Where to see Deer
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If you were to walk very quietly through any reasonable size wood for an hour immediately following first light you would probably see wild deer of one species or another. Listed below are some places where you may find both wild and/or exotic species of deer roaming.
SOUTH EAST ENGLAND
Bushy Park, Hampton Court Road, Hampton Hill, London TW12. The park is also scattered with a series of ponds, which act as a home to many animals such as swans and a large variety of birds. There are also 320 deer that live in the park, which add further to the sense of sublime natural beauty for which the park is known. The park has free public access. Fallow and Red.
Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0RP. 1000 acres. The park has free public access. Fallow and Sika. Knole Park is one of the few deer-parks in England to have survived the past 500 years (there were 700 in the 16th century) and the only one in Kent.
Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate - National Trust between Northleach and Burford, Gloucestershire Beautiful Cotswold country estate containing a rare 17th-century grandstand and surrounded by water meadows and parkland rich in wildlife Unique deer park with deer course and grandstand http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-lodgeparksherborneestate
Petworth Park, Petworth, Sussex GU28 0AE. The vast late 17th-century mansion is set in a beautiful 283-hectare (700-acre) deer park, landscaped by 'Capability' Brown and immortalised in Turner's paintings. The park has free public access. Fallow.
Email: or Tel: 01798 343929/2207
Richmond Park, Richmond, London. This incredible environment has been created by centuries of grazing by herds of red and fallow deer. During the autumn the deer 'rut' (breeding season) takes place. The red stags and fallow bucks compete for females (known as hinds and does respectively). At this time, the large males roar, bark and clash antlers in a spectacular way in an attempt to fight off rivals and to attract as many females as possible.
The park has free public access. Fallow and Red.
Email or Tel: 020 8948 3209
Wildwood Trust, Hern Bay, Kent ST6 7LQ. Experience close encounters with native wildlife in beautiful ancient forest, between the historic city of Canterbury and the pretty coastal town of Herne Bay.
http://wildwoodtrust.org. Roe, Fallow and Red.
Woburn Abbey, Woburn Park, Bedfordshire MK17 9WA. One of the most important and unique collections of park deer ever brought together. http://www.woburnabbey.co.uk. There are 10 different species of deer at Woburn roaming in 2,000 acres of parkland. As well as the famous Pere David's Deer, keep an eye out for Sika, Axis or Chital Deer or the Barasingha who graze in the area around Paris House (which is not a public area) restaurant and the rare and shy Rusa Deer. You may also see small Muntjac and Chinese Water Deer roaming individually.
SOUTH WEST ENGLAND
Ashton Court, near Bristol. A fine country mansion in 850 acres of woodland and pasture, part of which is easily accessible deer park. Species to see: Red and Fallow deer. Positioned two miles to the west of the city centre, and accessible from the A 369 Clanage Road through Clifton Lodge, or off the A369 at Abbotts Leigh, or from the B3128 near Long Ashton and about half a mile from the Clifton Suspension Bridge over the Avon Gorge.
Open all year, free to the public.
Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary, Bolderwood Arboretum Ornamental Drive, Minstead, SO43.
Wild fallow deer can be seen in the New Forest without too much effort at the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary. This is close to the Canadian Memorial on the minor road from Emery Down to Linwood, not far from its junction with the Bolderwood Ornamental Drive coming from the A35 Lyndhurst to Christchurch road.
Here from April to September large numbers of fallow deer are attracted to the area by food put out each day by the local Forestry Commission keeper. Indeed, in the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary meadows and adjacent woodlands it's not unusual to see more than fifty fallow deer in loose groups, tails swishing, waiting to be fed. Bucks and does are usually present, which is unusual in the New Forest as the sexes usually remain apart other than for the autumnal rut.
Amongst the conventionally marked fallow deer, a number of white bucks and does are often present, and so are animals that are of unusually dark colour. All appear to have little fear of man, and, tempted by the prospect of food, approach to within a few feet of a specially built Deer Sanctuary viewing platform, which provides ideal opportunities for visitors to watch, photograph and appreciate these noble animals.
Fallow deer are sometimes present in modest numbers during winter and early spring, but are often largely absent late in the summer, particularly in years when acorns - a favourite natural food - are plentiful on the ground. The deer are, though, almost wholly absent during the autumn rut when most disperse to traditional rutting areas deep in the woods or on remote New Forest heaths.
Feeding at the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary usually takes place in the early afternoon, between 13.30 and 14.30 hours, immediately in front of the viewing platform. A large, free car park is available nearby, and so is an expanse of short-cropped lawn ideal for summer ball games and picnics. A range of woodland walks can also be enjoyed. All combine to make the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary one of the most popular New Forest visitor destinations.
