ahead keep right at the fork on the path closest to the lake. Follow the woodland path on this quieter side of the lake and you will come to the Grecian Folly on the left. From this point you can pause to enjoy the views back across the lake to the chapel and courtyard buildings.

Grecian Folly to Stone Arch Bridge
Grecian Folly to Stone Arch Bridge

Start point: 53.2642 lat, -1.0574 long
End point: 53.2577 lat, -1.0702 long

Continue along the obvious path alongside the lake.

Clumber Park comprises 3,800 acres of parkland and gardens. It was formed in 1707 when Queen Anne granted a licence to the first Duke of Newcastle to create a hunting area, known as Clumber Park, by enclosing 3,000 acres of Sherwood Forest. A mansion, Clumber House, was built in 1768 and the creation of the parkland and lake followed. The mansion was demolished in 1938, but the National Trust acquired the park in 1946 and has preserved the rest of the estate.

You will emerge out through a smaller parking area and a short distance later you’ll come to the ornate stone arched bridge to the right. The bridge, Clumber Bridge, was designed in 1770 and built from limestone to give views the house.

Stone Arch Bridge to Limetree Avenue
Stone Arch Bridge to Limetree Avenue

Start point: 53.2577 lat, -1.0702 long
End point: 53.2563 lat, -1.0772 long

Turn right across the bridge. Ignore the woodland footpath off to the right (this is a shortcut back to the start should you wish to take it). Instead keep ahead for a few paces and then fork left down the smaller tarmac road heading for a vehicle barrier. Just before you reach the barrier, turn left down a quiet tarmac lane marked as Access Only.

At the end of the lane, pass out alongside another vehicle barrier to reach a T-junction with the minor road of Limetree Avenue. Turn right onto the wide grass verge running to the right of the avenue. Here you will be walking between the two rows of lime trees, just one short section of the famous avenue. Limetree Avenue was planted by the 4th Duke of Newcastle in 1840. At more than 2 miles long it is the longest avenue of double lime trees in Europe.

Limetree Avenue to End
Limetree Avenue to End

Start point: 53.2563 lat, -1.0772 long
End point: 53.2644 lat, -1.0649 long

Follow the avenue for some distance. Eventually you will reach a side road turning sharp right off the avenue. Turn sharp right to join this side road and pass alongside the vehicle barrier. A few paces later keep left at the fork onto a small tarmac lane heading back into the heart of the park.

A few hundred yards on, and before you reach the crossroads ahead, look out on the left for a long straight path which passes between a fenced grazing area on the left and an open grass additional parking area on the right. Take this path and follow it through the dip and then climbing steadily. Ignore the stile to the left.

In the fenced area to the left you may see Longhorn Cattle and Jacob Sheep which are using for the conservation grazing project. At the end of the grazing area you’ll come to a minor crossroads – keep straight ahead on the path into a small belt of woodland. You will emerge out across a grassy area (another additional parking area) to reach a tarmac lane. Turn right alongside the tarmac lane and keep ahead at the next junction to reach the visitor centre where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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