| Brecks Mill on the Brandywine, Wilmington, DE. S. Fox © 2003
This installment of "Scenic Drives of the Brandywine Valley" focuses on taking the scenic back roads from Wilmington to these major Brandywine Valley attractions: Winterthur , Longwood Gardens , the Brandywine River Museum , Brandywine Battlefield and Hagley Museum . You probably won't find these routes on your gps navigation device. We hope you enjoy the scenery.
LEAVING WILMINGTON drive north on French Street toward the Brandywine River. Take a left at the end and then bear right over the bridge. Stay to the left and take a left at the light on to North Park Drive. There will be a sign for the Brandywine Zoo. The river will be on your left and you'll pass the Brandywine Zoo on your right. This area is where the Brandywine Arts Festival is held in September.
When the road turns to cobblestones, you will turn left on N. Van Buren St. and cross the bridge to the south bank of the Brandywine. Turn right on to South Park Dr. and follow this winding road till it ends at Lovering Ave. Turn right again and go straight under the underpass and continue straight. Lovering Avenue feeds into Kentmere Parkway at the intersection of N. Union St. Continue straight on Kentmere Pkwy. You will pass some of Wilmington's stately homes, the Delaware Art Museum (right), and Rockford Park where the Wilmington Flower Market is held in the spring. Follow the road to the intersection of W. 17th St. Turn right for two blocks to Tower Rd. Turn left, go for about two blocks until you reach Rt. 52, (Pennsylvania Ave). This road is also called Kennett Pike and is the road built by the duPonts that will take you through Greenville, past Winterthur and to Longwood Gardens.
While Rt. 52 is one of America's greenways, a beautiful drive and a direct route to your destination, we have a more indirect and scenic route, if you have the time.
Turning right onto Rt. 52, proceed north two or three lights and turn right at Brecks Lane. Drive slowly down this quaint, old, descending residential street to the Brandywine River. Turn left at the bottom of the hill on to Henry Clay Rd. and proceed with the river on your right to the entrance of Hagley Museum . This is where the duPonts manufactured gunpowder. This area is absolutely gorgeous, a photo opportunity in any season. If you have time to tour Hagley Museum we recommend it. If not, turn left on to Old Barley Mill Rd. before you enter Hagley and drive up the hill. Turn right and then take a right a the light on to Montchanin Rd. (Rt 100 North).
Follow Rt. 100 into Brandywine country. This road will take you past the Inn at Montchanin Village and Krazy Kats (right), Wilmington Country Club (left) and the back of Winterthur.
Follow the directions below from this point...
TO WINTERTHUR The Short Way
At the intersection of Thompsons Bridge Road (Rt. 100 and Rt. 92 East also known as Thompsons Bridge Rd from this point), you will have to turn left to stay on Rt. 100. Take your first left on to Adams Dam Road which will take you past and through Bidermann Golf Course, the top rated course in Delaware with exclusive membership of around 200. The road winds about a bit and ends at the Centre Meeting, a Friends meeting house built in 1767 on Center Meeting Road. Turn left on to Center Meeting Road and follow it to Rt. 52 at Centreville, DE. If you are lucky, you might see the Belted galloway cows on your right toward the end of the road opposite a beautiful estate. At Rt. 52 turn left and drive about 1.2 miles to the entrance of Winterthur on your left.
TO WINTERTHUR The Long Way
At the intersection of Rt. 100 and Rt. 926 continue straight on Rt. 926. The Brandywine Springs Park will be on your right. Follow this road for about 4 miles or so. You will go down into a valley, over the Brandywine River and up a hill. At the crest of the hill there is a kink in the road and your first left turn. Take that left. It will lead you back to the Brandywine River. As you approach the river you will have an excellent view of Granoque the duPont estate. It sits atop a hill overlooking the river valley. The road turns right and leads you along the river bank to newly rebuilt Smith Bridge. Turn left on to Smith Bridge Road and go over the bridge. Go straight. This road will turn into Center Meeting Road which ends at Rt. 52 and Centreville, DE. Look for the Friends Meeting House on your right. If you are lucky, you might see the belted galloway cows on your right toward the end of the road opposite a beautiful estate. At Rt. 52 turn left and drive about 1.2 miles to the entrance of Winterthur on your left.
TO LONGWOOD GARDENS The Short Way
At the intersection of Rt. 100 and Rt. 926, take a left to stay on Rt. 100. Take your first left on to (Adams Dam Road). This will take you past Biderman Golf Course the top rated course in Delaware with exclusive membership of around 200. The road will wind about and ends at the Friends Meeting House on Center Meeting Road. Turn left onto Center Meeting Road and follow it to Rt. 52 at Centreville, De. If you are lucky, you might see the belted galloway cows on your right toward the end of the road opposite a beautiful estate.
At Rt. 52 turn right and drive until you reach the intersection of Rt. 1. Turn left and proceed to the entrance of Longwood Gardens on your right.
TO LONGWOOD GARDENS The Long Way
At the intersection of Rt. 100 and Rt. 926, take a left to stay on Rt. 100. Follow Rt. 100. It will take you through some wonderful scenery and its a fun drive. If you're here in the growing season, look for H. G. Haskell's SIW vegetable stand when you pass Cossart Rd. It will be on your right. This is the
place to buy fresh vegetables (June thru Halloween). Follow on to Rt. 1 (Baltimore Pike) and Chadds Ford. Turn left on Rt. 1 heading south. Brandywine Prime at Chadds Ford Inn will be on your right as will Hank's Place a Chadds Ford greasy spoon landmark. You'll pass the Brandywine River Museum on your left, the Barns-Brinton House on your left at the entrance to Chaddsford Winery (left) and the Gables restaurant on your right further up the hill. Stay on Rt. 1 for about 6 miles and the entrance of Longwood Gardens will be on your right. There are signs along the way.
TO THE BRANDYWINE BATTLEFIELD, CHADDS FORD & THE BRANDYWINE RIVER MUSEUM
At the intersection of Rt. 100 and Rt. 926 continue straight on Rt. 926. The Brandywine Springs Park will be on your right. Follow this road for about 4 miles or so. You will go down into a valley, over the Brandywine River and up a hill. At the crest of the hill there is a kink in the road after which you want to turn left on to Ramsey Rd. It will lead you back to the Brandywine River and as you approach the river you will have an excellent view of Granoque the duPont estate that sits atop a hill overlooking the valley. The road turns right and becomes Creek Rd. which leads you along the river bank and a picnic area to the newly rebuilt and covered, Smith Bridge, over the Brandywine.
At the bridge turn right on to Smith Bridge Rd. and take your first left on to Ridge Rd. Follow this wonderful winding road to Ring Road on your left (about 4 miles). At Ring Road turn left. This road will wind about and take you past Keurner's Farm on your right, painted by Andrew Wyeth. Ring Road will end at Rt. 1 across from the entrance of the Brandywine Battlefield Park. Turn left to go to the Brandywine River Museum.
© Unica Online