Today is one of those days when Crosby and I are heading out on our own. Lynnie has decided to spend a few hours wandering around Pershore so I am free to walk as far as I please. I don’t fancy driving anywhere so after a quick scan of the map I decide to head out from the caravan.
Leaving the site by the pedestrian access I walk down to the road and the turn left and head uphill into Pensham Hill. As the road levels out I take a footpath on the right beside a post box. The path follows a driveway and then goes through a gate to enter a field.
This is the route of the Wychavon Way, a forty-mile long distance route between Droitwich Spa and the Cotswold village of Broadway. I go through the field with the hedge to my right to reach a kissing gate and then follow a clear path across fields heading towards Home Farm in Pensham.
On reaching a road in the village I turn left and continue on this towards Pensham Farm. The road then becomes a track and passes glass houses and barns. Shortly after the last barn the footpath turns to the right, here the footpath goes diagonally across a field but there is a permissive path around the field edge which I choose instead. If possible I prefer to take a route that avoids damaging crops.
The permitted path turns left at the corner of the field and soon rejoins the main footpath continuing along the edge of the field. I reach a point where the footpath goes through bushes, when I last walked the path in the opposite direction the path was overgrown and impassable, things have not improved so I continue along the edge of the field towards glass houses and then turn right to follow a track downhill to rejoin the main footpath which goes over a footbridge into a field.
Over the bridge I turn to the right and the path soon turns besides the River Avon and I continue along with the river on my right.
Through a gate I keep going along a broad grassy path besides the river, in front of me is a good view of Bredon Hill, Lynnie and I walked up there on a cold day last November but it is not on my list of planned walks this trip.
After going through another gate the footpath turns away from the river and heads up a lane towards Great Comberton. At a junction with a road I turn right and walk into the village and then fork left by a telephone box, now being used as a book swap, and walk along Church Street. I soon reach a junction with Russell Street and follow this tarmac lane which passes houses and then becomes a track as it heads out of the village.
I stay with this track as it becomes a footpath leading through fields heading east. At a junction of footpaths besides a gate I continue straight on along a hedge-lined path to take a track where I turn right following it for a few hundred yards to reach a footpath on the left. This path goes east across the field with the fence-line on the left hand side.
In the corner of the field I cross a stream on a footbridge and then continue along the waymarked path heading through fields towards Elmley Castle.
At a junction of paths besides a barn I turn right, this leads to a lane where I turn left and walk into the attractive village.
On reaching the village pub, The Queen Elizabeth, I turn left. This 16th century pub apparently derives its name from the visit of Queen Elizabeth I to Elmley Castle in August 1575. One side of the pub sign shows the date 20th August 1575, and the pub’s website says they like to think that the Queen stayed at the inn. Even if it can’t be proven it is a good marketing ploy.
Just after the pub I turn right into a narrow lane which soon reaches the village cricket field.
To avoid the narrow lane I walk besides the cricket pitch and then rejoin the road by the entrance to the field car park. I now have a section on the road, but it broadens out and there is very little traffic. I ignore a footpath on the left and a couple of others on the right and carry on besides the road until I reach a footpath sign which points to a path on the left crossing a stile besides a gate into a paddock area, this is marked on the map as Netherton Fields. The path goes beside the paddock and then along the edge of woodland.
Emerging from the trees I follow the path heading north to reach barns at Elms Farm where there is an abandoned old lorry.
I follow the track around the barns and then pass a gate and continue on the farm driveway to reach a road where I turn right and then very soon take a left along a lane signposted to Netherton.
The lane goes by cottages and continues on past the old barns of Chapel Farm.
At a crossing of footpaths I carry on northwards along a track to a gateway. Through this I keep north and at the next gateway enter a field of cattle, thankfully they show no interest in Crosby and I as we make our way between them and my heart rate returns to normal when we are safely through the gate on the far side of the field.
The next gate reaches a junction of paths and I turn left staying on the Wychavon Way and keeping left when the path forks. The route continues along a hedge-lined track.
At a footpath on the right I turn to follow a broad path between fields heading in the direction of Cropvale Farm.
After crossing a bridge the path turns to the left and heads north towards Cropthorne and I soon pass a fine old barn.
Staying with the waymarked route I continue through fields with a stream to my left. This footpath leads to the B4084 which I cross and turn left along the pavement for a hundred yards before turning right at a junction down Brooks Lane. This lane takes me into Cropthorne and I stay with it as it bends to the right and crosses a stream before heading uphill to the village church.
The church of St Michael has an interesting interior with fragments of an ancient wall painting.
There are also some interesting memorials one of which is Francis Dingley (died 1624) and his wife Elizabeth Bigg. The inscription states they were married for 50 years and had eleven sons and seven daughters.
Leaving the churchyard I turn left and continue through the village to a junction where I turn left into Neigh Lane which is signposted to Fladbury. I follow this road out of the village and then downhill to reach a junction where I turn left and cross the River Avon.
On the far side of the bridge I join a permissive path on the right crossing meadows besides the river, heading to Fladbury Mill.
The path leads to a road besides Fladbury Mill, here I turn right and walk into the village passing the Anchor pub and the Fladbury Pie Shop which is opposite the St John the Baptist church, built in 1340.
I continue through the village past the Social Club and then almost immediately after take a footpath on the left leading down Coach Drive, this passes houses and then allotments and follows a concrete driveway heading towards Spring Hill Farm. This is the route of Shakespeare’s Avon Way an eighty-eight mile long distance path following the river Avon from its source at Naseby to its confluence with the River Severn at Tewkesbury.
As the path nears Spring Hill Farm I go to the right and follow the route as it passes farm buildings and then heads west to cross a minor road and then the waymarked route heads towards a static caravan park. The route through the park is clearly waymarked and passes the caravans dotted around disused gravel pits.
Staying with the waymarkers for Shakespeare’s Avon Way I continue on to skirt around a sewage works and then Lower End Farm and then carry on, ignoring other footpaths, to reach Wyre Piddle.
The path joins a road where I turn left and wander through the village passing the Anchor Inn to reach the village medieval cross.
I go left at the cross and follow the lane past the small church of St Ann.
The lane heads out of the village, going downhill passing the entrance to Wyre Boatyard and then reaching Wyre Mill, this old corn mill dates from the early 1800’s and originally had three wheels. It is now the base of Wyre Mill Club a social club for locals and visiting caravanners and boaters.
After passing the mill and the entrance to a caravan and camping site the path continues on to follow a footpath across meadows heading towards Pershore.
I have a number of options on reaching the edge of Pershore and choose to walk around past the entrance of Pershore Football Club and then wander through a car park besides Asda supermarket and join the High Street where I turn left and continue along the road through the town and then across the River Avon before turning right to return to Goodleigh Hill CL.
My walk has covered fifteen miles and there have been plenty of interesting things to see along the way.
To follow my walk, you will need Ordnance Survey Maps: OS Explorer Map – 190 – Malvern Hills & Bredon Hill
6th May 2022
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2022)