Droitwich Barge Canal

We have been at The Old Orchard CL for a couple of days and as yet I have not bagged any of the local Ordnance Survey trig points, so in planning today’s walk I have ensured we will visit one.  There will also be an opportunity to walk along a section of the Droitwich Canal which will be a new canal for us. 

Once again we are starting our walk from the caravan.  Leaving the site by the driveway we turn right and walk down through the hamlet passing Yewtree House.  We keep with the road and carry straight on at a junction and follow this quiet lane as it heads in a southerly direction.  Soon the hedges disappear and we pass arable fields of rich loamy soil. 

We stay with the road heading south and pass Pipestyle House and continue on towards Uphampton.  At a T-junction we turn left on a road signposted towards Ombersley, after about 100 yards we reach a lane on the right and turn here and follow this lane until it bends to the right.  Here we go straight on along a dead end land. After a while the lane narrows to a footpath and continues into Ombersley.  

On reaching Ombersley we turn left and walk besides the road and then at the roundabout turn right and walk through the village to pass the Cricket Pitch and then turn left into Sinton Lane. At the corner of this lane there is an interesting property which has a horseshoe shaped entrance on one end.  This is the former Sinton Forge, at one time there were five forges in Ombersley, in 1911 this one was operated by Samual Sanders, the third generation to run the forge.  He employed his two sons Samual and Fred.

We walk along Sinton Lane and then cross the A449 before continuing on along the lane for a short distance, we then turn left on a footpath opposite a barn.

After going through a gate we turn right and follow the fence line continuing on a clear path through crops.

The footpath continues into another field and now follows the hedge line and goes steadily uphill.  As we reach the top of the hill we spot the Sinton Farm Ordnance Survey trig pillar, this is the 257th trig I have bagged.

On entering the next field at a crossing of paths the map shows the footpath crossing the field, however this is one of those fields with a wide margin and it appears that rather than walk through the crops people are encouraged to walk around the edge.  

We stay on the margin of the field around woodland and then turn to head towards a minor road.  At the road we turn right and walk on the tarmac to a junction where we turn left and then turn right onto a lane signposted towards Porters Mill.  This lane takes us past Woodside House, Hunt Green Farm and Tapenhall Farm to reach Porter’s Mill.

After a passing the mill we turn left into Porter’s Mill Lane just before a bridge over the Droitwich Canal.  This lane runs besides the canal and then as the road bends to the left we go through a car park and join the canal towpath.

We now walk along the canal towpath for just over a mile.  This is the first time we have walked along a section of the Droitwich Barge Canal which runs from Droitwich Spa to the River Severn at Hawford Bottom Lock.  It opened in 1771 with the main purpose of carrying salt from Droitwich which was extracted from the natural brine springs.  It was abandoned in 1939, by which time the railway network had made the transport of the salt much easier.

In 1973 work started to restore the canal and it was fully opened in 2010.

It is getting towards lunchtime so after passing under a bridge at Salwarpe we briefly leave the canal and wander up to St Michaels and All Angels church and find a bench to sit on and eat our sandwiches.  This Norman church was extended in 1400 and the chancel rebuilt in the 18th century.

Refreshed from our lunch we return to the canal and now carry on along a very pleasant section of the towpath.

After passing under the A38 the canal is close to the edge of Droitwich and there are houses on the opposite bank.  We leave the canal at bridge 11 and join the road turning left to walk past Droitwich Leisure Centre.  We carry on crossing a road bridge over the A38 and then at a roundabout turn left into Westwood Way.  Since joining the canal towpath we have been following the route of the Monarchs Way and now we follow the waymarkers on a footpath that goes to the right heading towards Westwood Park.

For a while the path goes through trees and then crosses the driveway to Westwood House.

We  stick with the Monarchs Way, a 589-mile long distance path which follows the route taken by Charles II as he fled following defeat at the Battle of Worcester.  Starting in Worcester it heads to the south coast at Lyme Regis and then heads east to end in Shoreham.

The path goes by Westwood House, this stately home was built in the 1600s as an Elizabethan banqueting hall.  Henry VIII granted the house to Sir John Pakington and his family continued to live here for several centuries, it has now been subdivided into twelve self-contained apartments.

At the edge of Nunnery Wood we leave the Monarchs Way and continue west on a footpath along a track which leads to a minor road.  We continue along the road to a junction where we go right  and at the next junction go right again into Haye Lane and stay with this lane until we reach the A449.

At the main road we turn right on the pavement and then cross and head up Holly Lane which leads between houses.  This lane turns into a footpath and after passing a house continues into a field.  It is clear that this route is not well walked and we struggle to find a clear route across the neglected field.  It is therefore with relief that we reach a junction with a clear path and turn right and head towards a minor road at Fruitlands Farm.

At the road we make a diversion turning right to walk a few hundred yards down the lane to the Fruitier’s Arms.  We popped into this pub near the end of our walk yesterday and the beer was excellent so I need to sample another pint or two to check it is as good today.

From the pub we turn around and walk back up the road and continue on until we reach Pipestyle House and then turn right and from here we follow the route we took when we started our walk staying with the road until we reach the Old Orchard CL.

You can view this 14 mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here

To follow my walk, you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map – 204 – Worcester & Droitwich Spa

30th June 2021

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2021)

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