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The old pumphouse in Fishpool Valley on the Croft Castle estate, Herefordshire
The old pump house in Fishpool Valley on the Croft Castle estate | © National Trust Images/James Dobson
Worcestershire & Herefordshire

Highwood and Fishpool walk at Croft Castle

Explore the restored historic paths and woodland of Fishpool Valley, landscaped during the late 18th century. Climb to the highest point in the valley for views over the series of dams and pools and visit the remains of the summerhouse, icehouse and Gothic pumphouse.

Access to walking trails

All our walking trails are within the parkland at Croft Castle, so you'll need to pay the admission fee or present your National Trust membership card to access them.

Total steps: 11

Total steps: 11

Start point

Croft visitor reception, grid ref SO45119 65659

Step 1

Head up the field behind visitor reception, following the bird waymarks. You’ll eventually come to a gate. Go through it and along the wooded track until you reach a right turn. Take the turn and follow the track as it winds its way to the base of the gulley.

Step 2

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

Step 3

Continue along this path for some time. On your right, you'll see views across the valley. Eventually, you'll come to a set of steps on your left; ignore these and carry straight on, following the bird waymarks until you arrive at the summerhouse, a place to pause and admire the magnificent view.

Step 4

Keep following the path past the summerhouse and along to the next viewing platform, set in a clearing with a bench. This is the highest point in the valley and offers 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 woodland floor.

Step 5

Return to the track and continue down into the valley, still following the bird waymarks. You'll eventually come to a gate. Go through it and continue straight on, ignoring the gate on your right and the tracks going left. Follow the hard track round to the right.

Step 6

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

Beech woodland on the slopes of Fishpool Valley at Croft Castle, Herefordshire
Beech woodland on the slopes of Fishpool Valley at Croft Castle | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

Step 7

Follow the path down to the right. It passes another viewpoint. Take a seat for a moment of quiet reflection.

Step 8

Keep following the path through the woodland. Go through the next gate, turn left and then through a second gate. Continue through the woodland. The track goes on for some time.

Step 9

You’ll eventually 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 flowing down the spillway.

Step 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. In winter, ice that formed on the pools would have been collected and stored here.

Step 11

Continue following the hard track, keeping the pools on your right. You’ll eventually pass the Gothic pumphouse on your right. 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 point

Croft visitor reception, grid ref SO45119 65659

Trail map

Ordnance Survey map of the Highwood and Fishpool Valley walk at Croft Castle, Herefordshire
The Highwood and Fishpool walk at Croft Castle, Herefordshire | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Yarpole, near Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 9PW

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Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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