Deer Park: Things to do, see and learn

Backpacks for mini explorers

Get the most out of your Deer Park adventure with our activity backpacks – full of fascinating facts and things to do!

Each one contains a magnifying glass, spotter sheets, colouring in crayons, a wildlife reference book, a rubbing kit, a compass and even a fun antler headband and finger puppet. Hire them for the day from the Visitor Centre for a deposit of £5.

More ideas for family fun at Dartington

Kids film at the Barn Cinema ⇒

Fresh, family-friendly lunch choices at The Green Table ⇒

Children’s play area

Even more ideas: check out our guide to family days out ⇒

Backpacks for mini explorers

Get the most from your visit

Dartington’s Visitor Centre is your ideal start and finish point and should be your first port of call on your visit to the Deer Park. See our Trail Map page for details on how to get there.

– Hire our Tramper (more information here). If getting around could be a problem, our mobility scooter will make light work of the steeper long trail.
– Collect a child’s backpack. Budding explorers will love the fascinating facts, activities and tools to explore the woodland. And for little ones: deer antlers and glove puppets!
– Pick up a bug magnifier to appreciate small creatures close up.
Book a guided tour – to delve deeper into Deer Park life and times.
– Leave with a lovely memento of your visit.
– Want to make a day of it? Take a look at our guide to visiting Dartington for ideas.

Get close to nature

Our Deer Park is home to fallow deer. Your best chances of spotting these gentle, graceful animals are from two viewing areas at opposite ends of Deer Field. See our Visitor Info and Map for details.

Wildlife is all around you – in hiding or in full view. Keep eyes and ears alert for kingfishers, dippers, otters and dragonflies by the River Dart. Admire centuries-old oak, beech and lime trees – and look out for a few surprises!

Summer meadows are rich in plant and animal life – butterflies and birds galore. You could see stonechats or meadow pipits and even a cirl bunting if you’re lucky – they love our eco farming and
are making a comeback.

Rich history

Our Deer Park’s origins go back to 1326. The wall still encircling much of the Deer Park today dates back to 1738. Both have lots of tales to tell!

Owning a deer park used to be a status symbol of the powerful and wealthy. Medieval aristocracy held hunts and put on lavish entertainment. They practised the skills needed for war, such as tracking across terrain, horsemanship and using weapons. Deer also provided food and clothing.

Thanks to major funding in 2016, this historically significant area has been given a new lease of life. We have carried out extensive conservation and repaired sections of wall that were decaying and collapsing. Today it is a heritage site, educational resource and visitor attraction – complete with beautiful fallow deer.

Information points around the route reveal more.