Dyrham Park, near Chippenham, Wilts, SN14 8ER. On the A46, off junction 18 on the M4 motorway. The Cotswold Way passes the property.
Spectacular late 17th-century mansion and deer park. Dyrham Park is a beautiful Baroque country house set in 110ha (274 acres) of garden and parkland, designed by Talman for William Blathwayt, Secretary of War during the reign of William III. The house was to become a showcase for his taste in Dutch decorative arts. The collection includes delftware, paintings and furniture; later 18th-century additions include furniture by Gillows and Linnell. Restored Victorian domestic rooms include kitchens, tenants' hall and delft-tiled dairy.
The parkland includes a deer park with Fallow deer and is open all year, but Teas and other attractions only open part of the year.
Forestry Commission Woodland. Most Forestry Commission woodlands hold populations of wild deer, and are open to the public. The deer can be difficult to approach, not only because they are wild, but also because there are usually other people walking around. However, the deer can become accustomed to people looking at them, so are not always too shy. Large blocks of Commission woodland include Savernake Forest and West Woods, both near Marlborough in Wiltshire, and The Forest of Dean in the west of Gloucestershire.
New Forest Wildlife Park, Deerleap Lane, Longdown, nr Ashhurst, Southampton SO40 4UH - 7 miles from Southampton.
The Park covers twenty-five scenic acres of ancient woodland. It is set within the New Forest Heritage area, designated a National Park in 2005.
A wander in the Park will reveal a wonderful range of wildlife - in natural surroundings. They have 4 species of otter: Eurasian (indigenous to UK) Asian Short Claw , North American River otter and the endangered Giant otter from South America; European wolf, 12 species of owls, foxes and deer. Other mammals to be seen are polecats, pine martens and highly endangered Scottish wildcat, lynx, wallaby and wild boar. The enormous European Bison and Red deer graze in the paddock.
The Park is open every day and has a Tearoom and Gift Shop.
Tel: 02380 292408
Fax: 02380 293367
Prinknash Deer and Bird Park, Cranham, Gloucester GL4 8EX. A superb backdrop to beautiful birds, delightful follies, landscaped parkland and a dash of charm supplied by the carefully chosen deer, and pygmy goats.
Email: Tel: 01452 812727.
South West Deer Rescue & Study Centre, Wayford, near Crewkerne.
Set in several acres of the beautiful countryside on the Somerset - Dorset border, the centre is run by Mike Gage and his volunteers, offering the unique experience of being up close to different species of wild and semi-wild deer. Some can even be hand fed depending on the time of year, although there are a few hand reared Fallow Deer always keen for a carrot or two!
They have Red Deer, White Red Deer, Fallow, Axis, Roe and Japanese Sika; some are more shy than others depending on the season but you will not be disappointed. The views are breathtaking and there is a nature walk that takes you around the side of the hill, with a hide overlooking a valley where wild roe deer, foxes, badgers, pheasants, buzzards and other birds of prey may be spotted.
Visitors by appointment only. Tel 01460 64174.
They run an Adopt A Deer scheme.
Chatsworth Park, Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1PP, Peak District. The 1000 acre park, the farm shop and its restaurant are open all year round. Fallow and Red.
http://www.chatsworth-house.co.uk. Tel: 01246 565300.
Donington Park, Castle Donington, Derby. Contact Dave Stretton Tel: 01332 810757. For observing or photographing deer for schools only but NOT individuals. Fallow and Red.
Bradgate Park, Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire. Famous for its herd of fallow and red deer, the former being much more numerous than the latter, Bradgate Park is perhaps less well known for being the habitat of over 500 species of beetle. The use of the park for deer probably arises from the poor agricultural properties of the land. This can still be seen in the way that the leading branches of trees like oak have died back. In addition to the deer, you might look out for moles, common shrews, pigmy shrews, bats, voles, mice, foxes, stoats, weasels and badgers, all of which have been spotted in the park. Fallow and Red deer. For the Estate Office Tel: 01162 362713.
Grimsthorpe Castle Park and Gardens, Bourne, Lincs PE10 0LZ. There are three species of wild deer in the park, usually only glimpsed in the distance. Should you visit the deer compound, you will be able to get very close to the tame stags. You may even be asked to help with the feeding - they love cream crackers! There's plenty of expert advice on hand if you want to discover more about these fascinating creatures.
Note: only open between April and September. Tel: 01778 591205.
Helmington Hall, Helmingham, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 6EF. It is hard to exaggerate the effect this beautiful park, with its Red deer, spectacular moated Hall in mellow patterned red brick with its famous gardens will have on the visitor. The whole combines to give an extraordinary impression of beauty and tranquillity.
Note: Only open to the public May to September.
Holkham Estate, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk NR23 1AB. A Deer Park with a herd of Fallow deer on the beautiful north Norfolk coast. Tel: 01328 710277.
