A pleasant stroll in the north Herefordshire border marches - April 2004
Croft Ambrey Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
The Riverside Inn at Aymestry lies in an idyllic setting beside the River Lugg, between Leominster and Leintwardine. The previous evening's excellent meal there had been followed (after a decent interval) by a fine breakfast - a leg stretch now was essential. So, with boots on and cameras at the ready, we headed for the ancient hill fort of Croft Ambrey, high on the wooded ridge above Croft Castle. After seemingly endless poor weather during the spring, the last Saturday in April was fine, warm and sunny - perfect! The route is reasonably straightforward - across the meadows from the inn to the scarp slope of the ridge, which is gained via a pleasant path through the woods. The path then follows the main ridge north-eastwards before reaching the hill fort, with its prominent earthworks and fine views towards the north- west. From the fort, there are two routes to Croft Castle - the direct route, and the slightly less direct one down through the
Fishpool Valley, with its line of pools (oddly enough), and interesting buildings. We took the latter - again, a most enjoyable stretch through the rapidly-emerging spring greenery. The castle, open to the public through the National Trust, has a tea-room which provided a most welcome break, and just the right time- interval from breakfast... The castle is about two-thirds of the way around this walk (a little over 6 miles in total) - the route back to Aymestry is fairly direct, but nevertheless enjoyable. Passing first through the triple avenue of ancient twisted chestnuts, it then traverses open woodlands with a multi-coloured display of wild flowers - bluebells, "wooden enemies", celendines and primroses, before picking up our outward path for the last half-mile or so. A very enjoyable gentle amble - just the thing to walk off the calories!
Aymestry - the bridge over the Lugg Bluebell woods on the scarp Looking back to Aymestry View to the north-west Croft Ambrey - the earthworks Fishpool Valley (above the pools!) Ice house in the valley Water mill Fishpool reflections The avenue of ancient chestnuts More old chestnuts - well past their sell-by date White bluebell in the woods Yellow, white and blue

View Croft Ambrey from Aymestry in a larger map
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