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The Church Path Trail
(Average user rating: unrated unrated)

Trail details

Grade of Trail:

  • Moderate

Trail Waymarking:


Length of trail:

1.5 miles

Trail is currently open


Trail description

This is a fantastic circular walk, which takes you to the fallen Church Path Oak - this is one of Salcey's famous "druid" oaks, and was thought to be 400 years old when it finally fell, in 1995.

Common or Viviparous Lizard - Lacerta vivipara femaleThe Church Path Trail is named after the route taken to Piddington Church, particularly favoured by the 6th Duke of Grafton, with the oak he liked to stop and rest at being known as the Church Path Oak as a result. The oak reached a grand old age and one of its acorns was grown and planted next to it when it died. The dead oak is a great place to see common lizards, as they like to lie on it and bask when it is sunny.

The Church path trail is not as smooth as the “all ability” Elephant Trail but is still usable for wheelchairs and prams. It is also dog friendly.

It is predominantly broadleaved and the “tunnel” of tree cover gives lovely views out onto Salcey Lawn and gives a great opportunity to experience the colours of Autumn.

The walk leads you through semi-natural ancient woodland where you can view a vivid colour display from the native oak, ash and hazel trees. You take a path which skirts around Salcey lawn – a relic of the medieval hunting lawn. The walk then passes a ‘folly’ bench at the crossroads next to the Church Path Oak – perfect for a rest whilst sheltered under your very own thatched roof!

You can choose to take a very short waymarked detour which takes visitors past the elephant pond - named as such because it is where elephants bathed from a local travelling circus, after they were enlisted to help extract timber during the Second World War – onto the tree top way. The tree top way is a wooden boardwalk rising to 15m above ground level, finishing with a viewing platform at 20 meters with views over the forest and the surrounding countryside; a fantastic way to see the different autumn colours from a bird’s eye perspective.

Coming down from the boardwalk, you then pass an area where four small-scale fairy huts are located – perfect for younger children to explore. Coming to an end, the walk then loops back to where you started.

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What's Here?

  • Baby Changing
  • Cafe
  • Information
  • Picnic
  • Play area
  • Trail (moderate)
  • Toliets
  • Parking (chargeable)
  • 1.50 for an hour and 4 per day
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SP795514
Postcode: NN7 2HX

Get directions


Central District Office

0300 067 4340
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedenjoy England quality assured visitor attractionForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.