T03: The Three Choirs Way

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Event Description

Links between the three cathedral cities and county towns of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester date to the early 18th century with music festivals being held. This more recently established Three Choirs Way links the three cities passing through some of the landscapes that inspired some of England’s most famous classical music composers.

This walk will follow the 33-mile section between the cathedrals at Worcester and Gloucester. We will travel by coach to / from the start / finish for each day’s walk.

The walk starts at Worcester Cathedral from where we follow the east bank of the River Severn southwards, passing the junction with the Birmingham and Worcester Canal and Diglis Lock. The path continues through woodland, with occasional views of the river, passing the junction with the River Teme to arrive at Temeside Way, the busy road to the south of Worcester, with good views of the way ahead to the Malvern Hills on the skyline.

We cross the River Severn to follow paths across the floodplain to the village of Callow End and Stanbrook Abbey, which is now a hotel. Quiet footpaths lead us onto The Old Hills, open land managed by the Malvern Hills Trust, and with good views all around. With the Malvern Hills now getting close we pass through the Madresfield estate, mentioned in a charter of Henry I and occupied by the same family since 1160. We then pass through the Community Woodland and an industrial area to reach Malvern Link Common and the car park at the end of Day 1.

On Day 2 we walk from the car park to the Worcestershire Beacon, the highest point in the county at 425 metres. Assuming good weather we shall have a well earned rest and a chance to admire the view. The River Severn and the Cotswold ridge are to the east; Herefordshire and the Black Mountains to the west. We then walk south and down to the Wyche Cutting where a minor road crosses the ridge. We then start the climb up Perseverance Hill, followed by many more lesser hills to British Camp. The Way continues below the summit of Herefordshire Beacon with its Iron age hill fort, to Clutter’s Cave and then Swinyard Hill with good views across the Eastnor estate. We descend through Gullet Wood and bypassing the summit of Midsummer Hill we reach the end of Day 2 at Hollybush.

Day 3 starts by following paths along the side of Ragged Stone Hill and Chase End Hill. From here it is an easy walk across fields to King’s Green and on to Pendock. We continue walking south along a ridge, with good views to the east, through fields and meadows to Staunton. Leaving Staunton, which has been a Chartist settlement since 1848, we pass through fields before climbing up Corse Wood Hill. Going down into the valley we walk to the village of Ashleworth and the end of Day 3.

On Day 4 we walk through the village of Ashleworth and just beyond we reach the River Severn. After a short stretch beside the river, we leave it behind to walk to the village of Maisemore. Crossing the West Channel at Maisemore Bridge we walk across fields of the River Severn floodplain to come to Alney Island, a local nature reserve. From there it is a short walk to the city of Gloucester and journeys end at Gloucester Cathedral.

There are many hills on this walk, some steep, some long, some steep and long. There are also lots of stiles and some sections of road walking. We will have time to stop and look at points of interest, the wildlife – flora and fauna and time to admire the views.

Bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink each day. Bring plenty of sun cream and suitable clothing. Remember it can be much cooler on the tops of the Malvern Hills compared to the valley below.

Distance: 33 miles
Duration: 4 days
Difficulty: Hard
Date: 1st June 2023 – 4th June 2023
Start time: 9:00 am
Walk leader: Tim Lawrence
Start location: Park and meet in Malvern Link Top car park
Newtown Road
WR14 1PD
Grid reference: SO 774470
Further details: Free car park in Newtown Road close to the junction with Worcester Road

1 June – 4 June 2023