Croft Castle ancient tree walk

Croft Castle and Parkland, Yarpole, Herefordshire, HR6 9PW

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Lapsed oak pollards at Croft Castle © Brian Muelaner

Lapsed oak pollards at Croft Castle

The Spanish Chestnut Avenue at Croft Castle © Robert Morris

The Spanish Chestnut Avenue at Croft Castle

St Michaels and All Angels parish church  © Ian Grafton

St Michaels and All Angels parish church

Route overview

A gentle wander into the heart of Croft's parkland taking in the Spanish Chestnut avenue planted in the formation of the Spanish Armada around 350 years ago and the 1,000 year old Quarry Oak along the way. There are stunning views across Herefordshire countryside and an array of wildlife can be seen, including the occasional fallow deer throughout the year.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

OS map of ancient tree walk at Croft Castle and Parkland in Herefordshire
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Information point at Croft Castle, grid ref: SO455655

  1. Start near the information and point and tea-room and follow the road behind the tearoom and through the farmyard.

  2. Enter through the gate into the field and carry on towards the end of the field, keeping the fence on your right.

    Show/HideChestnuts and oaks

    looking to your left and right you will see some 400 to 500 year old chestnuts and some newly planted ones. You will also see some veteran oak trees with huge girths.

    Lapsed oak pollards at Croft Castle © Brian Muelaner
  3. Carry on towards the hill to your left with chestnut trees along the ridge. Enter this area through the gate, following the green way mark arrows.

    Show/HideSpanish chestnut avenue

    the original formal approach, is thought to have been planted around 1580 to 1680. The planting of these trees is said to mimic the formation of the battle ships at the Armada.

    The Spanish Chestnut Avenue at Croft Castle © Robert Morris
  4. Continue out of the chestnut avenue and head across the field toward the castle with the fence line on your right and enter the small gateway into the field in front of you.

  5. Follow the mown path down towards the lake.

    Show/HideQuarry Oak

    At 1,000 years old the Quarry Oak is one of the oldest trees at Croft and sits in the gulley just before the lake.

  6. Follow the mown path around the meadow and past the church, keeping the church on your left. keep going until you see the gate which opens onto the exit drive.

    Show/HideSt Michaels and All Angels church

    still a working parish church contains 12th and 14th century architecture and the 15th century tomb of Sir Richard Croft.

    St Michaels and All Angels parish church  © Ian Grafton

End: Information point at Croft Castle, grid ref: SO455655

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 1.5 miles (2.4km)
  • Time: 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
  • OS Map: Croft Castle ancient tree walk 100023974
  • Terrain:

    The route is fairly level with one small incline. The paths are well maintained but can become uneven after heavy rain and grazing during the winter months. Dogs are welcome on a lead as the route passes through grazing areas for cattle and sheep.

  • How to get here:

    By bus: Ludlow to Hereford, alight Gorbett Bank, 2.25 miles walk to castle: Lugg Valley Travel (01568 616747)

    By train: Leominster (7 miles)

    By car: B4362 signposted from Ludlow (9 miles) to Leominster (5 miles) A49 and from A4110. Use postcode HR6 9PW

  • Facilities:

    • Car park, visitor centre and information point including walks information board.
    • Tearoom and refreshments open 10am to 5pm daily, serving hot and cold lunches, snacks and beverages. Fully licensed.
    • Toilets and baby change
    • Play areas
    • Drinking water for dogs
    • Bird hides in nearby fishpool valley.
    • No car park charge. Grounds and garden ticket £5.50 per adult, National Trust members free.
    • Parkland open 8am to 9pm daily, all year round. Facilities open when Castle open 10am to 5pm March to November and weekends 10am to 4pm November to February.
    • Castle, tenant farm and walled gardens are visible along the route.

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