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Petworth Park in Sussex seamlessly marries art and nature. Its palatial mansion, built in the 17th century, houses an extensive collection of paintings from painters such as William Blake, Van Dyck and J.M.W. Turner. There are also sculptures like statuary and carvings by John Edward Carew and Grinling Gibbons.
Petworth park also boasts of panoramic views of rolling hills and majestic ponds which are truly sights to behold. The place is so captivating that its verdant woodlands even inspired some of the works of J.M.W. Turner. Meanwhile, the 700-acre parkland’s skyline features ancient trees, some of which are the biggest trees in the UK. Moreover, a number of them are also the oldest in the country – with an oak tree estimated to be around 940 years old. Other tree species you would see here includes cypress, willow and lime.
The park is also teeming with British wildlife, with the fallow deer living in this area for over 500 years. Its current deer population is estimated to be 700. Some of UK’s native bat species call Petworth Park their home. Meanwhile, there are geese and amphibians in the lake and ponds. Efforts are underway for more wildlife to inhabit the park.
If you are looking for a nature-related activity, go winter walking at Petworth Park and discover how elegant it is even during this cold season. The ancient, gigantic trees are leafless but still enchanting. In their bare form, you would gain a better appreciation of their structural makeup. Take a stroll around Pleasure Ground, popular for its Doric temple and Ionic Rotunda, and the deer park and marvel at the frosty landscape bedecked with winter berries.
For a family-friendly activity, try Winter’s Trail – an activity meant to help wildlife prepare for winter. In order to help animals like hedgehogs and squirrels, you and your children need to solve riddles and poems around the Pleasure Ground. Once you’ve completed the trail, you get to earn a reward – something your children are going to be happy about! Winter’s Trail runs until February 18, 2018 from 10 AM to 3:30 PM.
There is also a 45-minute guided tour of the house until February 28, 2018 from 11:30 AM to 3:45 PM. The tour is free but regular admission charges apply. Tickets are limited so it’s best to be at the park early or visit on a weekday.