It is difficult to identify a more picture perfect place to enjoy the winter sunshine! There are walks for all abilities here… and on this beautiful sunny day we enjoyed two of them!
Firstly some key info:
- A map of the estate can be found here.
- Parking was £10 all day. With a ticket you can visit different car parks, but we based ourselves at the Riverside carpark. Entry is otherwise free.
- At each of the car parks, toilet facilities are available.
- Many paths are gravel or surfaced, but there are definitely muddy parts, particularly across fields towards the Abbey.
- Pushchairs are certainly possible in many places, but you need to be brave on the steeper paths. If you prefer to keep it safe, a good option might be to the Astrid and back from the Riverside carpark.
- There are no traditional play areas, but there is a sandpit, and at certain times of year there are activities on the main paths… including Easter and Christmas trails.
Starting our morning walk at the Cavendish Pavillion, we decided to take advantage of the glorious sunshine and walk on the far side of the river towards the Strid, crossing at the Aqueduct and returning on the near side. We’d packed a picnic so we’re looking out for a good spot for lunch!
This path can get steep in parts, and be careful with a youngster as the path does have some serious drops in places! Jess is (usually) pretty sensible so we were confident she’d be fine. I can’t say for definite how far this route is, stupidly forgetting to start my tracker, but looking at the estate map I think a little over three miles. If you’re after something a little longer you could also walk up to Barden Bridge (previously done on this blog post).
Walking back was a bit colder in the shade! Luckily Jess was refuelled after her sandwich and the draw of ice cream (!?!) at the Cavendish Pavillion kept her going. I had an amazing chocolate brownie with my cuppa, which kept me pretty happy too!
After warming up we crossed back over the bridge, this time taking the river path to the abbey. This path is also steep in places, but there’s lots to keep children engaged including crossing a ford (although you can also avoid it), as well as a money tree!
Be warned, the field on the approach to the Abbey can get VERY muddy… the path along the side of the river (rather than cutting through the field) is a bit better, and also provides the opportunity for stone skimming!
To cross to the Abbey you have the choice of a footbridge or if you’re feeling brave, the infamous Stepping Stones!
After exploring the Abbey, we took the path alongside the road that takes you back down to the Riverside carpark.
Both children were fast asleep by the time we got to the road, a sure sign of a cracking day out!
I wonder what your favourite walks are there?