After the snow a couple of days ago we have had overnight rain, but today’s forecast is pretty good so hopefully the wet weather gear can stay in our rucksacks. We have done a number of walks in the local area on previous trips to Goodleigh Hill CL, but so far have not explored much to the north of Pershore. Today I have plotted a route visiting a couple of the local villages we have not visited.
We leave the caravan site and follow the pavement towards Pershore. Just after crossing the River Avon we turn left on a footpath and go down steps to enter a meadow. It is noticeable how much higher the river is today compared to late yesterday afternoon.
We have joined the route of the Millennium Way. This 100-mile long distance path goes between Pershore and Middleton Cheney in Northamptonshire and we follow this section beside the River Avon heading in a westerly direction.
After passing a copse and crossing a bridge over a stream we ignore a footpath on the right, instead continuing by the river.
At the next junction of paths by a footbridge over a stream, the Millennium Way turns to the right, we continue alongside the river on the route of the Pershore Bridges Walk, a five-mile circular walk around Pershore.
After crossing a couple of footbridges the waymarked path turns to the right heading towards houses sat above the A4104. Reaching the road we go through a kissing gate and turn left to walk on the wide roadside verge and then cross with care at a way-marker to head into Tiddesley Wood.
We follow the Pershore Bridges Walk way-markers through the woods. This area of woodland was once an enclosed deer park owned by the Abbots of Pershore Abbey. In the 1950’s the Forestry Commission took ownership and used it a as commercial woodland and planted coniferous trees. Now in the ownership of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust they are clearing the remaining coniferous trees and replacing them with traditional deciduous woodland.
The route is a clear track and easy to follow. Reaching a crossing of way-marked footpaths we turn left leaving the route of the Pershore Bridges Walk and rejoining the Millennium Way which heads steadily downhill.
At a crossing of footpaths I had intended to go straight on to cross Bow Brook. However, the route looks flooded and on closer inspection there is no safe way of crossing.
A quick look at the map shows there is a relatively straightforward alternative route which will soon have us back on our intended path. So we take a footpath over a stile and head north along the edge of the woodland.
We stay with this path through an orchard of neglected plum trees and at a junction of footpaths on the northern edge of the woods we turn left over a stile and then continue north through another orchard towards a minor road.
At the road we turn left crossing Besford Bridge and then almost immediately cross a stile on the left to follow a footpath heading uphill across fields.
We stay with the path to reach another minor road which we cross to join a grassy track heading west.
At the end of the track we continue straight on across a field and then at the hedge line reach a junction of paths and turn right rejoining the Millennium Way. We now follow this clear path across fields towards a minor road.
At the road we turn left, staying with the Millennium Way along the road for just under half a mile before turning right on a footpath to keep with the Millennium Way as it crosses fields.
This path brings us to another minor road which we cross and take a footpath leading into Croome Perry Wood. This is a well-used path along the edge of the woodland.
The path leads to the edge of the village of Wadborough. We continue straight on through the village passing the Masons Arms. A couple of hundred yards after the pub we take a footpath over a stile on the right.
There is a choice of paths, our route is the path keeping the hedge line close to our right. After crossing another stile we continue past a horse’s paddock to reach yet another stile.
We now turn right along a minor road and then just before reaching houses on the left take a footpath going along the edge of a field behind the houses.
We are still on the route of the Millennium Way and keep with this path as it skirts around the edge of the field and then heads north towards Hawbridge.
In Hawbridge we turn left along the road and pass a closed down restaurant and then take a footpath through an old metal kissing gate on the right. The path heads across a field with chickens roaming free and then crosses a stile to go down steps to reach the B4084. We cross the road with care and take a footpath opposite which leads into an area of shrub.
The path then crosses a field to reach trees, there are several paths here, we choose one that goes beside a stream.
At a junction of paths near the north edge of the woods we turn right crossing the stream and then follow a well-worn muddy path along the edge of the woods.
After going through a gate we go east along the edge of a field heading towards Windmill Farm. The path goes on a track between farm buildings stabling horses to reach a lane where we continue straight on.
At a junction with the B4084 we turn right and before reaching Thorndon Farm take a footpath on the left leading into a field. We head east to reach a crossing of paths where we turn south towards Drakes Broughton.
After crossing a footbridge we are tempted to continue straight on along a well-worn route, however the map shows the footpath goes to the left besides a stream so we follow this route and then cross another stream to keep along the edge of a couple more fields to reach Drakes Broughton.
In the village we turn right and soon pass the Old Oak pub. Perhaps it’s just me, but the modern signage on an old pub does nothing to entice me through the door.
At a junction beside the church of St Barnabus we turn left into Walcot Lane.
We now head out of the village along the lane. After passing the last house on the right we take a footpath through a kissing gate beside a barn to enter a field.
After crossing a couple of fields we reach a lane and turn left soon passing Broughton Farm. The lane starts to head downhill and at the entrance to Bow Brook Farm we turn into the driveway and take a footpath on the right which goes through a gate and heads east through sheep pasture.
After going through a gate our route should descend to cross Bow Brook at Gig Bridge. However once again our route is blocked by the flooded brook.
Luckily an alternative route is available, so we turn left and follow the flooded river northward.
Just as I am feeling confident that this route is going to be fine we encounter a stretch where the river has flooded the path. Fortunately there is a fence along the edge of the field which we are able to use to keep above the water line.
The path then goes through another gate and heads uphill to reach a minor road at Walcot Farm. We now turn right and follow the lane past the farm and continue to reach a ford across Bow Brook. I am relieved to find there is a footbridge beside the ford which allows us a safe crossing.
Nearing what should be the ford we see a van which has been caught in the flood water. We assume the water has risen significantly since the van got stuck as it would have been foolhardy to try and go through water this deep.
Later I read this ford is notorious for people getting stuck and needing to be rescued and in 2007 a County Court Judge lost his life whilst attempting to drive through the ford.
Despite the potential hazards of this location it does look spectacular on a day like today.
After crossing the brook we continue up the road to the edge of Pershore. At a junction we turn right to head back into the centre of the town. Our diversion to gain access across the river means we are just over a mile from where I had planned to enter the town, but at least we have kept our feet dry.
Back at the caravan we reflect on what has been an interesting walk. The planned route was just under twelve miles, but with all the diversions we have walked a couple of extra miles!
To follow my walk, you will need Ordnance Survey Maps: OS Explorer Map – 190 – Malvern Hills & Bredon Hill
10th March 2023
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2023)
All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it. To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.