On a lovely, sunny day in late September, Mum & I decided to have a day out at Croft Castle and Parkland. I’d been meaning to go since our trip to the nearby Berrington Hall last year, so with nothing else to do and a glorious day of weather, we headed to Croft Castle.
Set in 1500 acres of historic woodland, farm and parkland, Croft Castle lies in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside. It has a long and eventful history, and is even mentioned in the 1086 Domesday book! The current castle originated in the 14th century and has been altered over the centuries into its current manor house form.
Now managed by National Trust, visitors to Croft Castle learn much about the castle and its inhabitants, the Croft family, whilst walking through the building. There is plenty to see around the castle, although most of the rooms upstairs are closed to the public.
Croft Castle church, St Michael and All Angels, stands adjacent to the castle and dates back to the 14th century. The church is home to an impressive tomb of Sir Richard Croft and his wife Lady Eleanor (widow of Sir Hugh Mortimer – uncle of the Duke of York – and she was Lady Governess to Edward IV’s sons – Edward and Richard of York – best known as the “Princes in the Tower”).
The grounds of the castle include a vineyard and walled garden. Autumn was just setting in when we visited, so the walled garden made for a lovely place to wander around. The vines still held grapes and the apples and leaves were beginning to fall. With the warm weather from our gloriously hot summer still lingering, many of the flowers in the walled garden were still in bloom.
The Parkland at Croft Castle has many walking trails to choose from. As the afternoon sun rose and the day got hotter, we decided to take one of the shorter and easier routes – the Ancient Tree Walk.
The Ancient Tree Walk takes in the Spanish Chestnut avenue of trees planted in the formation of the Spanish Armada around 350 years ago and the 1,000-year-old Quarry Oak along its route. It’s an easy walk and is relatively flat.
Of course, a trip to a National Trust property isn’t complete without a trip to the secondhand bookshop and the gift shop. We also had lunch in the tea room.
There’s plenty to see and do at Croft Castle and it’s one of those places where you could easily spend a whole day. We had a great time and I’m sure we’ll go back again on another day to try out another of the walks.