Arrive in Kington and overnight.
KINGTON TO WEOBLEY (11.8 miles) (19 km)
Today’s route is the perfect start to the walking tour – a gentle trek through the fields and orchards of Herefordshire to Weobley, famed for its beautifully kept black and white buildings which line the streets of this small but engaging town.
WEOBLEY TO BODENHAM (10.6 miles) (17 km)
This stage continues with the rural agricultural theme but with more of a climb to ascend Westhope Common with rewarding views of the Black Mountains from the top. The ridge winds down towards the Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum – a 47 acre tree collection and 123 acres of ancient woodland, and continues to Bodenham and England’s Gate via a long-distance bridlepath.
BODENHAM TO BISHOP’S FROME (11.8 miles) (19 km)
Today’s route continues towards Little Cowarne, one of Elgar’s favourite spots where a brass panel in the church commemorates these visits, and the Wycheway merges briefly with the Three Choirs Way as it winds from Hereford towards Worcester. Bishop’s Frome is a thriving village with outlets selling a range of local produce and a couple of pubs, where the Wycheway meets the Herefordshire Trail.
The final stretch of the walk takes you up and over the Malvern Hills from where you have spectacular views in all directions. The Malvern Hills are formed from hard igneous rocks, at a mind-boggling 700 million years they are amongst the most ancient in the United Kingdom.
BISHOP’S FROME to GREAT MALVERN (10.8 miles) (19 km)
Today’s walk is the most challenging in terms of uphill treks, but is the most picturesque with a wide variety of landscapes and scenery. The ascents provide fabulous panoramas from the summits, and Mathon church provides a fascinating sanctuary, either inside or in the shade of the ancient yew tree in the churchyard – before the final climb up Cockshoot Hill and down towards Malvern. The Malverns provide a network of paths up and over the summit and down into Great Malvern.
Day 6 OPTIONAL
This could be an opportunity to spend the day in and around Great Malvern, sampling the spring water, walking on the hills, visiting the impressive and ancient Priory and shopping in individual shops selling a fine range of local produce and crafts.
Overnight in Great Malvern
GREAT MALVERN to UPTON-upon-SEVERN (10.6 miles) (17 km)
Today’s walk has a variety of landscapes to explore, and two very different Worcestershire towns. The beginning of the trail gives a taste of the Malverns, exploring the hill trails which lead upwards towards the highest point of the Malvern Hills, the Worcestershire Beacon. The route continues southward along the ridge and down off the hill towards the River Severn and the riverside town of Upton-upon-Severn, a thriving watershed town with a wealth independent shops and eateries. Upton’s distinctive pepperpot on the river is just one of many sights to visit on your walk. River boats and houseboats moor here to visit the town and the many festivals it hosts throughout the year. In recent years flood barriers have protected the town from the severe flooding of the past when Upton was completely cut off from surrounding roads and villages by the rising waters.
UPTON-upon-SEVERN to ASHTON-under-HILL (10.6 miles) (17 km)
In a reversal of the previous day’s walk, today’s walking tour starts on the level and gradually rises as you head eastward, away from the river and towards the Cotswolds and the accessible heights of Bredon Hill. Starting from the River Severn and crossing another great river, the Avon by means of a series of boardwalks, and visiting several villages en-route, you gradually ascend to the top of Bredon Hill and its distinctive tower, Parson’s Folly, from where there are panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The trail went its way along the escarpment before dipping down to Ashton-under-Hill, a pretty village with thatched cottages, heralding the gateway to the Cotswolds.
ASHTON-under-HILL to BROADWAY TOWER (13 miles) (21 km)
The route begins to wend its way through the spectacularly fertile Vale of Evesham with its orchards, market gardens and fields of vegetables. The area is particularly famous for its asparagus which is sold by the roadside during the season, followed by seasonal fruits of all kinds – strawberries, cherries and other delights throughout the summer. A succession of beautiful villages along the route lead to the little gem of Stanton, a classic Cotswold village from where spectacular views back towards the Malverns are well-deserved. The walk then continues on a fairly steep uphill climb to join the Cotswold Way and on to the Broadway Country Park and the welcoming sight of the Broadway Tower – worth a final climb!
Depart after breakfast.