Chawton Park Woods

Visitor information

Follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen at Chawton Park Wood...

Chawton Park Wood sits just beyond the village of Chawton and within the South Downs National Park. Containing some mighty beach trees, ravishing Norway maples and more recently planted Whitebeam trees, the woods boast a beautiful setting for a peaceful walk along accessible paths. 

These picturesque woods are also the home to a hidden literary secret, for these were the woods in which Jane Austen took her regular strolls.

Edward Austen Knight, brother of the famous novelist, provided a house in Chawton for his mother and sisters, and it was here that Jane spent her most productive literary years. It was from this red brick house that the tales which would so dazzle the world emerged, and from the local surroundings that Austen would draw much of her inspiration and ideas, including the Chawton Park Woods.

Forestry update

If you’re visiting Chawton Park Wood during October and November please be aware that our contractors will be removing some of the conifer trees here to start the journey of restoring this area to a broadleaf woodland.

Felling some of the trees allows more room for others to grow and encourages the wildlife and habitats beneath to thrive. Selectively removing some of the trees is known as ‘thinning’.

Although the area will remain open during the felling operations, please pay attention to safety signs. Some paths will be temporarily closed to allow access for the machinery.

To keep everybody safe we will have to temporarily close the car park, the exact date for the closure is yet to be confirmed. We’ll re-open the car park once tree felling close to the car park has finished. The works will be carried out as safely and as quickly as possible in order to keep disruption at a minimum.

At a glance

  • Walking trails 

  • Small car park 

Things to do

Walking in the woods is the perfect way to get some fresh air and explore the area's most beautiful landscapes.

Chawton Park Woods offers informal walking opportunities starting from the car park. You can stick to the compact gravel track or follow the other trails that lead off this path if you want to venture deeper into the woodlands. 

Nearby forests

Bluebells in the forest

Predominantly a beech wood with some conifer interspersed, Micheldever Wood is home to a diverse range of birds and insects. The stunning Muntjac deer are to be found in the woods as well as wildflowers and a growing butterfly population.

With a number of paths making their way through the wood, make sure you don’t miss the spectacular display of Bluebells in the spring.

Forest Road running through broadleaf woodland

Come and explore the variety of paths at Blackwood Forest and discover the stunning natural scenery. 

Located near Winchester, Blackwood Forest is home to a beautiful Forest Holiday location, making it ideal if you need to relax, recoup or get lost in the wonders of the woods. 

An autumn view of the cafe at Alice Holt Forest

This Easter make it a day for everyone to remember with a walk at Alice Holt Forest, enjoy fresh woodland air and a warm drink in the cafe. We have lots of different trails and exciting play areas for you to discover, including our unique Gruffalo Sculptures, and other characters from the story - see who you can find in the deep, dark woods!

Solo mountain biker in a forest

The area on Combe Hill has a dedicated bike park, which is open to mountain bikers, please visit this website for more information and to book in advance.

The woodland offers a network of open paths and countryside views that local people can explore on foot. 

We are sorry but you cannot BBQ in our forests at this time. This is to help prevent forest fires.

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