Snettisham Park Farm, Snettisham, King's Lynn, Norfolk PE31 7NQ. A working farm where visitors can feed an orphan lamb, collect fresh eggs, meet a host of friendly farm animals and much, much more. They have a wide variety of animals for you to see and touch on the farm including sheep, deer, goats, pigs, cows, llamas, chickens plus a few surprises!
During the 45 minute round safari trip around the Deer Park you will meet and be able to feed the spectacular herd of Red deer with over 60 hinds and 4 stags. During the calving months of May, June and July you will be able to see the calves, while September is the start of the rutting season.
Tel: 01845 542425.
Wollaton Park, Woolaton, Nottinghamshire NG8 2AE. Five hundred acres of spectacular gardens and parkland where the deer roam freely. Open all year and free entry to the park, Hall and museums but there is a parking charge. Red and Fallow deer.
Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 4SJ. Set in a magnificent 121-hectare (300-acre), deer park this Georgian house tells the story of the owners and the servants who lived here. Discover the salacious scandals of the 7th Earl of Stamford, who married Catherine Cocks, a former bare-back circus rider, and the 2nd Earl of Warrington, who was so enamoured with his wife that he wrote a book anonymously on the desirability of divorce! Uncover these and other fascinating stories when you explore this treasure-packed house, then take a stroll in one of the North's great gardens, including Britain's largest Winter Garden.
Tel: 01619 411025.
Lyme Park, Disley, Stockport, Cheshire SK12 2NR. A 17 acre garden retaining many original features from Jacobean and Tudor times. High Victorian style bedding, a Dutch garden, a Gertrude Jekyll-style herbaceous border, an orangery, an Edwardian rose garden, rare trees, Jekyll-style herbaceous borders, a ravine garden and Wyatt conservatory and wild flowers by the lake. The garden is surrounded by a medieval deer park, with herds of Red and Fallow deer, covering almost 1,400 acres of moorland, woodland and parkland and containing an early 18th-century hunting tower (The Cage.) Tel: 01663 762023.
Raby Castle, Staindrop, Darlington, Co. Durham DL2 3AH. The 200 acre deer park surrounding Raby Castle has Red deer, the largest British wild land mammal, and the smaller Fallow deer - both herds containing the desendants of deer preserved in this area since Norman times.
Tel: 01883 660202. Note: only open to the public May to September.
Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6QN. The 20 hectare garden contains an authentic Japanese garden, Italian garden, orangery, fernery, rose garden and pinetum. Fabulous lakeside and woodland paths in the 1,000 acre deer park and special interest walks. Other features include the Tudor old hall, a 1930s working rare breeds farm, a children's play area and speciality shops.
Tel: 01625 374400.
Wentworth Castle, Lowe Lane, Stainborough, Barnsley S75 3ET. Wentworth Castle Gardens & Stainborough Park extends to over 500 acres and includes historic gardens, a children's adventure playground and a fascinating collection of 26 listed buildings and monuments. The former seat of the Earls of Strafford, the estate has been the subject of a major restoration project.
Rare formal gardens have been rediscovered, National Collections of Rhododendrons, Camellias and Magnolias enhanced, and over 100,000 bulbs planted to create a carpet of colour. With atmospheric views, woodland walks and majestic follies, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the Gardens throughout the year. Watch the Red and Fallow deer in the historic Parkland or take the Trail and explore the woodland to discover the intriguing monuments for yourself.
The Gardens are open daily, April to September 10am-5pm, last admission 4.30pm. From October to March, 10am-4pm, last admission at 3.30pm. Car parking £3. Visitor Centre, Gift Shop and Cafe.
Visit their website at www.wentworthcastle.org
or copy and paste the link http://www.wentworthcastle.org/view.asp?id=145
Abergavenny Priory Deer Park, Abergavenney. A well- preserved medieval deer park laid out on the south east flank of Sugar Loaf Mountain, 3 miles north west of Abergavenny. Open to the public but opening may be limited.
Margam Country Park, Margham, Port Talbot. Set in 1000 acres of glorious parklands, Margam Country Park offers beauty, history, wildlife and a wide range of facilities to make it one of the best days out in Wales for all the family.
The Margam deer herds today roam through approximately 500 acres (200 hectares) of parkland. They date from Norman times although several references are made to deer in this area during the time of Roman occupation. The herd, originally exclusively Fallow, is of excellent genetic quality with heads to rival any in the British Isles.
Quite recently Red deer, then Pere David deer, have been introduced and thrive in the park. The Pere David are an endangered species and in the park they are part of a breeding programme under way in conjunction with Whipsnade Safari Park. More recently exotic species have been added and have included Chital or Axis deer, Hog deer and Barasingha. Small-scale introductions have also been made of Roe, Muntjac and Chinese water deer although these have met with mixed success.
www.npt.gov.uk/margampark, or Tel: 01639 881635.
