This walk uses public footpaths to explore the extensive parkland surrounding this Stately home near Newbury. The house is now famous as the location for period drama 'Downton Abbey' and the comedy series 'Jeeves and Wooster'. There is a charge for visiting the house and it's immediate surrounding gardens but there are free public paths to take you through a large portion of the wider estate. This walk uses the Brenda Parker Way long distance footpath to take you through Highclere Park.
The walk starts from the car park south east of Highclere Castle off the A34. You have the option of first climbing Beacon Hill for great views over the estate. You then head to Old Burghclere where you turn north towards Whitway where you pick up the Brenda Parker Way. You then head west along the paths through Highclere Wood to Highclere Farm. This walk returns to Beacon Hill car park on the same paths but you could pick up the Wayfarer's Walk to turn it into a long circular walk. This would take you through the southern part of the estate.
You can also visit the castle grounds although this does require and admission fee. Here you will find beautiful gardens, serpentine paths, herbaceous borders, lakes and peaceful woodland trails. You can also tour the magnificent house which has been home to the Carnarvon family since 1679. The real Downton Abbey has fine state rooms including wonderful furntiture and artworks.
The walk can be extended by continuing west along the Wayfarer's Walk to Pilot Hill and Walbury Hill which are the highest points in Hampshire and Berkshire respectively.
Just north of Highclere you will find the National Trust owed Chase Nature Reserve. There's lots of nice woodland trails, pretty streams and flora and fauna to see here too.
Highclere Castle PostcodeRG20 9RN - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
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