RambAle 8: Upton Warren

route8Distance: 7¼ miles/11½ km. Allow 3 hours (excluding pub stops).

Starting and finishing venue: The Crown Inn, Wychbold WR9 7PF.

This walk passes through Wychbold and Stoke Prior while passing through the surrounding farmland. There is a slow incline between Upton Warren and the Hanbury turn; but on the whole the paths are fairly easy going (though the steps to cross the railway bridges are fairly steep).

Bear north-west on Crown lane until you reach the motorway bridge, and then turn right onto the footpath. Continue north-east through four fields, passing over a stile in the right-hand corner of each field. When you reach the hedgerow turn right then follow the trail round to the north as it crosses a gravelled drive and passes through a section of cleared woodland. This footpath is part of the Corbett Way, a memorial walk to commemorate a local industrialist. On your right you will pass the boundary of Webbs Nurseries; look out for their bee hives. The trail then merges onto School Lane before reaching a T-junction. Turn right onto Swan Lane and follow this road until you reach the Swan Inn on your left. This pub serves up to two real ales and food is available all day.

DSCF0651Cross the main road in front of you then follow the footpath on the right-hand side of the bridge which bears east. Please note that the footpath on the left-hand side of the bridge is the property of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and is not a public right of way. If you would like to explore the Christopher Cadbury Wetlands Reserve including the bird hides; please visit the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s website for details. Continue on the footpath as it bears south alongside the river Salwarpe then turns east again alongside the field. Follow the track leading down into the woods, then at the crossroads bear right onto the road. Continue east on Shaw lane until you see the Old Mill House on your left, then follow the footpath alongside the house which takes you under a small bridge and leads into a field. Bear directly west across this field then at the stile turn right onto a lane. Bear north-east on this lane until you pass through a small cluster of houses; then take the first footpath on your left. Head north-west through the centre of the field, then cross the stile in front of you and follow the trail north alongside a second field. When you reach the main road, turn right and the Hanbury Turn will be on the right-hand corner of the crossroads.

DSCF0655Our next pub is a short walk down Hanbury Road, just follow this road south and the Ewe and Lamb will be on your right. This large open plan serves up to three real ales and food is available all day.

Continue south on Hanbury Road then after passing Brickhouse Lane cross the road and follow the smaller road on your left bearing south-east. Continue on this road as it merges into a bridleway then reaches a series of cottages. Turn right and walk into the grounds of St. Michael’s Church, then bear south along the church’s main driveway. Turn right onto Fishhouse Lane, then at the T-junction turn right onto Hanbury Road. Bear south on the main road then take the second road onto Foley Gardens which is just before the railway bridge. Follow the road to its corner then bear south-west alongside the driveways to reach the footpath at the end. Bear south-west on this footpath which passes through two fields alongside the railway line, then adjourns onto Shaw Lane. Turn right and head south on this road, passing under two railway bridges until you reach Westonhall Road on your left. Cross the bridge and the Stoke Works Sports and Country Club will be on your right. Alternatively, remain on Shaw Lane and the Boat & Railway will be on your left. This canal side pub serves up to four real ales from the Marstons portfolio and an all-day food menu is available.

DSCF0657Head south on Shaw Lane, then as you pass the last set of houses in the village on your right, look for a footpath heading west in between them. Follow the footpath as it bends to the south then west again and over the railway bridge. Cross the field and keep to the right-hand side of the hedgerow, then at the end of the field bear slightly left and cross a second railway bridge in front of you. Continue west alongside the next field, then cross the lane and follow the opposing footpath bearing south-west towards the church. Continue south-west through another field, then re-join the road in front of St. Mary de Wyche Church. Follow the main road as it bears south-west, and then turn right onto Chequers Lane.  Bear north-west on this road, then take the first left onto St. Richards Road. Stay on this road, passing two small greens on your left, then turn left onto Wyche Road. Follow this road south-west and around the bend to the left. Just ahead of you is the Wychbold Legion on your right, which serves three real ales from the Cannon Royall brewery.

IMG_1662Head north-west on School Road, following the bend around to the right and returning to the green on Wyche Road. Continue past the green, then at the T-junction turn left onto Chequers Lane. At the end of the road turn right and the Crown Inn will be on your left. This Marstons pub sells up to three real ales and features a 2 for 1 food menu.

You may like to combine parts of this walk with RambAle No. 1, which also features parts of the Birmingham and Worcester Canal.