Malvern Walking Festival: The Benedictine Way (Trail Walk)

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Event Description

Walk No: T01

An exciting and informative new trail walk of approximately 57 miles over 6 days, developed for the Malvern Walking Festival.

The Benedictines arrived in England in the 6th century. Learn about their key role, as we visit them, in creating and running major seats of religion and learning, including Worcester Cathedral, the Abbeys at Pershore, Tewkesbury and Stanbrook, and the priory churches at Deerhurst, Great Malvern and Little Malvern.

Booking is essential and is only taken for the entire walk, at a cost of £85, including dedicated coach transport and booking fees.

The route is mainly flat, but there are many stiles and some rough poorly maintained paths, necessitating some use of country lanes and quiet roads.

Day 1, Saturday 28th May – 9 miles
At the Anglican Mucknell Abbey we’ll be welcomed by the Abbott, nuns and monks, before setting off on field paths and country lanes to Pershore. We tour the impressive Pershore Abbey, learning about its Benedictine past. At the old Pershore Bridge, we see evidence of the 1940 invasion “block” line. We continue near the picturesque River Avon, on “Shakespeare’s Avon Way”, crossing at Nafford Lock, to finish at the pretty village of Birlingham.

Day 2, Sunday 29th May – 11 miles
We continue along a beautiful part of the Avon Way below Bredon Hill, and pass several locks and weirs. We eventually reach the historic town of Tewkesbury. We visit the confluence of the Avon and Severn rivers and pass several of Tewkesbury’s historic buildings. We learn, via a short battlefield walk, about the decisive 1471 Battle of Tewkesbury.

Monday 30th May – Rest Day

Day 3, Tuesday 31st May – 10 miles
We begin with an informative tour of the imposing Tewkesbury Abbey, and continue to Deerhurst church, formerly another Benedictine establishment. We visit the adjacent Saxon Hall, famous for the treaty agreed there by King Odda and the Danish King Cnut, and continue on the east bank of the River Severn, before crossing at Haw Bridge. We proceed on lanes and field paths west of the river, to Chaceley.

Day 4, Wednesday 1st June – 11 miles
Starting at the village of Chaceley, we continue in rural Gloucestershire on scenic paths and lanes, to visit the fascinating, remote and redundant church near Sledge Green. There is expected to be several poorly maintained paths and stiles, necessitating some road walking. We finish at a pub in Birtsmorton.

Thursday 2nd June – Rest Day

Day 5, Friday 3rd June – 10 miles
We begin with a delightful walk over the open vista of Castlemorton Common, below the southern Malvern Hills, with outstanding views to the Cotswold ridge. On reaching Little Malvern Court, we visit the Church and the Benedictine C14th Priory Hall. We continue to St Wulstan’s, a C19th (Catholic) Benedictine church, visit the nearby Elgar graves and walk along the east of the Hills to reach and visit Great Malvern Priory church. We complete the day at Malvern Link.

Day 6, Saturday 4th June – 10 miles
We enjoy the open spaces of Malvern Link Common, pass the Morgan car factory, and continue on urban paths to reach Madresfield, passing close to Madresfield Court. We continue via Old Hills to Stanbrook Abbey, originally a contemplative house for Benedictine nuns. Our route to Worcester follows the Teme and Severn, passing the first and last battles of the English Civil war i.e. Powick Bridge (1642) and Worcester (1651). We walk through the historic docks at Diglis, Prince Charles’s headquarters at the Commandery, and Fort Royal. We conclude our new trek with a visit to the Cathedral and learn of its deep Benedictine heritage.

Meet at 8.45 am daily at Malvern Link Top free car park for a prompt 9 am departure. Finish back in Malvern at approx 6.30 pm on Days 1-5 and approx 5 pm on Day 6.

Come prepared with food and drink for the entire day, as we will rarely pass refreshment locations.

Start: 8.45 am. Coach leaves at 9.00 prompt
Meet: at Malvern Link Top free car park, Newtown Rd
Grid SO 774470
Post code WR14 1PD
What3words: toast.boat.speak

Difficulty: Moderate

Walk Leader: Bob Baldwin and Carol Harnett

Cost: £85.00

28 May – 4 June 2022