Meeting the Fallow Deer at Knole Park

Male Fallow Deer with palmate antlers grazing against a garden wall at Knole Park

I love deer. I don't remember seeing Bambi in a cinema when I was about 3 years old but my Mum loves telling the story of how I jumped up on my seat at a pivotal moment and shouted, "don't worry Bambi! She'll come back!" And so, for as long as I can remember, I've had an affinity for little spotted deer. On a rare sunny day this summer, I went down to Knole Park to meet the deer. Spoiler: it was marvellous.

Male Fallow Deer with palmate antlers standing against a garden wall at Knole Park

The deer are everywhere at Knole Park. We had barely left the car park before we encountered our first deer grazing by the garden walls.

Male Fallow Deer with palmate antlers walking alongside a garden wall at Knole Park

I loved that there was a ranger nearby, warning people from getting too close to the deer, and advising them to use zoom on their cameras. I very rarely unpack my DSLR for days out and I was so pleased I did so on this occasion.

Male Fallow Deer with palmate antlers grazing against a garden wall at Knole Park

I'm not a fan of zoos or establishments where animals are kept in unnatural environments, but I loved seeing the deer in their natural environment, and felt assured that the team at Knole Park work to put the deer first.

View of the gardens at Knole Park, depicting a herd of fallow deer. Some are running, some are grazing or relaxing in the shade

We learned that the deer at Knole Park are fallow deer (whereas Bambi was a white-tailed deer). I have to admit that I don't know as much about European deer but I can identify most South African antelope on sight.

At times the deer would begin running and chasing each other. I managed to get a tiny bit of iPhone footage which I uploaded on Instagram.

Two Fallow Deer at Knole Park, the male is running to the left of the frame, the female to the right is grazing

We soon wandered off to a shady spot under a tree. We'd brought a picnic so we sat on picnic blankets, ate our lunch and caught up with all our news. It was such a lovely, relaxed vibe.

Several Fallow Deer graze on an incline at Knole Park

It wasn't long before the deer wandered over to graze on the incline in front of us. I could have watched them for hours.

Fallow Deer Stag at Knole Park

Once we finished our picnic, we wandered over to the front of the Knole Park house to choose a walk. We decided on the Family Walk, a 4.5km walk in the grounds. The route is wheelchair and pushchair accessible and was meant to take 1 hour to complete. Spoiler: it took closer to 2 hours on that hot, sunny day!

Fallow Deer relaxing in the shade at Knole Park

As we rounded the garden walls to embark on our walk, we encountered this herd of female deer relaxing in the shade. They had the right idea - it was starting to get very hot indeed.

Lone fallow deer buck at Knole Park

We encountered this lone stag grazing in the shade. Fallow deer have palmate (or hand-shaped) antlers and many of them were shedding their antlers after a spring and summer of growth.

Airplane in the sky at Knole Park

We spotted an airplane up in the sky. England is so beautiful in the sunshine, I'm guessing everybody was out that day.

Massive split tree trunk at Knole Park

The family route is full of trees and rocks for kids to climb. We spotted this tree with a split trunk and were surprised it was still alive.

Facade of Knole Park House

After climbing and running and skipping along the path, our group eventually made it back to the house at Knole Park. We'd promised ice cream as a reward and everyone seemed to get a second wind.

Fallow Deer grazing at Knole Park

I took the opportunity to meet some more deer And eavesdropped as the ranger told a couple about the antlers and how they shed them.

Fallow Deer grazing at Knole Park

Can you believe that I managed to live in Kent for sixteen years and had somehow never visited Knole Park? I loved my visit so much and will definitely return. In fact, they have a Walking with the Snowman event in November to January where kids* can discover 12 giant The Snowman sculptures.

*By 'kids' I include adults, of course. I love The Snowman so much, as much, if not more than Bambi if you base it on how many times I've seen the film.

Knole Park has made available a way to visit the park for free. You can park at the Sevenoaks multi-storey car park at TN13 1LW and walk into the grounds.

I would recommend parking at Knole Park itself postcode TN13 1HX but you may need to book ahead. When parking in the grounds, adults are charged £6 each for the Outdoor & Tower and £15 each for the Showrooms, Outdoor & Tower. Children are half price but there are also discounts for families. Considering how the deer are looked after, plus the pristine condition of the grounds, I'd say this option is worth it.

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