Visiting Croft Castle with your dog
With 1,500 acres of parkland and beautiful gardens, Croft Castle is a great place to explore with your dog.
Our pawprint rating system
We’ve been working on making it easier for you to find out how dog-friendly your visit will be before you and your four-legged friend arrive. To help with this, we've created a new pawprint rating system and given all the places in our care a rating. You can find this information in the National Trust members’ handbook.
Croft Castle is a two pawprint rated place.
These places have water bowls, dog bins and dog-friendly walks. You’ll be able to take your dog into some areas, but not everywhere. If there’s a food and beverage outlet, you can have a cup of tea with them, probably outside. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.
Where can my dog go?
There are five waymarked walks to follow, which include ancient trees, sweeping views across the Herefordshire countryside and an Iron Age hillfort. Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome to join you on all the walks through the parkland.
If you want to refresh before, during or after your walk, your dog is welcome in the glazed area of the tea-room, or there are picnic benches outside.
Your dog can also join you for a wander around the walled garden and the area outside the castle.
Croft's parkland is grazed by cattle and sheep. If your dog is not used to cows and calves, please ask about the best livestock-free routes to follow as we want you to enjoy a relaxed walk during your visit.
Where can't my dog go?
The only places your dog can't go are inside the castle and the area of the tea-room where the till is.
We know your four-legged friend loves to swim but unfortunately dogs in the pools in Fishpool Valley can pose serious dangers to wildlife by spreading disease. Please help to care for wildlife by not letting your dog swim here.
Conservation grazing has also been introduced into parts of the valley, so please remember to keep your dogs on leads in the fenced areas of the valley to protect livestock.
Facilities available for my dog
You'll find dog waste bins in the main car park by visitor reception, as well as water bowls.
The Canine Code
We’ve worked with our partner Forthglade to come up with this Canine Code, which helps to make sure everyone can enjoy their day:
- Keep them close: using a short lead helps to keep your dog from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animals. It's essential to use a short lead around sheep. But if cattle approach you, it's best to let your dog off the lead, and call them back when it's safe to do so.
- Pick up the poo: please always clear up after your dog. If you can't find a bin nearby, take the poo bags home with you.
- Watch the signs: keep an eye on local signs and notices wherever you're walking. They'll tell you if a beach has a dog ban, for instance, or if a path has been diverted, or if you're in an area where dogs can run off-lead.
- Stay on the ball: remember that not everyone loves dogs, and some people fear them. So make sure your dog doesn't run up to other people, especially children.
Keeping control of your dog
Our definition of close or effective control is:
- Being able to recall your dogs in any situation at the first call
- Being able to clearly see your dog at all times (not just knowing they have gone into the undergrowth or over the crest of the hill). In practice, this means keeping them on a footpath if the surrounding vegetation is too dense for your dog to be visible
- Not allowing them to approach other visitors without their consent
- Having a lead with you to use if you encounter livestock or wildlife, or if you are asked to use one
Discover the best places for a dog walk, from coastal adventures and dramatic mountains to more leisurely walks near you. Plus find information on dog-friendly cafés and read our Canine Code.
If you’re bringing your dog to the places we care for, here’s information on the Canine Code and pawprint rating system to plan your visit.
We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade to create the Dogs Welcome project, helping you and your dog to get the most out of the places in our care.
Discover the garden at Croft Castle, taking in the historic orchard within the walled garden, or listen to the birds in the church garden.
Explore 1,500 acres of wood, farm and parkland including the 'Picturesque' Fishpool Valley and an Iron Age hillfort at Croft Castle.
Tuck into some lunch and light bites in the Carpenter’s tea-room at Croft Castle, or visit the second-hand bookshop to find yourself a pre-loved classic.
Croft Castle was noted in the Domesday book in 1086 and the Croft family have played a part influencing British political and military history ever since. Uncover their stories in the castle.