The Severn Way and Ombersley

On today’s walk I am keen to walk a section of the Severn Way besides the River Severn.  We often walk besides canals, but a riverside walk is not such a regular occurrence and I am interested to see what wildlife we might see along the river bank.  Looking at the map I can see the river is only a short walk from our pitch at The Old Orchard CL so we will head off from the site.

From the caravan we head to the field margin to the north which runs close to the minor road and follow this until the top margin of the third field , here we turn left to reach the edge of the field and then go right on a footpath heading downhill towards a minor road and properties at Tytchney.

At the road our route is to the right, but first we have a look at Tytchney Gables a 16th century timber framed property which is just to our left.

Heading north along the lane we soon reach a crossroads where we turn left into Boreley Lane signposted to Lincomb and follow it to a T-junction where we turn right keeping on this country lane until we reach a junction.  Here we turn left into Lyth Lane and follow this steadily downhill towards Lyth Farm.

After passing the farm we keep on the track as it descends through trees and then reaches the edge of a field of pasture, which we diagonally cross passing a flock of sheep. 

On the far side of the field we reach the Severn Way and turn left to walk with the river bank on our right.  Our route is now straightforward as we are staying on this path besides the river for a few miles as it wends its way through fields.

The Severn Way is a 224-mile long distance path which starts at the source of the River Severn on the Plynlimon plateau in Mid Wales and roughly follows the river until Severn Beach and then follows the River Avon into Bristol City Centre.

I had hoped we would see the river as we walked along but most of the time there are hedges or trees obscuring the view, however, it is pleasant walking on a well-marked route and most of the fields have yet to be cut for hay.

A fallen tree with a good view of the river provides a grand spot to stop for our lunch and soon a couple of barges pass by.

Continuing our walk we go through an area of woodland and emerge besides a lake and continue with water on both sides heading towards a static caravan site.

On the opposite side of the river is the Lenchford Inn which from the sound of it is gearing up for the international football match this evening when England play West Germany.  I have never been a great fan of international football so will not be making an effort to try and watch the match.

After passing the static caravan park we are back in fields and then pass holiday chalets before reaching Holt Lock.  This lock was built in the 1830’s to enable the river to be navigable for vessels heading further upstream towards Stourport.

Alongside the lock is the old Lock Keepers cottage also built in the 1830’s, this was still occupied by the lock keeper up until 2010 but has now been sold and converted into holiday accommodation.  It is interesting to note how the windows on the front of the building enabled the lock keeper to have a clear view up and down the river if he was downstairs or upstairs.

We continue along a tarmac lane beside the river with Holt Fleet Bridge in front of us.  Built in 1828 this bridge was designed by Thomas Telford and has a single 150 foot span across the river.  It was reinforced and the road widened in 1928 and carries the A4133 over the Severn.

We take a footpath which passes under the bridge with the Holts Fleet pub on the far side of the river. This former hotel was rebuilt in 1937, but apparently the location was a popular stop for Victorian riverside cruises visiting Telford’s Bridge.  

Our path now takes us onto a caravan park with the pitches dotted around lakes.

The footpath stays close to the river and goes through the terrace garden of the Wharf Inn.

After passing more caravans we continue on to reach open fields and follow the path close to the river going through a number of fields until we reach Hawford Wood.

At the woods the path turns inland and joins a track that heads uphill towards the A449 where we turn left and walk on the pavement besides the road.

We now stay besides the A449 to pass the entrance to Park Farm and Sinton Lodge at the gates to Ombersley Park. 

There is pavement all the way along so it is easy going, the only downside being the noise of the traffic.  Soon after passing the lodge we turn left to leave the A449 and head into Ombersley. At this point there is a milestone besides the two roads which has had the metal plate stolen from it. I despair at such vandalism.  The plate showed it is 7 miles to Stourport.

We follow the road into Ombersley.  I have driven through this attractive village on numerous occasions but this is the first time I have walked here and it is full of fascinating buildings.

We pass the Crown and Sandys, this unusually named pub’s origins date back to the English Civil War when King Charles I and then King Charles II had close links with the Sandys family who lived at Ombersley Court.  Originally the coaching house was known as the Crown but when the building underwent an extensive Georgian renovation in 1810 its name changed to the Crown and Sandys.

Next door is the Kings Arms pub, you can quickly tell whose side the locals where on during the Civil War, this is said to be named after Charles II who travelled through Ombersley with his troops on their way to defeat at the Battle of Worcester.

We briefly stop to look at the exterior of the fine St Andrews Church, built in the 1820’s by the famous Gothic architect Thomas Rickman for the Marchioness of Downshire.   Due to Covid measures the church is locked so we are unable to view the inside.

Back on the road we head through the village and continue straight on at a roundabout.  Just to the right of the roundabout is the weighbridge hut.  Originally situated on the opposite side of the road the hut housed the equipment for the County Councils weighbridge.  Apparently it was moved to its current location in 1930 at which time the equipment was removed.

We now stay on the pavement besides the road heading north out of the village until we pass the Ombersley Medical Centre, here we turn left into Woodall Lane towards Uphampton. We stay on this lane until we reach a footpath on the right. This path takes us in a northerly direction across fields heading towards Fruitlands Farm.

Arriving at a minor road we make a diversion from our route and turn right and walk a few hundred yards down the lane to reach the Fruitier’s Arms.  I walked past here a few days ago, but on that occasion did not stop for a drink. Apparently it has been run by generations of the same family since 1848 and is said to be a traditional boozer, focussing on selling local beer and serving light snacks.  It would be rude not to pop in and sample some beer.

Refreshed from our excellent pint, or two, we return to the road and head uphill and turn right at the junction besides Pipestyle House.  We now keep heading north along the lane, at a junction we ignore a turning on the right still going northwards and then as the road sweeps to the right by an entrance to a caravan and camping site we go straight on joining a footpath which goes through a gate into a field.

After a brief section through the long grass the footpath emerges on our caravan site at the Old Orchard and we wander back to the caravan.  Our walk has covered almost twelve miles and whilst we did not get the river views I expected we did visit a number of interesting historical places.

You can view this 12 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

29th June 2021

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2021)

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