On Sunday morning we awoke to sunshine and cold, blue skies; it felt like a day for adventure. Having spent our Saturday in a state of blissful laziness, we decided this day would be perfect for a walk- and Woburn Abbey Deer Park was on our list.
We chose to visit Woburn Abbey Deer Park because it’s just a short half hour or so drive, there’s lots of wild deer there and because we had visited the adjourning Safari Park before and had found it to be a wonderful experience.
Set on 3,000 acres, Woburn Abbey Deer Park is one of the largest privately-owned conservation parks in Europe and home to nine species of deer including Red Deer, Milu Deer, Chinese Water Deer, Barasingha Deer, Fallow Deer, Manchurian Sika Deer, Muntjac Deer, Rusa Deer and Axis Deer. Half of which I’ll admit I didn’t even know existed.
The sprawling park is also home to Woburn Abbey (which does not re-open until March 2018) and The Gardens. Entrance in to The Gardens and Deer Park was £7 per adult.
We started our adventure in The Gardens – a beautiful manicured area with lots to see. I can’t help but think in the Spring it will become so much more beautiful as Wisteria grows and The Gardens are filled with colour and life once more. That said, even in Winter it was pleasant to wander around the icy ponds and Chinese Dairy.
Despite the sunshine it was bitterly cold outside. I assume this was the reason why the gardens were so empty as we wandered around for quite awhile yet only saw a small handful of people. The quietness of the gardens only added to the serene atmosphere.
When our hands started to go numb from the cold, we decided to head back in to the warmth of the Duchess Tea Room. Inside the tea room it was light and airy, and a range of hot and cold dishes were on offer. Gareth purchased a yummy lasagna whilst I opted for a more traditional jam and cream scone with a pot of English breakfast tea. Whilst the food was not incredibly cheap, it tasted delicious and made for the perfect afternoon treat.
With full stomachs we braved the cold once more and headed out of the gardens and in to the deer park.
As I mentioned previously, the park is set on 3,000 acres and is a huge sprawling mass of trees, lakes and greenery with set pedestrian pathways. We both loved the open and expansive deer park and very much enjoyed spotting and pointing out all the different types of deer to each other. One thing we didn’t enjoy however, was the thick mud that caked our shoes (which made me wish I’d bought my new Joules wellies along.) There were also pathways that were restricted for cars only, and I found this a little frustrating as I like to explore and wander wherever I fancy, yet we often found ourselves winding up at a road we couldn’t follow.
We walked for a good while, soaking up the scenery-me with my camera in hand desperate to capture images of the deer. On our visit I couldn’t get particularly close enough to shoot the deer with my zoom lens so we decided to hop back in the car and go back around the trail following the two mile road to the car park. This trail is particularly enjoyable to drive around and, as the deer sat close to the path soaking up the last of the late afternoon sunshine, it was easier to get nicer photographs. We even spotted a beautiful pheasant nestling down in the grass – it felt just like being on safari!
By the time we left the sun had begun to set and we were thoroughly cold and tired – but our spirits were lifted. It was so nice to get outside and explore again, and the deer park was a beautiful setting for adventure.
I will definitely return in the Spring, and can’t wait to see the park in bloom.