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Things to see and do in Croome's parkland

View towards the Malvern Hills from the parkland at Croome, Worcestershire
View towards the Malvern Hills from the parkland at Croome, Worcestershire | © National Trust Images / James Dobson

With commanding views over the Malvern Hills, the ‘Capability’ Brown landscape was designed to impress. Rescued from almost total loss, today Croome’s parkland with its serpentine river, tree lined lake, and elegant garden buildings is a perfect place to enjoy autumn scenes and discover autumn wildlife.

Autumn flora

Autumn is a season of plenty with the trees and shrubs bearing fruit and a great time to gather blackberries, damsons, sloes and nuts.

Keep your eyes peeled for fungi growing amongst the leaf litter. Giant puffballs, shaggy ink caps, brackets and orange mycena are just a few. How many can you spot during your visit? Never eat any fungi you have picked without being absolutely sure of the identification, verified by an expert.

Fly agaric fungi
Fly agaric | © National Trust/Rob Coleman

A stroll near the lakeside rewards visitors with a palette of rich colours with orange horse chestnut leaves dipping into the water edge, look for the red rose hips, and the butter yellow coloured ginkgo leaves.

Visitors exploring the parkland in autumn at Croome, Worcestershire
Visitors exploring the parkland in autumn at Croome, Worcestershire | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

‘Capabilty’ Brown, the famous 18th century landscape designer, used a huge number of herbaceous plants in his design at Croome. Tall, floaty, purple verbena, the seed heads of the huge cardoons, pink flowers on the turtlehead and late flowering asters give autumn interest to the “flowering stud” (an 18th century term to a tightly planted bed of flowers) near the statue of Pan. Our gardeners leave the seed heads on the verbena and cardoons for the birds to eat.

Autumn fauna

Autumn is a hive of activity with some birds migrating for the winter and Croome welcoming new arrivals from colder climates.

A close-up of a kestrel perched on a fence post looking over its shoulder
Kestrel on fence | © National Trust Images / Rob Skinner

Out in the parkland many birds of prey such as kestrels, buzzards and the occasional kite can often be seen soaring aloft ready to swoop on their unsuspecting prey. Flocks of fieldfare will also be seen feeding on Church Hill and in the outer parkland.

If you are near water, keep an eye out for our migrant hawker dragonflies that appear from August to October.

Migrant Hawker Dragonfly at Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire
Migrant Hawker Dragonfly | © National Trust Images/Richard Nicoll

Squirrels collect nuts and seeds and bury them in many scattered hiding places or “caches” around the wooded areas of the parkland. They have a highly-developed spatial memory and acute sense of smell, which help them find their stash months later.

Starlings are generally a highly social family bird, a flock of starlings is called a murmuration and can often be seen wheeling around Croome.

Flocks of geese and house martins prepare for their southerly migration to warmer climes.

Temples and follies

Panorama Tower

The Grade I listed Panorama Tower was designed by James Wyatt in 1801, based on an earlier design by Robert Adam for a similar building in the 1760s. The building is made of Bath stone and was modelled on Tempietto Romano in Rome, which was designed by Donato Bramante.

View of the Panorama Tower, a rotunda with pillars and a balcony, in parkland at Croome, Worcestershire.
Panorama Tower, Croome | © National Trust Images / John Hubble

The Park Seat

The Park Seat was designed by Robert Adam in 1766 and has been known locally as The Owl's Nest, as it used to be a home to a barn owl. The Grade II listed building, which overlooks the parkland and has fantastic views to the court along the river, was restored in 2007.

Pirton Castle

Pirton Castle was designed by James Wyatt in 1801. Located on a ridge called Rabbit Bank, Pirton Castle was designed to be viewed from the park at Croome and was deliberately built as a ruin to make the 6th Earl of Coventry's estate seem much older than it actually was.

Dunstall Castle

Grade II* listed Dunstall Castle was designed by Robert Adam in 1766. Adam deliberately designed it as a whimsical folly with elements of both a castle and a church.

Chinese Bridge

When Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was commissioned in 1751 to redesign both the house and the garden, the Chinese Bridge was one of the few features that he kept. Originally designed by William Halfpenny in the 1740s for the 5th Earl of Coventry, the bridge spanned the river close to Croome Court and linked the house to the wider parkland.

The Chinese Bridge over the river in the park with the Palladian mansion in the background at Croome, Worcestershire
The Chinese Bridge over the river in the park with the Palladian mansion in the background at Croome | © National Trust Images/John Hubble

Silent Space

Discover Croome's Silent Space which is part of the Silent Space | Peaceful time in green places

Our Silent Space is located not far from the Rotunda in the Home Shrubbery, the 6th Earl of Coventry’s favourite place in the garden at Croome. Take a seat on one of the benches – listen to nature, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the views over the parkland. You might spot swans on the river or hear buzzards as they soar overhead. Enjoy a moment of rest and tranquillity before exploring more of the garden and park at Croome.

A family with a pushchair walk in the grounds at Croome, Worcestershire. In the background Croome court can be seen.

Discover more at Croome

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

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Lancelot 'Capability' Brown at Croome 

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Take a look at some of the conservation and restoration projects that have taken place in the estate at Croome.

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Park Seat circular walk at Croome 

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

DistanceMiles: 2.5 (km: 4)
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An accessible walk at Croome 

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DistanceMiles: 2 (km: 3.2) to miles: 2 (km: 3.2)
Croome Court by EF Burney, 1784

A walk in Croome's pleasure grounds 

Follow in the footsteps of William Dean, head gardener at Croome in the early 1800s, on this recreation of his Pleasure Grounds walk which he wrote about in 1824.

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