Clumber Park PDF Print E-mail

Clumber Park is a 1,543 hectare country park which was once the home of the Dukes of Newcastle.  The property was acquired by the National Trust in 1946, following a public appeal and has been open to the public all year round ever since.

Clumber House was demolished in 1938 by the Pelham-Clinton family who planned to build a smaller, more practical home elsewhere in the grounds.  The start of the WW11 in 1939 prevented this happening; the park was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence and became an ammunition sub-depot and training camp. After the war the family decided to sell the estate hence Clumber is now a ducal estate without a ducal home.  Many clues to the splendour of the past remain, including the classical bridge, Gothic style chapel (often described as a cathedral in miniature), the longest avenue of lime trees in Europe and the Walled Kitchen Garden, at 450 foot long, is the longest glass house in Trust care. In the spring and summer months, visitors can see the progress being made to bring more areas back under cultivation, visit the glass house and see the museum of  garden tools. A number of heritage and rare varieties of fruit and vegetables are grown in the garden, under the watchful eye of the Head Gardener and his team.

The Park has a 40 hectare ‘serpentine’ lake, more than 20 miles of cycle routes, about 800 hectares of woodland and open heathland which is increasing thanks to a long-term restoration project.  Lowland heathland is under threat nationally, but at Clumber proactive conservation management has sustained lizards and nightjars and seen the return of species such as the Woodlark.

Clumber's mosaic of water, heath and woodland is home to a wide variety of animals, birds, insects and plant life, including more than 200 species of spider and a particularly interesting selection of dead wood beetles and fungi.  For this reason over 400 hectares of the Park is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Visitors can learn more about the wildlife at the Conservation Centre which opens on summer weekends.

The Park attracts about 700,000 visitors a year.  It has a restaurant, plant centre, cycle hire and a huge range of events from guided walks to open air concerts.  Many events are aimed at families and children. The Learning and Discovery team at Clumber offers a wide range of talks and activities to schools and other groups. The Sherwood in Clumber exhibition provides a fascinating look at the history of the landscape to see how the park that was once part of the ancient forest of Sherwood was developed.  There are also exhibitions on the house and wider estate and Wartime Clumber.

Work continues to develop in the Walled Kitchen Garden.  Recent work has included restoration of the conservatory and western long range, creation of a rose garden, new soft fruit planting areas, refurbished toilet facilities and introduction of a new tracker pack aimed at younger visitors plus a range of demonstration style events.

When Clumber House was home to the Newcastle’s, the Estate would have been run by a staff of hundreds - thirty gardeners worked in the Kitchen Garden alone.  Today the property has 36 permanent staff running all aspects of work at Clumber, from buildings maintenance to table service.  It relies on more than 100 volunteers who help with everything from practical conservation work to historical research, events and office administration.

Bike riding is a big attraction and bikes are available for hire at Clumber for all the family. There are numerous trails around the park ranging from a trail around the lake suitable for little legs to demanding off road ones.
Clumber Park is open daily throughout the year except 25 December and concert days.