THIS autumn, visitors to the Arlington estate are being encouraged to enjoy the changing colours of the season as part of the National Trust's Great British Walk campaign. To make the exertion even more tempting, the tea room will be offering a pie and pudding promotion as a reward for walkers.
The Trust's Great British Walk is now in its third year, encouraging people to get outdoors and discover their countryside. Allowing public access puts the National Trust, the biggest land owner in Britain, in a prime position for promoting walking. This year the campaign focuses on getting visitors to share their favourite walks in places which are special to them.
"We maintain more than 20 miles of footpaths on the estate which traverse woodland, riverbank and meadows," said Holly Purdey, a ranger at Arlington. "My favourite walk is the centenary path, which gives amazing views across the valley towards Exmoor. In October, walkers are likely to spot the red deer who live on the estate."
Arlington gardener, Ben Warren, has also been encouraging walking by developing two Ten Trees Tours. Based on either deciduous or coniferous species, the tours explore the pleasure grounds and highlight particular trees, giving an interesting fact about each one.
"We have some rather unusual and spectacular trees at Arlington, and you don't need to venture too far to see them," said Ben. "Many were planted around the house to provide interest to visitors, and to show off the Chichester family's wealth. Seeing the trees change colour in the autumn is a real treat, and we intend to update the photographs on the tour sheets to continue to help identifying the trees as the year ebbs away."
As an added incentive for a brisk walk at Arlington, the Old Kitchen tea room will be offering a home-made pie with pudding for £9.95 from now until September 30. Many of the ingredients will be from the estate itself, grown in the walled garden. In October, the offer will change to a hearty casserole or stew with a pudding for £9.95. The tea room serves lunches from noon to 2.30pm and also offers a wide range of home-made cakes.
The Ten Trees Tours, as well as four estate walks, ranging from a gentle two-mile stroll to a more challenging five-mile hike, are available to download from the Arlington Court website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/arlington-court.
Details on opening times and admission prices on 01271 850296.