We recently met up with some friends of ours: Marita (human), Jake (pooch) & Lola (pooch) for a dog walk around Burton Park in Duncton, West Sussex. We have walked in Duncton before, but this time they took us on a circular walk that was new to us: around Burton Park, which sits in the heart of the county’s most beautiful countryside.
Burton Park is a Grade I listed 19th-century country house, now converted into apartments, which stands in its own estate. The house is surrounded by 6 hectares of pleasure gardens, parkland and formal gardens… the latter were laid out in 1738, and subsequently altered in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The parkland dates from the 13th century and was landscaped in the 18th and 19th century.
Whilst the gardens and much of the grounds remain private, public footpaths criss-cross the estate, which allow you to enjoy a great walk that takes in Chingford Lake, Burton Mill Pond, and Welch’s Common as well as some of the parkland. There are views of the main house, and you are permitted to enter the small Norman parish Church of St Richard (also Grade 1 listed) that still stands in the grounds. There are some extremely old trees in the grounds, including an ancient Sweet Chestnut, which was measured in 2008: The girth of the tree back then was 10.18 m!
The walk is largely very safe for dogs to run free. A short part of it passes along the drive to the house, but this is very quiet. Another short section between Welch’s Common and Burton Mill Pond passes along a country lane. This is also very quiet but of course care should be taken and leads should be used just in case. This section lasts only for a few minutes. It is safe for your four-legged friend to romp around for the rest of the walk and ours had a ball.
We started the walk from the free car park at Duncton Village Hall (map), which is just off the main road from Petworth (streetview). There is a poo bin here and you should pick up in the playing fields around the hall as it is used for all manner of events including bonfire displays and weddings. However the rest of the walk is pretty ‘natural’ and most people employ a ‘stick and flick’ approach. The walk takes in fields, lakes and woodlands so it really does have everything.
Once you’ve finished your walk pop along to The Cricketers…they are very dog friendly and serve great pies (among other things of course!) It is quite literally two minutes up the road driving away from Petworth, on the same side as the village hall. (map)
For a guide to the route we took take a look at the photos…you’ll see a screenshot of the route plotted on an Ordnance Survey map.