THIS scenic walk features the river Teme, but does rather focus the mind on just how very limited is the riverside access legally available to walkers.
All the more reason then to take advantage of permissive access to a ‘conservation walk’ by the Teme at Broadwas, where a Defra stewardship agreement is currently in force.
The route is marked on the map with a dotted line, and there’s an on-site map too. Please note that this access is available only until September unless the agreement is renewed.
Broadwas church is worth visiting too. Built in the 12th century, it’s full of interest – you can even see where mediaeval archers sharpened their arrows on its sandstone walls.
There’s a listening post inside where you can hear Stories from the Stones – log on to temevalley.org.uk to find out more and perhaps download a heritage quest pack to make the walk more fun for the children.
Start: On A44 opposite Suckley turn at Knightwick; grid ref SO731559.
Length: 10 miles/16km.
Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landranger 150.
Terrain: Pasture, paddock, orchard, woodland, arable; mostly flat except for two small hills.
Footpaths: Mostly good along the first half of the route, but mostly poor in the second half.
There are long stretches with no waymarking, as well as locked gates and sub-standard stiles, some of which are obstructed by fencing or overgrown hedges.
The route marked on the map is the correct one but some slight detours may be necessary to avoid obstructions.
Stiles: 18, plus at least four locked gates.
Parking: Behind the bus shelter.
Buses: Worcester-Hereford 420, Mon-Sat only; worcestershire.gov.
uk/bustimetables or 01905 765765.
Refreshments: Knightwick and Broadwas.
1 Take the northbound Worcestershire Way and follow it across the Teme to the Talbot.
Turn left on a track just after the pub and walk through the Teme Valley for about a mile. Just before Horsham Farm, turn right on a path which climbs uphill. Fork left soon after the path enters a
field then keep straight on at a crosspath, shortly entering Tinkers Coppice.
2 Emerging from the trees on to the B4197, turn left then cross to a path next to High View. Follow it to a lane and turn left, then turn right after Easinghope Farm. After passing Little Orchard, fork right.
Walk to Doddenham, turn left then take the first path on the right (Three Choirs Way). Follow the right-hand fence to a corner then go along a dry valley. The path is then easily followed across
fields, going straight on at a junction, to the left of a line of trees.
3 Turn right along a lane then soon left on a track. Keep straight on at a junction and straight on at a hedge corner, crossing a field to a gap at the far side. Continue across the next field, moving away from the edge.
There’s a gap at the far side but the path doesn’t go that way – look further to the right for a waymark on a tree and you’ll find a concealed path leading to a footbridge. After that, the path is
easily followed to Broad Green. Go straight on across the green and turn left at the far side.
4 Turn right just before Ridge Acre Farm and follow the lefthand field edge. Turn right in the next corner, then soon left, and proceed along field edges. When you come to a junction, turn right and walk past Blackfield Cottage.
At the next junction, climb over a gate and go diagonally right across a field to the far corner then turn left to pass Hilltop Farm and meet the A44.
5 Cross the road and turn right down a track. Walk to a gate and turn right. When you meet the river Teme, follow it until you have to cross a brook, then bear slightly right away from the river.
Pass a solitary oak and continue in the same direction to reach two hawthorns marking a former hedge corner. Go diagonally right to a field corner. Walk along the right-hand edge of the next field
then continue along a tree-lined green lane. As you approach the road take care when crossing a dangerously wobbly stile.
6 Follow the A44 through Broadwas, turning left soon after the Royal Oak for the church and conservation walk, which you’ll find on the left as you approach the church. Return to the A44 and turn left. Take the first footpath on the left, indicated by a fingerpost and obstructed by a padlocked gate (or there’s a badly overgrown stile a little further on).
Walk parallel with the road and shortly cross another poor-quality stile. Bear left through an orchard to meet the river then cross a brook.
7 The right of way is straight across the next field but if you find it obstructed, bear left to follow the Teme instead. The right of way meets the river after 450m.
Follow the river for another 200m and then cross a brook. In the next field the right of way goes to the far right corner, then returns to the river in the ensuing field. If you do that you’ll have to climb over a difficult fence in the corner so you might consider it safer to stay by the river, accessed by climbing over a gate on the left.
After this, the path follows the river without further obstruction.
8 Cross a stile and turn right to the A44. Cross to a path almost opposite, to the left of houses.
Walk up a slope (this is access land, according to both Ordnance Survey and the government agency Natural England, but there’s no on-site signage), cross a poor-quality stile at the top and turn right on a path which leads to a junction with a green lane. Turn left, following the lane up Ankerdine Hill. When you enter woodland, fork right to walk along the edge. At the top of the hill turn left, following the Worcestershire Way/Geopark Way to Knightwick.