In a Nutshell
A National Trust property that is still lived in, Dudmaston combines open parkland with a woodlands and lakes across 3000 acres to provide a varied and interesting walks, along with the house and relaxing picnic areas.
Parking and Pooping
Dudmaston lies west of Birmingham on the A442, roughly half way between Kidderminster and Telford. With Bridgnorth about 10 mins away, it offers a two-stop option for a full day trip. The estate is actually split into a couple of parts, with the house and main grounds on the west side of the A442 and Comer Woods slightly further up the A442 on the east side of the road. For longer estate walks there are also car parks at Hampton Loade and the Sawmill. A map of the estate can be found on the NT website here.
Visitors to house and grounds will use the main car park at the hall. From here a short walk takes you into the estate buildings next to the main house, from which you can start your walks, or grab a coffee etc. The price of parking is included in your entry ticket. Visitors to Comer Woods pay separately for parking its own car park. NT members park for free in either case.
The estate offers range of walks from approx 1m to nearly 6 miles in length. In general the estate walks from Cromer Woods or the outlying car parks are open all year, whereas the shorter walks near the house (Dingle and Big Pond walks) are seasonal. Best check with the NT site for details.
From the House
From the main car park, you have various options. The more formal gardens are not dog friendly, but alternative routes enable you to bypass the gardens and still complete a circular walk. For a shorter, more shaded walk in hot weather we prefer to head down to the Dingle and through the wooded valley, reaching the start of the 'Big Pond' and then heading back up through some open parkland beside the gardens to the starting point. When you reach the stream, crossing over will give you a slightly longer walk with more gradients, whilst bearing right is shorter and flatter.
For a longer stretch, take the left path in the Dingle and when you reach the Big Pond, stay left and head up into the parklands to fully round the lake. Be warned though that this takes you on a long circular path back to the car park in fairly open parkland, so not one for hot days with pup.
Served by its own car park, Cromer Woods offers good shaded walking which is great for hot summer days. From here you can access estate walks from 1.5 miles to just under 6 miles.
Keeping the Humans Amused
The gardens leading down to the lake make for enjoyable (but dog free) walking. The house of course is definitely worth a visit having a real lived in feel. The NT usually plan various events throughout the summer and there is a kiddies' play area in the grounds near the café and picnic grounds.
The main tea-room serves the usual NT menu of hot snacks and drinks. Dogs are welcome in all areas of the tea-room. During high season a second café opens up just by the house itself with outdoor seating, and there is an ice-cream hut in the picnic grounds. The picnic grounds are spacious with tables set well apart, and there are normally a number of dog water bowls dotted about.
Comer Woods has its own café with more limited opening times.
If you fancy something a bit more substantial before you arrive at Dudmaston, a minute up the A442 there is the Food Stop Café, which does a roaring trade from bikers and dog walkers alike. They are dog welcoming and serve excellent fry-ups and pub style meals at reasonable prices.
Last Visit: May 2023