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The parkland at Berrington Hall

Swans on the lake
Swans live on the 'Capability' Brown designed lake | © NT

Lancelot 'Capability' Brown was the most important landscape architect of the 18th century, designing around 170 parks throughout the country. Berrington was the culmination of his life's work, so on your visit to the parkland, you’ll experience his vision through the views, water features and trails through the acres of countryside.

Paths closed for lambing

Some of the paths through the parkland will be closed during the lambing season. Please stick to the open paths and do not climb over any gates that have been locked. Thank you for your understanding.

Spring in the parkland

While snowdrops tend to mark the end of winter for most places, one of the earliest signs of spring at Berrington is when the herons return to the lake in February. The unexpectedly sociable birds nest in large numbers on Berrington’s island heronry, which is one of the largest nest sites in the west midlands. They can be found there until the end of the season, but become more difficult to spot as leaves shoot on trees.

As the days get longer and temperatures start to climb, frogs emerge from hibernation and make their way to the pool. You can often hear the loud croaking calls of the males, and can spot large rafts of frog spawn the pool’s margins.

Within the parkland's orchards, cherry trees are first to blossom, later followed by the apple trees. These attract our early pollinators, acting as an essential food source for bees and other insects. Hedgerows come to life in the spring, with hawthorn being the first to shoot bright green leaves and blackthorn coming into blossom.

Spring brings and abundance of colour into the woodlands at Berrington. Snowdrops, wood anemones, wood sorrel, celandine, and dog violets all sprout from the woodland floor, with the hanging catkins of the hazel trees providing an excellent food source for insects and small bird species.

a heron in flight with its wings spread out
Berrington's pool is home to one of the largest heronries in the West Midlands | © A R TERRY ARPS

A major project

Brown was appointed by Thomas Harley in the 1770s to lay out a park and make the most of the spectacular Herefordshire views west towards Wales and the Black Mountains.

Brown's classic device of divided views can clearly be seen from the steps of the house; to the north-west to the hill of Croft Ambrey, to the west into Wales and finally to the south-west where he built a 14-acre lake complete with island.

Haven for wildlife

The lake is now a haven for wildlife including many breeds of waterfowl, fish and insects. In addition, the lake is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the herons which nest on the island during spring each year.


More secretive than usual visitors, these shy creatures have made Berrington their home. They have been captured by our 'otter cam', usually being caught at night.

Otters breed throughout the year and having young makes these normally nocturnal, shy and elusive creatures more visible. No young otters have been spotted recently.

Visitors in the grounds of Berrington Hall, Herefordshire
Visitors in the grounds of Berrington Hall | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Walking at Berrington

There are two way-marked trails through the parkland, so you can explore every corner of the estate with notes explaining Brown's original vision along the way. Choose from the Lakeside Walk or Parkland Walk, or even a mixture of the two and take in the scenery, sights and sounds of the Herefordshire countryside.

Please be aware that the Berrington estate falls under a historic tenancy to the Cawley family who graze their livestock here.

Group of visitors in the grounds with Berrington Hall in the background, Herefordshire

Discover more at Berrington Hall

Find out when Berrington Hall is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Walks at Berrington Hall 

Click here for a PDF version of the Croft Castle walks map. All walks and trail routes can be found in the 'Things to see and do' section of our website.

Berrington Hall, a prominent feature, can be spotted in the distance within the vast parkland, with trees framing the border of the frame.

Berrington purple parkland walk 

Explore the nooks and crannies of Berrington's 'Capability' Brown-designed parkland and lake on this picturesque walk around the estate.

DistanceMiles: 1 (km: 1.6) to miles: 3.1 (km: 4.96)
A lake nestled amidst towering trees, adorned with vibrant wildflowers.

Berrington red walk trail 

Enjoy this gentle stroll down to the lake and enjoy the scenery and sounds of the parkland at Berrington, no matter the weather.

DistanceMiles: 1 (km: 1.6)
Three visitors, one of whom is using a mobility scooter, exploring the grounds of Berrington Hall, Herefordshire, with their dog.

Visiting Berrington with your dog 

Berrington Hall is a two pawprint rated place. Visit Berrington with your dog and enjoy walks through ‘Capability’ Brown’s final landscape. Find out where you can explore before you visit.

A lake at dawn or dusk with a grand house reflected in it, surrounded by tall green reeds and trees

How to spot a ‘Capability’ Brown landscape 

Brown designed landscapes that fitted in seamlessly with the surrounding countryside. So how do you spot the designs of one of the greatest gardeners of all time?

Seat under a quince tree in the Walled Garden in May at Berrington Hall, Herefordshire.

The garden at Berrington Hall 

Berrington is an internationally significant garden and final landscaping masterpiece completed by ‘Capability’ Brown, packed with signature features to enjoy.

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Countryside and woodland 

Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.

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This National Walking Month, explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.