Arrive in Droitwich Spa and overnight.
DROITWICH SPA to FLYFORD FLAVELL (10 miles) (16 km)
A day’s walk through the heart of England, along towpaths, through locks, farmland, villages and alongside streams and brooks. As you leave the town behind the rich rural landscape of England appears with traditional hawthorn and blackthorn hedges edging the fields, rich in birdlife and song.
Woods, coppices and streams form the landscape here, and views of the Malvern Hills will appear as the route heads south. Highlights include Shell Manor, in the tiny hamlet of Shell mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086; at Shell Ford see the banded demoiselles bathing at Bow Brook in the summertime.
FLYFORD FLAVELL to PERSHORE (13 miles) (21 km)
Although today’s walk is longer, the route is not arduous, heading out-east towards the Lenches via farmlands and wooded tracks with lovely views as you rise up. Rous Lench, with the Rous family as Lords of the Manor, featured in the Civil War and Cromwell stayed at Rous Lench Court after the Battle of Worcester. Wonderful old orchards feature on this route, and views right across the Severn plain to the Malvern Hills appear gradually as you head south towards the River Avon and the town of Pershore in the Vale of Evesham.
Pershore is a lovely market town with elegant Georgian buildings, many the subject of conservation orders, and a superb medieval Abbey. Pershore Abbey dates from the 13th century although it was first established as a religious community in 689 AD. Pershore’s prime position in the rich, fertile Vale of Evesham make it a valuable and prolific producer of fruit and vegetables, particularly well known for its asparagus and fruits such as plums and cherries, sold by the roadside in summer, followed by apples and pears towards the end of the season.
PERSHORE to ASHTON-under-HILL (10 miles) (16 km)
A fabulous day’s walking up to Bredon Hill passing through Great Comberton to ascend to Parson’s Folly and the Elephant Stone. Parson’s Folly, the tower at the top was built to be exactly 39 feet high to bring the height of the hill up to 1,000 feet. The panoramic views across Worcestershire from the top are ample reward for the steepness of the ascent. Wildlife is here in abundance: skylarks can often be seen overhead, and meadow pipits down in the tussocky grass. Descend to the village of Ashton-under-Hill – a long village street with some beautiful thatched cottages.
ASHTON-under-HILL to BROADWAY (7.5 miles) (12 km)
The final leg of the trail leads into the heart of the Cotswolds through the ancient village of Sedgebarrow, sitting peacefully on the River Osbourne, a tributary of the Avon. As you head east towards Broadway, look out for the spire of Childswickam Church, a local landmark from the 15th century.
Broadway lies on the Worcestershire-Gloucestershire border and is often called the ‘jewel of the Cotswolds’ with its spectacular golden stone buildings and its wide tree-lined main street. It is historically linked with many artists and writers including William Morris of the Arts and Crafts movement, Sir Edward Elgar and the painter John Singer Sargent.
The town has a wealth of quality eating and drinking places, as well as shops, museums and art galleries to spend some time in.
Depart after breakfast.