The Worcestershire Way is a 31-mile (50 km) ramble across the gorgeous countryside of West Worcestershire, famed for its beautiful Abberley and Malvern Hills. The Way winds through a rolling green landscape veined by fertile river valleys and dotted with gorgeous woodland and colourful orchards — verdant, quintessentially English countryside.
Starting in the Georgian town of Bewdley and finishing in the spa town of Great Malvern, it is a journey to savour. In springtime, white and pink blossom drifts across the forest trails, or swirls like a snowstorm when the wind is up. In late summer, the trees are heavily laden with fruit and butterflies flutter by. As you traverse the gentle ridges, patchwork landscapes unfurl before you, dotted with picturesque villages.
Highlights along the Way include: Bewdley; a lovely town on the banks of the River Severn; Abberley, a pretty hillside village with a striking clock tower; the Abberley Hills ridge, a sequence of wooded hills boasting tremendous views of the Teme Valley; the Malvern Hills, the most prominent and spectacular upland ridge in the Midlands; and Great Malvern, the finest part of the culturally rich and bustling spa town of Malvern.
As well as the Way’s natural splendour, there’s plenty to interest historians. Remnants of ancient forts and old quarry sites dot the hillsides, while majestic churches and traditional coaching inns stand testament to the long history of the region’s settlements. The latter offer lodgings at the end of a day’s hike on the hills, as well as excellent pub food to fuel the next day’s ramble.
The Way could be walked in two days but, in this Collection, I have opted for three leisurely stages of between 10 and 13 miles (16 and 21 km) in length. Towards the end, I’ve added an optional, short detour to the summit of Worcestershire Beacon, crowning the journey by visiting the county’s highest point. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from hiking the Way in reverse, starting at Malvern and ending in Bewdley.
Waymarked throughout (look out for the Worcestershire pear logo) and following well-established trails, the Way is suitable for all levels of experience. There are a number of gentle ascents and descents as the it weaves along the Abberley, Suckley and Malvern ridges, so while you should be prepared for reasonable elevation gain, there’s nothing too taxing.
You are never far from the nearest settlement and places to eat and drink, though I would recommend carrying water with you. There’s not a wealth of accommodation en route but the Manor Arms in Abberley and the Talbot in Knightwick are conveniently placed. The Way is perfectly achievable in winter, when the Malvern Hills might even hold a dusting of snow. Regardless of the season, waterproofs are recommended and sun cream is essential in the warmer months.
The start point of Bewdley is most easily reached by car via the A456. The town does not have a train station on the mainline. However, it is a stop on the Severn Valley Railway, a heritage line between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster that is much-loved by railway enthusiasts. You could make an event of your arrival on the Way by taking the steam train from Kidderminster, which itself is a 45-minute rail journey from Birmingham Moor Street.
At the finish, Great Malvern has a mainline train station with direct trains to Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington. For motorists, it’s on the A449 between Worcester and Ledbury.
For another glorious Worcestershire multi-day hike, see the Wychavon Way: komoot.com/collection/1102121
The first stage begins by the River Severn at Bewdley before heading out onto the rolling hills and peaceful woodland of this gorgeous part of Worcestershire. The traverse of Abberley …
During this stage, you venture due south on an undulating journey across the Abberley Hills ridge towards the Malvern Hills AONB. Stupendous views of the Teme Valley and the wider …
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In the final stage, you leave the River Teme behind and venture into the beautiful Malvern Hills AONB. Dividing the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, the Malverns are one of …