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A stone urn and the church at Croome in Worcestershire
A stone urn and the church at Croome | © Mark Grimshaw
Worcestershire & Herefordshire

Conservation walk at Croome

The parkland at Croome came into our care in 1996 and, with over £8 million spent on restoration and conservation, it has been returned to its former glory and transformed into a beautiful place to explore. This circular walk highlights the work that has been done to look after the parkland.

Historical sources

To understand this history of the parkland and replant the shrubberies with original species, we often refer to 'An historical and descriptive account of Croome D'Abitot, the seat of the Right Hon. The Earl of Coventry with biographical notices of the Coventry Family to which are annexed an Hortus Croomensis, and observations on the propagation of exotics.' The book was published in 1824 by William Dean, botanic gardener at Croome.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Croome visitor centre, WR8 9DW.

Step 1

From the visitor centre turn left into the Wilderness Walk and walk out towards the church.

Step 2

From the church, follow the path on your right leading down to an iron gate into the evergreen shrubbery. The path meanders through the shrubs leading to an open area with four white plinths that mark the spots where Coade-stone statues of the Four Seasons once stood. Continue along the path, which leads you to the Temple Greenhouse passing the statue of Pan on your left. From the Temple Greenhouse follow the path past the Coade-stone statue of the Druid and on under the Dry Arch Bridge to the lake.

Step 3

Turn right and follow the path around the lake, passing a monument dedicated to Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. Pass the Grotto (designed by Brown) and the Coade-stone statue of Sabrina. Continue along the path and cross the bridge to the Island Pavilion, another of Robert Adam's garden buildings, and then over the second bridge to continue around the lake to the rope bridge. In Brown's garden design there would have been a boat at this point to cross the 'river' – you can still see the stone steps in the bank that would have led to the boat.

The stone grotto set amid green grass, woodland and a small pond to the left
The restored grotto | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Step 4

Turn right through the Dry Arch Bridge and immediately right after the bridge, up the slope and turn right and follow the path to the Punchbowl Gates.

Step 5

Go through the gates and turn left along the lane towards Westfield. The woodland that you can see over to your right is Menagerie Wood; a carriage drive through the woodland used to lead to the menagerie where Barbara, the 6th Earl of Coventry's second wife, kept a collection of birds and animals. Cross the cattle grid and turn left through the gate returning to the parkland.

Step 6

Walk straight across the parkland towards the house until you arrive at the Chinese Bridge. The Chinese Bridge was one of the few features that the 6th Earl had already had built before Brown started his work here in 1751. Brown incorporated the bridge into his plans for the new river and new landscape design. Do not cross the bridge, instead turn right, walking along the riverside until you reach the end.

Step 7

Go through the gate at the end of the river to see the restored Carriage Splash, which is a stone bridge-like structure usually disguised by shallow water, and which the horse-drawn carriages used to drive over, splashing the water either side – hence its name. Either walk over the carriage splash, or turn right to walk over the bridge over the weir and anti-clockwise around the pond.

Step 8

Head up the hill up through a gate and up to the Park Seat, another building designed by Robert Adam. The oak trees in the park are regularly pruned to make sure that the house is still visible from here.

Step 9

Continue up the hill to the ridge and bear left to follow the ridge back toward the Rotunda.

Step 10

At the end of the ridge turn left towards the Ha-ha – the ditch and the wall that makes sure the cattle can't get into the garden – and you'll see some steps leading up to the Rotunda.

Step 11

From the Rotunda follow the path through the shrubbery, keeping the wall of the walled garden on your left. You will pass a monumental urn on your left dedicated to George William, Earl of Coventry. Just before you reach the road you will see the entrance into the privately owned Walled Gardens, which is open on selected weekends.

Step 12

Follow the path across the driveway and into the Church Shrubbery, passing the bird hide on your right. When you reach the junction with the buggy path, turn right and visit the Ice House. Return to the path and turn right along the path to the church. From the church, retrace your steps through the Wilderness Walk back to the visitor centre.

A conical, thatched building with an entrance at one side and surrounded by wintery, leaf-less trees
The ice house at Croome Parkland | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

End point

Croome visitor centre, WR8 9DW.

Trail map

Croome conservation walk map
Croome conservation walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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More near here

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Enjoy this scenic 2.5-mile circular walk around the 'Capability' Brown-designed landscape in the parkland at Croome.

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DistanceMiles: 2 (km: 3.2) to miles: 2 (km: 3.2)

Get in touch

near High Green, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR8 9DW

Our partners

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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