The Grounds and Nature Walks

“The most significant, undisturbed
historic landscape in America”

—Southern Landscape Historian Suzanne Turner

The sandy soil has seen oceans come and go, been shaken by earthquakes and hurricanes, been planted and replanted, and felt the footsteps of people for the last 10,000 years. Here you’ll see the layers of history carefully preserved on the 125 acres that surround the main house: the central axis and clear view to the Ashley River, planned by John Drayton over 265 years ago, and the striking, defined allée of azaleas conceived by his 20th-century descendants.

Your walk might begin by the reflecting pond and continue on toward the Ashley River. Look back over the great lawn then forward along the allée, across the ha-ha, past Richmond Bowens’ camellia, and arrive at the site of the former garden house. Continue further along the river banks and you’ll come across a clearing with the remains of an 18th-century lime kiln used in the construction of Drayton Hall. Your self-guided tour means your time is your own for making new discoveries, reconnecting with nature, or just reflecting on the history that surrounds you.



“The Drayton Hall landscape has developed and exists today as a living thing, with a life force propelling it forward through time, reacting to the changes brought by both the hand of man and the untrimmed course of nature. It is this essence, this sense of change and forward motion recorded on the landscape as a collection of layers and imprints that the landscape of Drayton Hall can communicate so forcefully to the visitor today.”

—Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., Landscape Architects


Please note that Drayton Hall is closed for the five following holidays: New Year’s Eve and Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Eve and Day.
We are also closed during the first week in February for our annual site maintenance.


Drayton Hall Reimagined — Learn about the future of Drayton Hall.