The un-stately home and country estate of Calke Abbey is a wonderful place to visit for a day trip in Derbyshire, especially if you are looking to go walking. Whether that’s for a gentle walk around the gardens or on a long walk around the trails and parkland, there are plenty of Calke Abbey Walks to go on and it is a great place to visit with the family.
Calke Abbey gives you an insight into what a former stately home used to look like when a family lived there who never threw anything away! It’s a very unique place because a lot of country homes around the country have been restored and show us the fancy side, however, Calke Abbey takes you back in time and gives you a glimpse of what life was like for this family.
The Calke Abbey history is truly interesting and it can be seen in the main house and all of the gardens and parkland surrounding the house.
In this post I’m going to give you some information about visiting Calke Abbey National Trust and talk about the walks around Calke Abbey you can do so you can plan your day trip to Calke Abbey.
Calke Abbey Walks
Calke Abbey Tickets
The first thing to note is that Calke Abbey is ticketed. Due to the pandemic the House is closed right now but the parkland and gardens are open. You can check if the House is open when you visit on their website here.
Calke Abbey prices are £8.00 per ticket and under 5’s are free. Tickets are released every Friday for the following week so make sure you plan ahead and are flexible.
If you don’t have a ticket you cannot enter the grounds at all, not even to do a Calke Abbey walk.
Even though I would know love to go back once the house is open, we were still happy with what we could see when we visited when the House was closed.
Once you are inside the grounds there are still plenty of things to do like visiting the Gardens, the Stables, having a picnic in the Calke Abbey Park, and you have all of the Calke Abbey walks on offer.
To check availability and book tickets, go to the Calke Abbey Whats on page here!
Walks Around Calke Abbey
There are a few different walks at Calke Abbey you can do. There are set walks which follow coloured trails in a loop from the house and car park back to where you started for different lengths depending on how much time you have and your fitness level, these walks are as follows:
- Pink Walk: 1.4KM
- Maroon Walk: 3.5KM
- Blue Walk: 2.3KM
- Red Walk: 3.5KM
- Tramway Trail: 8KM
In addition to this there is the Yellow Route which is the Calke Explore Route which is one of the shortest Calke Abbey Walks.
If you’re not up for a long or intense walk, you can also walk around the Calke Abbey Gardens at a leisurely pace and still see a lot. There’s more on the Gardens at Calke Abbey below.
The most accessible walk for wheelchairs is the Tramway Trail, this is also a good walk to do if it has been raining and is wet because of it’s surface. It is a figure of eight walk suitable for everyone to do.
Here is the Calke Abbey walk map to give you an idea of these walks:
Calke Abbey Gardens
The gardens date back to the 18th Century and exploring the gardens at Calke Abbey was by far my favourite thing to do there. We were so impressed with how well they were kept but at the same time, they also follow the style of the house which is that it is meant to look how it did in the past without being done up too much.
I loved this quote about their gardens – ‘Our aim was not to create the perfect garden but to preserve a living snapshot of a dying age.’
We loved The Orangery and really appreciated the ‘repair not restore‘ approach and I loved the Physic Gardens where you can read about medicinal and culinary herbs and what was used in the 1700’s!
The gardens are actually big enough to class as a walk on their own, especially if you visit and are not in walking outfits or appropriate walking footwear, you can walk from The House up the hill a bit into the Flower Garden, all the way into The Orchard and then follow the Calke Abbey map that you can pick up once inside, walk towards The Grotto and you’ll be back at The House again.
From the Calke Abbey Gardens, for another short Calke Abbey walk you can walk up towards Calke Abbey Church, also known as St Giles Church which used to be the parish church for Calke Abbey and was restored in 1827. You can go inside the Church grounds but you must go from the House or Gardens up the footpath rather than along the exit road out from Calke Abbey otherwise you cannot get inside, which we learnt the hard way!
Calke Abbey Dog Walks
All 600 acres of land within Calke Abbey National Trust are permitted for dog walking. However dogs are not allowed in the manicured Gardens area or in the stable yard buildings.
Calke Abbey have a dog walking guide on their website here.
Calke Abbey Bike Rides
Cycling around Calke Abbey is allowed however you have to stick to the cycle paths. The main path that allows bikes is the Tramway Trail which is 8KM. This Trail is also suitable for wheelchair access which shows that is well paved.
Calke Abbey Cafe & Shop
Calke Abbey cafe serves hot and hot drinks, a selection of cakes, sandwiches, pasties, ice cream and other snacks.
I really liked how much outside seating there was around the cafe making it easy to eat in a socially distanced way and enjoy the outdoors. We also saw a lot of people with picnics, picnics are permitted everywhere within the park so this would be one of the great things to do at Calke Abbey to fully enjoy your day there.
We were very impressed with the Calke Abbey shop, not only did it have branded items for Calke Abbey and the National Trust but it had a range of books, greeting cards, kitchen wear, beautiful toiletries and many sustainable one-use products. If you’re looking to buy a gift for someone soon, be sure to look in the shop as I’m sure you will find something.
Calke Abbey Parking
There is plenty of parking at Calke Abbey on offer and it is free to park.
As you enter Calke Abbey of the main road, you go up a track a little bit, you then show the staff your tickets, after this, you drive for a few minutes along a lovely one-way lane through the fields until you reach the main Calke Abbey grounds, turn left and you’ll find multiple areas of car park plus an overflow car park too.
There you have it, I hope this has helped you plan your day out at Calke Abbey in Derby and given you some ideas of Calke Abbey walks that you can do!
- More of my UK posts that you may enjoy:
- 20 Ideas For Day Trips From Birmingham.
- Things to do on a day trip to Bath.
- Things to do on a day trip to Oxford.
- How to visit the White Cliffs of Dover.