A GOOD SPOT FOR A WALK: THE PARK AT BURGH­LEY

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Walks & Drives -

The park around Burgh­ley is one of the most beau­ti­ful “ar­ti­fi­cial” land­scapes in Bri­tain.

Burgh­ley House and the for­mal gar­dens are now closed to the pub­lic un­til March, but the park­land re­mains open to the pub­lic, free of charge, from 8am un­til dusk all year round, with brief and par­tial in­ter­rup­tions for the an­nual eques­trian com­pe­ti­tion and for man­age­ment of the grounds and deer herd. If trav­el­ling by car, the vis­i­tors’ en­trance is on the B1443.

Burgh­ley’s park is ar­ti­fi­cial only in the sense that it has been land­scaped, over hun­dreds of years, through hu­man in­ter­ven­tion – most no­tably by the most cel­e­brated of all land­scape ar­chi­tects, Lancelot “Ca­pa­bil­ity” Brown, in the 18th cen­tury. To­day, Brown’s work is fully ma­ture so some of the oldest av­enues of trees are be­ing grad­u­ally re­planted with new saplings.

But the sweep­ing vis­tas down to the spires of Stam­ford that Brown called into be­ing are a mag­nif­i­cent com­ple­ment to the grandeur of the house, and make this one of the most pic­turesque spots for a coun­try walk in the en­tire king­dom.

The only draw­back (for dog own­ers) is the dec­o­ra­tive wild deer herd kept in the park, in much the same man­ner as they were in the hey­day of the es­tate in El­iz­a­bethan times. Walk­ers must keep their pets on leads at all times.

Pedes­tri­ans not con­tent with a pot­ter in the park may wish to take on the “Four Coun­ties Walk”, start­ing and fin­ish­ing in nearby Stam­ford and pass­ing through Lin­colnshire, Northamp­ton­shire, Rut­land and Cam­bridgeshire in the course of a four-hour ram­ble. De­tails at lin­colnshire.gov.uk. burgh­ley.co.uk

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