Newly published in November 2021, A Pictorial Guide to Worcestershire features eight circular walks in the southern half of the county. Carl Flint follows the same highly illustrated format as the Malvern and Ledbury books we have all come to enjoy. As ever, he weaves in a wealth of local history to each walk to make it an experience and not just a walk!
Worcestershire is fortunate to dip its toe into the Cotswolds. The honey-coloured Cotswold stone is quite unique and projects us into the ‘film set’ which is the archetypical English shire village of Broadway. The easy to follow route up to Broadway Tower opens up a spectacular view across thirteen counties on a clear day. Keeping to the hills, the Elmley Castle to Bredon Hill walk provides striking views across the River Avon and Severn Valley. Although there is no castle to be seen the Banbury Stone Tower and Elephant Stone provide an eclectic mix of folly and folklore.
Heading north the vibrant town of Upton Upon Severn (the smallest town in Worcestershire) provides a setting to one of the earliest novels ever published; it is, of course, Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones. The walk, which must be the flattest of the eight, enjoys a mixture of town, river embankment and tiny footpaths. Heading slightly east, two walks centred on Eckington Bridge allow the reader options: to walk beside the sleepy River Avon or head up towards Bredon Hill.
The Hanleys walk is next, and this too has a link to a famous author: none other than PG Wodehouse. The fictional Bertie Wooster and Gussie Fink-Nottle attended Market Snodsbury Grammar School. We know it as Hanley Castle High School. Pershore has the two bridges walk. Although the two bridges are next to each other, the five-mile walk ventures into the Harry Green Nature Reserve.
Getting back to Malvern, Carl has included one of his well-known summer evening walks: Malvern Link station up towards North Hill and back via the Nag’s Head. Can’t think why he stopped there? Finally, walk eight is rooted deeply in the English Civil War: Powick to Worcester.
Carl’s books are available to buy from local bookshops, Malvern Tourist Information Centre and online from the Malvern Walks website.
Photo credits: Carl Flint