Eastnor Castle Grounds
Eastnor Castle is “embowered by vast conifers, plantations which spill out into surrounding hills and fields,” and which include “the most magnificent collection of cedars in the British Isles.” Miles Hadfield, Country Life, 20 June 1968.
Eastnor’s Arboretum is surprising for the beauty and exceptional size of the trees, growing as they do in the alkaline soil of the Malvern Hills rather than in the acid soil where most other conifer collections are found.
Most of Eastnor Castle’s exotic trees were planted in the second half of the 19th century, at the height of the Victorian passion for plant collecting. The 2nd and 3rd Earls Somers collected seed on their travels. Many more plants came from botanical expeditions and from specialist nurseries where trees were raised from seed imported from all over the world.
Eastnor Tree Trail
The Eastnor Tree trail is a walking trail around 24 of Eastnor’s most important trees.
The trail includes trees on the front drive, back drive, lakeside and takes in the highest point of the grounds at the summerhouse. Each tree is individually numbered on a nearby peg and the trail can be started at any point and completed in any order.
The trail will take 1.5 to 2 hours to complete and a Tree Trail map can be obtained from the visitor entrance on arrival at Eastnor Castle (map available from 30th May 2022).
Tree Hunters’ Trek
The Eastnor Aboretum that you see today was shaped by a group of Victorian explorers who travelled the world in search of precious seeds which were planted in gardens and estates throughout Victorian Britain.
The Tree Hunters’ Trek is aimed at all ages and is a fun information-board trail around 10 trees in the Arboretum.
Visitors can become modern-day tree hunters: discover where in the world the trees came from, who brought them here and how they are used in our lives today.
The Castle Lake
The lake is an important part of the Castle’s landscape and was created shortly after the castle was finished by daming up two streams that ran through the valley. The remains of the original family house Castleditch, form the larger of two islands and the foundations of the house are still at the base of the lake. The lake overflow is in the form of a weir, which is made from limestone and limecrete which is a concrete where the cement is replaced by lime. The weir was designed by Robert Smirke, who also designed the castle.
“We went there yesterday and had a brilliant day out. We were so surprised that we were allowed to take our dog everywhere including the castle which was wonderful. It was such a positive place with hardly any signs telling you not to do stuff and it was brilliant seeing the children on the trees without being told to stop. Would definitely recommend this to everyone.”
Don’t leave your dog at home
Eastnor Castle is very proud to be a Dogs Welcome tourist attraction and one of the few stately homes where dogs are welcome into its grounds and house.
If they are on a lead, your dog is welcome to wander with you when you visit, and every owner is offered dog waste bags on arrival. There is also a dedicated ‘Dogs-Off-Leads Area’ where dogs are free to run amongst the trees!