Our wintery walk around Levens Deer Park began at the north-east side of the park at Force Lane near Sedgwick, where the River Kent passes through a short rock gorge. Here the river creates some attractive waterfalls and a stretch of white-water, popular with kayakers. In the depths of winter, the waterfalls often create some impressive icicles, but our January walk was inordinately mild.
We walked the route anti-clockwise, which means we belong in jail, but this route offers the better views, we think. Because the parkland is open to the public all year round, you can be sure that whenever you turn up you can enjoy this short walk that suits old and young alike and is really easy underfoot. It really is a quite pleasing mix of country lanes, riverscapes, waterfalls and parkland that is packed with wildlife.
The walk takes in short sections of both banks of the river, which originates in Kentmere, near Staveley, and meanders its’ way through Kendal and all the way into the north of Morecambe Bay.
Not on this occasion
Footpaths and Wildlife
There are clearly marked footpaths in the park, which are designed to guide the way but also to act as a reminder that the park is not meant to be freely roamed. The herd of black fallow deer that inhabit Levens Park requires its own freedom to roam. You might also be lucky enough during your walk to spot the Bagot goats, with their large curved horns, grazing happily on the grassy land at the southern end of the park. It is here where the A6 intersects the parkland and Levens Hall itself. If you are there on one of the days that the Hall is open, you could take in its’ incredible topiary gardens and stop for a brew in the café.
Once walking back in a northerly direction the walk takes in an almost one mile long avenue of ancient oak trees. Each tree with its’ own character and some with growths and bumps that have almost face-like profiles. There is something about the trees that gives you a sense of their aliveness.
Once out of the park, it’s just a short walk back along the road to where the walk began.
More information about the park can be found here.
Along the way (things to look out for on your OS map)
Pigwilly Wood, Force Cottages, Park Head, Beech Wood, Copy Wood, Laurence House Farm, Levens Bridge, Levens Hall, Levens Park (Deer Park), Charley Island, Archers Hill.