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Croft Castle and Parkland greenery with castle building in background.
Child playing under table at Croft Castle and Parkland.
Landscape and gardens at Croft Castle and Parkland .
Kids in wellies jumping in water at Croft Castle and Parkland.

Croft Castle And Parkland

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Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines
  • Visit Croft Castle and Parkland, which sits in the heart of Herefordshire countryside surrounded by 1500-acres of historic woodland, farm and woodland.
  • Explore Croft Castle, National Trust, the castellated manor house and learn about the family who have lived there for nearly a thousand years.
  • Walk through the parkland by Croft Castle, Herefordshire, to the Iron Age hill fort or follow a woodland trail.
  • There are family activity packs, a children’s play area, quiz/trail and dressing-up clothes.

Croft Castle and Parkland is an enchanting National Trust site situated on the English-Welsh border, a quiet, ancient place that is steeped in rich British history, boasting 1000 years of power, politics and pleasure in this intimate family estate. Boasting a picturesque castle and medieval parkland that was re-fashioned during the 18th century, the castle is also home to stunning interiors, period furnishings and paintings and more to uncover.

The castle is surrounded by 1,500-acres of gorgeous woods, park and farmland, and Croft became home to a prominent, and resilient family, beginning with Bernard de Croft in the 11th century, enriching the historical relevance of this place. Boasting the stories of Sir Richard Croft, who fought in the Wars of the Roses, plus that of Sir James Croft who was rewarded with a high office for his loyalty to Elizabeth I, there's plenty to discover. The castle site itself has numerous fun activities for kids to get involved in, including getting hands-on with the grand piano, vintage games and toys, like the beloved snakes and ladders, train sets, tiddlywinks, and mah-jong. There are guided attic and cellar tours offered, too, which are great fun while learning more about the history of this place.

This intimate house became the Croft family home before the well known Domesday Book, and there are many intriguing and fascinating 20th century stories to uncover while you are here. 2017 is actually the 60th anniversary of Croft Castle coming into National Trust care as it was bought in 1957. So, don't miss out on the stories that will be unveiled throughout the years, as you reminisce and get involved in the events that are held regularly.

You can find portraits within the interiors of the castle within close distance to the parish church and these document the various members of the Croft dynasty who served in later political and colonial positions.

Children can discover and relive some 1950's games and toys within the household room; there are complete costumes to use for dressing up. Be sure to look out for the Georgian stable block and learn about the tales of horses and how they had been cared for throughout the war years. After, check out the walks and carriage rides created and inspired by the broader picturesque pleasure grounds of Fishpool Valley with its deep quiet pools, mill and grotto, which are all now undergoing a process of restoration. On the wider walks, they take you to the Iron Age hill fort of Croft Ambrey and here you'll find magnificent far-reaching views to the Welsh Mountains.

For nature lovers, step outside and explore the pretty walled garden that is complete with historic orchards, vineyard and 1908 glasshouse. Look out for the Georgian stable block and uncover some of the stories of how horses were cared for during the war years.

After, go on some Croft Castle walks, and take a stroll through the parkland up to the Iron Age hill fort for ever-glorious views including the Brecon beacons or follow one of the woodland trails and find over 300 veterans trees along the way. If you've got energy to burn, why not tackle the Orienteering course or let the kids go wild in the natural and mini-castle play areas, which are great fun! All the walks are marked clearly on the maps that are provided at the gate, and they are colour coded to make it easier, some of the walks can be interlinked, but they are all quite different, keeping you on your toes. Learn about some of the wildlife you can spot in Croft's 1500-acre parkland, from fallow deer to fungi; there's an abundance of wildlife to spot in Croft's historic parkland.

For more great walks in Herefordshire, you should visit Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum, which is the only designated country park in the county, plus it's home to a tourist attraction on Dinmore Hill, and its arboretum has a 47-acre tree collection with over 1,200 rare and frequently exotic trees.

If you're after some juicy, historical stories, the castle volunteers will tell you about a time when the Crofts lost their home in 1746 and eventually repurchased it 177 years later in the 20th century, as the castle briefly became a family home once more, and even hosting a school during World War II. Plus, in 1956, Croft Castle was secured for the nation. Nowadays, you can find a varied collection on display which shows the many aspects of Croft’s history, and its uses. Here in the castle, you can enjoy the 'atmosphere rooms', which includes the 18th-century Saloon. If you're after some more historical sites in Herefordshire, check out Berrington Hall, another National Trust venue, home to a country house and landscape garden, parkland and lake, steeped in history and all waiting to be explored. There are plenty of National Trust properties close to Ludlow to be explored.

Plus, don't miss out on the regular and solid program of family-oriented activities and events at this site that are held during school holidays and at Christmas. Be sure to check it out and pre-book as Croft Castle gets busy.

What to know before you go

  • Pre-booking is essential at Croft Castle to avoid disappointment, especially at busier times such as weekends and bank holidays. But, where space is available on weekdays, pre-booking may not always be necessary.
  • When you're feeling peckish, tuck into a freshly made sandwiches, sausage roll, tasty cake, all in the Carpenter's tea-room at Croft Castle.
  • Picnics are welcome at Croft Castle.
  • There are toilets, accessible toilets and baby-changing facilities available at Croft Castle.
  • Dogs are allowed in Croft Castle but must be kept on leads as there are sheep grazing in Fishpool Valley.
  • There are all-terrain pushchairs to borrow, plus hip-carrying infant seats available. Please check in advance if these are available as under some circumstances they may not be.
  • There is Separate mobility parking, 20 yards, plus mobility toilet facilities at the tea-room. Mobility scooters will be available to hire.
  • The grounds at Croft Castle are partially accessible, with loose gravel paths, slopes and cobbles. There are accessible routes available. Paths around the Walled Garden are suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Manual wheelchairs are available for loan in the castle.

Getting there

  • Croft Castle and Parkland is located at Yarpole, in Herefordshire.
  • If travelling by train, Leominster train station is about 7 miles away from Croft Castle and Parkland. From there you can get a taxi or two buses, the 490 towards Ludlow getting off at Milbrook Way, and the 490 to Leominster getting off at Yarpole Turn.
  • If travelling via the road, ensure to approach from B4362, turning north at Cock Gate between Bircher and Mortimer's Cross, then Croft Castle is signposted from Ludlow to Leominster road (A49) and from A4110 at Mortimer's Cross.
  • There is parking 100 yards away.
  • If travelling via bus, from Ludlow to Hereford, this passes close Ludlow Train Station and Leominster Station), get off at Gorbett Bank, which is just over two miles away, from there you can walk or bus.

Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Government Guidelines

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Logo for the National Trust featuring an acorn leaf on a green background.

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National Trust

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The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest is a renowned charity and membership organisation in England, Northern Ireland and Wales that offers natural preservation for the most beloved heritage locations in the UK, including houses, buildings, coastlines, gardens and parks. With over 500 sites and attractions under their conservation and an ever-increasing 5.6 million members, the Trust is one of the largest wilderness and heritage protectors in the world and is now celebrating its 125th anniversary year since being founded in 1895.

With a National Trust membership, easily joinable via their website with family and lifetime options, you can enjoy free entry to all of their gardens, parklands and National Trust properties including the Giant’s Causeway in Antrim, Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire, Knole in Kent and hundreds more. Partly owned by H.R.H the Prince of Wales, the National Trust aims to protect, preserve and develop the most treasured locations and outstanding areas of nature in the UK so that they can be enjoyed by visitors from across the world.

Image © National Trust Facebook.