A GOOD SPOT FOR A WALK: THE PARK AT BURGHLEY
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