Pokehouse Wood walk at Croft Castle near Leominster

Walking trail

A long woodland walk with some challenging terrain offering the chance to see SSSI river Lugg, woodland restoration and the old bridge, part of the original approach to the castle. There's some intriguing myth and folklore surrounding the walk's unusual name. One suggestion is that the word Poke is derived from the name of ‘Puck’, the mischievous imp of English folklore. The Welsh called him Pwca, which is pronounced the same as his Irish incarnation Phouka, Pooka or Puca. Pokehouse Wood had a reputation for travellers and in particular young maidens getting lost or being led astray as they were making their way home to Aymestry. So concerned was one local resident of the village that he donated money to employ someone to ring the bell at Aymestrey Church just before sunset in order to warn travellers in the wood that darkness was approaching.


The map for the Pokehouse Wood walk at Croft Castle in Herefordshire


Croft visitor reception SO45119 65659


Turn right from visitor reception and pass through the gate following the track around to the left. You should see markers for the red trail which then takes you up the hill past a cottage on your left.


Continue up the hill through 2 gates passing some old chestnut trees until you reach the gate at the entrance to the woods. On a clear day you can see Leominster, Kington and into the Welsh hills from here.

Read more
The Spanish Chestnut Avenue at Croft Castle, Herefordshire


Go straight ahead through the gate continuing up the hill until you reach a wide forestry track. Turn left following the red markers and this track for over a mile.


Eventually you will see a red marker pointing right along a path skirting the edge of the wood. This path will wind it's way down into the valley. Parts are steep and can be slippery so mind your footing. In spring this woodland at the top of the bank is full of bluebells.

Read more
A carpet of bluebells in the woodland at Croft Castle in Herefordshire


Once in the valley bottom you will see the marker pointing right down some steps towards the river. Once adjacent to the river turn left. Incidentally if you turn right on the footpath you can take a short detour to the Riverside Inn pub for some refreshment. Otherwise stroll along the river to the left until the markers point left back up the hill.

Read more
Herefordshire SSSI River Lugg Croft Castle  Pokehouse wood walk


This track returns you to the steps on the hill. This time turn right and make the steep climb out of the valley. At the top climb the stile and cross several fields, finally turning right onto a small lane. A short distance down this lane you will see the remains of the old bridge that once formed part of the original formal approach to the castle.


Turn left following the red markers on a footpath which takes you along the southern edges of the Croft woodland. Follow this path for over a mile until eventually you enter the top of the field containing the old chestnut trees you saw on your way out.


Continue on until you reach the path taking you right down the hill which is back the way you came all of the way to the castle grounds.


Croft visitor reception SO45119 65659

You made it

Following this trail on mobile or tablet? Share your experience.

Pokehouse Wood walk at Croft Castle near Leominster


Challenging terrain, muddy in places with steep gradients and steps down into the river valley and back out again.

Pokehouse Wood walk at Croft Castle near Leominster

Contact us

Pokehouse Wood walk at Croft Castle near Leominster

How to get here

Croft Castle Yarpole Nr Leominster HR6 0BL
By train

Nearest station Leominster 7 miles

By road

The entrance is off the B4362, turning north at Cock Gate between Bircher and Mortimer's Cross. The property is signposted from the A49 between Ludlow and Leominster, and from A4110 at Mortimer's Cross. Parking: 100 yards. Sat-Nav: use HR6 0BL

By bus

From Ludlow to Hereford (passing close Ludlow train station and Leominster), alight Gorbett Bank, 2¼ mile walk

By bicycle

Refer to this Sustrans cycle map

Pokehouse Wood walk at Croft Castle near Leominster

Facilities and access

  • Parking, 100 yards
  • Dogs on lead in parkland only
  • Separate mobility parking, 20 yards. Wheelchair-accessible transfer. Drop-off point