Dinefwr House, Kinefwr Park, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire SA19 6RT. An 18th-century landscape park which includes Newton House at the heart of the site, built in 1660 but now with a Victorian Gothic façade and a fountain garden with tea-room. The tea-room overlooks a medieval deer park, with restricted public access, home to more than 100 Fallow deer and the famous Dinefwr White Park Cattle. There is an ice house and wooded boardwalk, particularly suitable for families and wheelchair users and an exhibition in the basement of the house explains the importance of Dinefwr in Welsh history. A number of scenic walks include access to Dinefwr Castle, the substantial remains of a native Welsh castle, with fine views across the Towy Valley. The castle is now owned by the Wildlife Trust West Wales and access is available at all reasonable times. This will normally be between 10:00 and 16:00 daily. Tel: 01558 823902.
Beecraigs Country Park, nr Linlithgow, West Lothian EH496PL. Established in 1977, the red deer herd is maintained as a visitor attraction. Guided walks are run throughout the year.
Visitors are welcome to enjoy the views from the raised platform and explore the walkways through the fields. Calves can be born from April/May onwards and glimpses of the young calves may be possible as you walk down the Sutherland Way footpath. Autumn/winter visits to the deer attraction give visitors excellent opportunities to see and hear impressive red deer stags roaring during the rut.
E-mail: Tel: 01506 844516/844517/844518.
Glengoulandie Deer Park, Keltneyburn, Aberfeldy, Perthshire PH16 5NL. Glengoulandie Deer Park features a fine herd of red deer including one of the finest stags in Scotland. But there is so much more to see - highland cattle are favourites, geese both wild and tame, mallard and muscovy ducks, rare breeds of sheep and friendly goats... and then all the other naturally occurring plants and animals which live in this unspoilt countryside.
The park is 'naturally' different. It lies at the foot of Schiehallion, the 'magic mountain' in beautiful highland Perthshire.
Email: Tel: 01887 830495
The Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig, Kingussie, Inverness-shire, PH21 1NL is owned by The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, is drive-through with a Visitor Centre and plenty to see and photograph, including Red deer and reindeer.
E-mail web http://www.highlandwildlifepark.org. Tel: 01540 651270.
Jedforest Deer and Farm Park, Mervinslaw Estate, Camptown, Jedburgh TD8 6PL. Nestling in the Jed Valley with views over the Cheviot Hills, Jedforest Deer & Farm Park is set in the rolling countryside of the Scottish Borders. With hills, streams and woods to explore, animals of all shapes and sizes to discover, and places to play, relax and refuel, Jedforest Deer & Farm Park makes a great day out for the whole family.
Tel: 01835 840364.
The Scottish Deer Centre, Cupar, Fife KY15 4NQ. Home to over 140 deer from nine different species. There is the opportunity to watch them from the viewing platforms and the scenic pathways around the park.
Tel: 01337 810391.
Gosford Forest Park, Markethill, Co. Armagh, BT60 1UG. Formerly Gosford Demesne, was acquired by the Department of Agriculture in 1958 and comprises some 240 hectares of diverse woodland and open parkland set in gentle rolling drumlin countryside. The Forest is open every day of the year from 10:00 am until sunset.
Tel.: 028 37551277 or 028 37552169
Parkanaur Forest Park, Parkanaur Road, Castlecaulfield, Co. Tyrone BT71 3AA - four miles west of Dungannon and is very easy to reach. The white fallow deer in the deer park are most attractive and there are usually between 20 and 25 in number. These are the descendants from a pair that were sent by Queen Elizabeth I to her niece at Mallow Castle in County Countyk as a wedding gift. This herd has been in Parkanaur Forest since the mid 70's at the instigation of the Forest Service.
Parkanaur Forest is a non-charging forest. There are marked walks throughout the forest and these are suitable for the casual walker/family groups. These trails/walks pass through areas of mixed woodlands of deciduous and conifer of different ages and this makes the forest interesting from a conservation aspect benefiting mammals, plants and insects. Forest guides are available to organised youth and adult groups on request. Members of the public are welcome to walk through the deer enclosure by a designated path. Some caution may be necessary during the rutting season (October).
Email: Tel: 02866 343032.
Randalstown Forest. Entrance is off Staffordstown Road one mile west of Randalstown. Note - visitors cars are not permitted within the forest. The distance from the car park to the shore of Lough Neagh is one mile.
Within the park 20-25 fallow deer are retained along with a few red deer for comparison. Many of these deer are very tame and provide an excellent opportunity to quietly observe them from a raised wooden platform overlooking the park. For more information phone the Forest Service Customer Service on 02890 524480.