UK Mountains Walking, Mountaineering and Equipment Reviews
The Worcestershire Way
Itinerary
StartEndDistanceTotal Walking TimeFitness Level
BewdleyGreat Malvern36 miles12-14 HoursMedium
The Worcestershire Way

When it was first conceived, the Way started in the Wyre Forest near Kinver. It linked the North Worcestershire Path and the Staffordshire Way. It finished at the foot of North Hill on the Malverns.

Friday

Some years ago, the start moved to Bewdley, previously some 11 miles into the walk. This was to be our starting point and so it was that we arrived on a cold, damp Friday night, rucsacs packed and ready for the adventure to begin. Before that, of course, we needed food and drink, and given the choice of a cold bivvy site, cooking up beans, or the warmth of a Fish and Chip shop followed by a few beers in the Packhorse, I'm afraid to say, the beans lost out!

Eventually, we could postpone the inevitable no longer, so emerged from the pub and set off up the lane opposite to begin the walk. We decided to walk a couple of miles out of the town, then search for a suitable site to spend the night. One such place presented itself about 20 minutes later - a small wood at the bottom of a hill. A suitable flat location was found and we began to unpack our gear for the night. The basher was erected and all five of us crammed underneath, keen to keep the rain off our faces. With little else to do, we soon retired for the evening, snug in our bags. It was an eerie night, owls were on patrol, hooting to each other, and during the early morning light, dogs at a nearby farm ensured that we woke early.

Saturday

Breakfast consumed, packing away done, we set off South towards our destination.

The way is well marked, but it is advisable to carry a guide, it seemed that many of the route markers had been taken as souvenirs! We passed through Heightington and Abberley, marching ever onwards. The going is not hard, but there are a good few hills, some quite an effort to climb. None last long, but breathing rates increase and the heart gets a good work out.

We stopped for lunch at Abberley School, we had completed some 10 miles and had 11 to go before we reached our destination. After lunch we resumed the walk, donning waterproofs as it had started one of many showers we were to experience during the day.

Soon enough, the rain stopped again, so off with the waterproofs, but then started soon after. We braved one or two light drizzles, but eventually decided to put on our waterproofs again - a signal for the rain to stop!

With just 2 miles to go, the Way throws in its toughest challenge of the first day - the North side of Ankerdine hill. Better, we mused than the South side, which is the steepest (road) hill in Worcestershire, but a good pull all the same. As with all hills, once at the top it was downhill all the way, this time to the welcoming Talbot Inn at the bottom. We arrived about 5:30pm and after a quick check of the proposed bivvy site just across the river Teme, we went in. Was it too early for a pint - of course not!

We stayed in the pub until late, drinking and eating. As we were close to the home of a couple of the team, their girlfriends joined us for dinner to see what bivvying was all about - they concluded that it was not as hard as we had made out, whether they will join us next time is to be seen!

Finally, we had to make a move and it was stiff legs that carried the team the few hundred metres from the pub to the bivvy site. This site, was flat, spacious and comfortable, but we still all huddled under the basher -just in case the heavens opened in the night.

Sunday

Sunday dawned crisp and cold and it was a race against time to emerge from the warmth of the sleeping bags and dress before being chilled.

We packed our gear, and I am ashamed to say, walked back to the Talbot for a cooked breakfast! This was definitely not roughing it!

Our final destination was just 16 miles distant. The pattern of yesterday repeated itself with several short sharp hills to overcome before the final pull up onto the Malvern Hills. The climb from Old Hollow to the West Malvern road proved to be the hardest climb by far and it was a very tired team that emerged onto the road.

For some strange reason, the Way avoids the summits, prefering to wind its way around North Hill at about 300 metres altitude and ignore the Beacon (the highest) altogether, dropping down the Golden Valley to finish in the town. The route passes the Red Lion Inn and it is a strong willed walker that can ignore its welcome - stronger than us - we walked straight in for a well earned pint or two in the knowledge that the walk was as good as completed - the last 300 metres could wait!

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