Five Walks in The Great Outdoors of Worcestershire
The Malvern Hills are the sight that many Worcestershire residents are glad to see when heading down the M5 towards Worcestershire – once you see them appear in the distance, you know you’re home! They can be seen from all over the county, and from the top of them, on a good day, you can see Herefordshire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire, and into Wales.
With around 10 miles of ‘as the crow flies’ walking to be had, they are amongst the most popular destination in our County. Varying in difficulty and length, the hills are accessible to all – from the Black Hill Carpark easy access route (see more here) to the full end-to-end hike, there’s something to suit walkers of every age and ability. One of our family favourites is to park near the Wyche Cutting and take the path up to the Worcestershire Beacon, the highest point of the Hills. This route is do-able by small children and buggies (we regularly take our two under-5s up there) but it’s long enough to feel like you’ve all had a good walk. The views are spectacular; and the Wyche Inn serves up a great pub lunch for afterwards. Parking is £4.00 with all money going towards upkeep of the Hills.
Joining the National Trust is a great idea if you live anywhere in the UK. There are affordable options including paying monthly, which is what we do, to make it easier to budget for.
One of our favourite National Trust properties in Worcestershire is the wonderful Croome Court. As well as many seasonal events, Croome has got walled gardens, lakes and bridges, a wild play area for children, and of course the stunning house itself. In Spring, bluebells carpet the area by the old church, and the Capability Brown designed grounds are a joy to walk amongst. Take a picnic, sit in the fields, and absorb the views of the Malvern Hills in the distance.
Prices vary depending on National Trust Membership status.
One of Worcestershire’s hidden gems, I’m a little reluctant to shout about the Knapp and Papermill as it’s our favourite place to go, and one of the reasons why is its solitude and peacefulness! This nature reserve is run by the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and features some beautiful walking routes along a stream, through meadows, beside ponds and woodland, and is an incredible place for spotting wildlife. We’ve seen bats there, countless butterflies, heard deer in the woods, and rumour has it that otters live at the far end – although we’ve never been quite lucky enough to spot one!
My daughters absolutely love paddling in the stream where it widens into a shallow area. Stroll through the wild garlic, dip your toes in the water, and see how many different types of birds and insects you can count.
Parking is free and there are toilet facilities available. Remember to sign the guest book!
Worcester City River Walk
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and take a stroll around the river path. After a leisurely wander around the beautiful cathedral, head around the back and down the steps to the river. You can go either way; left or right – I prefer to go clockwise and head towards Diglis.
You’ll find yourself going past the Diglis House Hotel, a great stop off for a pint and a snack, overlooking the river. Then keep going to the end, cross over the footbridge, and turn right alongside the weir. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to see a few cormorants warming their wings on the weir, or a heron waiting for fish to jump. Carry on to the Bridge end and you’ll get to some steps down to the river – Worcester’s Swan population gathers here, you can buy swan food for a few pounds from the Cathedral and feed them – be prepared, swans, seagulls and pigeons will bombard you – lots of fun though!
When you have finished your walk there are plenty of places to eat along the river or further into the City along a short path.
Worcester City Parks
Worcester residents are very lucky to have access to some really brilliant parks. Worcester residents are very lucky to have access to some really brilliant parks. In Summer, Gheluvelt Park features the most incredible splashpad for children, as well as tennis courts, a play area, a duckpond and bandstand – there is a busy schedule of events, and the Pump House Café at the far end as well as the Worcester Show – a traditional show featuring handicrafts, fruit and vegetables as well as dozens of stalls, music – and not forgetting the duck race!
Worcester Woods Country Park is another gem. With plenty of free parking and a brilliant café, it’s a favourite with dog walkers and parents especially. The play areas are great and the woods accessible and beautiful. You can get lost amongst the bluebells and completely forget you are within yards of the Worcester Hospital and main roads! With many seasonal events including Woodland Management days where you can see horses working and the woodland being managed, it’s a great place to be.