There are many pathways weaving through Canonteign’s 90 acres of ancient woodland and meadows, perfect for you to create your own favourite walks.
We have three trails for newcomers to explore, designed to provide something for all ages and abilities. The Waterfall walk takes you up through the Secret Garden and the Victorian Fern Garden to the Lady Exmouth Falls and back down to the Lily Lake, adventure playground and bee garden. This is rocky and steep, and takes around an hour to complete the loop. Children can pick up nature trails from the shop which allows them to follow clues to find things hidden along the route. Trails can be purchased online or at admissions and include a treat on completion.
A gentler walk is available around the Lily Lake. This will take you past evidence of Canonteign’s industrial past with the remains of the old sawmill and waterwheel. The waterwheel powered the sawmill but also provided water for the mines which were active in the late 1800s. Silver, lead and zinc were all mined on the Canonteign Estate. As you loop back down the other side of the Lily Lake you will pass the adventure playground, bee garden and Green Ship before returning to the shop and cafe. This walk is flat and takes around 30 minutes.
To explore further afield, head down to the Lower Lakes where you can wander beside the water, over bridges and among the wildlife before crossing the meadow to Poets’ Corner beneath the ancient oak tree and find the circle of standing stones at the very edge of the Estate. This walk is mostly flat with some gentle slopes and takes about 40 minutes.
These woodland and meadow walks are perfect for nature lovers. In spring and early summer you’ll see an abundance of primroses, bluebells, wood anemones and wild garlic. There is every chance of spotting Roe or Fallow deer, which are prolific in our woods. They also provide a perfect nesting habitat for robins, blackbirds, finches, woodpeckers, nuthatches and wrens.