Highwood walk at Croft Castle

Walking trail

Explore some of the lost carriage rides and restored historic paths through Fishpool Valley. Discover echoes of the valley's 'Picturesque' past, complete with far-reaching views.

A wooded valley on the carriage ride walk at Croft Castle in Herefordshire

Map

Start:

Croft visitor reception SO45119 65659

1

Head up the field behind Visitor Reception, following the bird way-markers. You’ll eventually come to a gate; go through the gate and follow the wooded track until you come to a right turning. Take this turn and follow the track as it winds its way to the base of the gulley.

2

Keep following the bird way-markers and head back up the valley, crossing another track and continuing on until you come to a kissing gate on the right. Go through this and follow the path round to the left.

3

Follow this path for some time, admiring views to your right across the valley. You’ll eventually come to some steps on your left; ignore these and carry straight on, following the bird way-markers, until you arrive at the summerhouse. This would have been a place to rest and admire the natural surroundings and magnificent view. During excavations, an inscribed stone was found in the summerhouse floor.

4

Keep following the path past the summerhouse and along to the next viewing platform. You’ll eventually come to a clearing with a bench; why not take a seat and admire the view? This is the highest point in the valley and provides an extended view across the pools. We’ve gradually opened up this view as part of our restoration project, which has also enhanced biodiversity in the valley by allowing more light to reach the valley floor.

5

Go back to the track you were following and continue down into the valley, still following the bird way-markers. You’ll eventually come to a gate; go through this and continue straight on, ignoring the gate on your right and the tracks going left. Follow the hard track round to the right.

6

Keep following the track until you come to the beech hangar on your left; the magnificent wooded slope. You’ll also see a quarry on your left; limestone was quarried here and processed in the limekiln.

7

Follow the path down to the right, which will take you past another view point; take a seat for a moment of quiet reflection.

8

Keep following the path through the woodland. Go through the next gate, turn left and pass through the second gate. Continue on through the woodland. The track will continue for some time.

9

You’ll eventually need to turn downhill and will emerge at Lower Pool. The dam here was restored in summer 2018 and you can now stand on the bridge and listen to the sound of water which flows down the spillway.

10

Follow the track back up to your right before heading down into the valley once again. The hard track will pass beneath the remains of the icehouse, which can still be found on what was recorded as ‘Ice House Bank’ on a map of 1839. Ice that formed on the pools in winter would have been collected and stored here.

11

Keep following the hard track, keeping the pools on your right. You’ll eventually pass the Gothic pumphouse on your right; more information about this structure can be found on page 15. When you see the limekiln ahead of you, turn left on the hairpin bend and follow the restored historic path back up towards the main car park and Visitor Reception.

End:

Croft visitor reception SO45119 65659

You made it

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

Highwood walk at Croft Castle

How to get here

Address
Croft Castle Yarpole Nr Leominster HR6 0BL
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

Highwood walk at Croft Castle

Facilities and access

  • Steep slopes and steps.
  • Wooded valleys, challenging terrain.
  • Muddy in places - please wear suitable footwear.
  • Unsuitable for pushchairs.
  • Parts of the valley are grazed, so please keep dogs on leads.