Walk of the month: Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells
PUBLISHED: 09:17 01 February 2014 | UPDATED: 09:17 01 February 2014
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Enjoy this easy access 1.6 mile walk
Location: Tunbridge Wells (TN2 3QA)
Distance: 1.6 miles (2.6 km)
Time: Allow 1 hour
OS Explorer Map: 136
Terrain: Gentle slopes. Mainly tarmac paths.
Parking: Free parking on site
Refreshments & facilities: Café and toilets on site
Public transport: for local bus and train services in Kent, contact Traveline tel: 0870 6082608, www.traveline.org.uk
Take a gentle stroll around an elegant Victorian garden on this 1.6 mile walk through Dunorlan Park. Tarmac paths will lead you through the park and around the ornamental boating lake, passing fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.
The 78 acres of landscaped gardens which make up Dunorlan Park were created by Robert Marnock, a renowned Victorian gardener, to complement Yorkshire-born Henry Reed’s grand mansion.
Ambling down the hill you will pass the park’s café and a chance to admire views across the park while sipping on a hot cup of tea with a slice of cake.
The original terrace of Dunorlan House still remains, offering a pew and uninterrupted views across the rolling countryside and down towards the park’s boating lake. Henry Reed’s imposing manor sat just above the terrace, overlooking Marnock’s elegant gardens.
From the terrace, wander a little way down the slope and you’ll reach the Chalybeate Spring. Tunbridge Wells has been famous for its springs since the discovery of the spring in the Pantiles in 1606.
The ornamental boating lake lies at the bottom of the slope. Kingfishers and herons can be spotted around the lake, while a variety of rushes grow in the marshes.
Circle the lake and you’ll soon reach the beautiful waterfall cascade, an original feature of the park from the 19th century. Despite its ancient appearance, the stone the water flows over was actually made from ‘Pulhamite’, a form of artificial stone.
Marnock’s work can still be seen in the tranquil water garden through the mature pines and rhododendrons. From the water garden your route will lead you along the cedar-lined avenue, taking you from the fountain towards the magnificent Grecian style temple.
The path slowly winds back to the top of the park, offering more glorious views across the landscape. Finish your walk and return to the café for refreshments, savouring the views across Marnock’s elegant gardens.
FIND OUT MORE
To find out about other walks in Kent or for information on cycling, riding and country parks in Kent, visit www.kent.gov.uk/explorekent. Follow @explorekent on Twitter.