THIS is a short but attractive walk which explores the lovely valley of Carey’s Brook, tucked away south of the main road between Worcester and Malvern, unseen and unsuspected by passing motorists.

The valley is overlooked by the imposing remains of the former Powick Hospital, a psychiatric facility which acquired a poor reputation for its treatment of patients. It opened about 1850 and Edward Elgar was the bandmaster there for a few years as a young man in the 1870s-80s. The hospital closed in 1989 and most of the buildings were demolished.

For anybody interested in architecture, there are some fine old farmhouses along the way, most notably at Collett’s Green Farm and Broadfields Farm. You get only a glimpse of the former, but a very short detour will take you closer. The Hermitage on Kings End Road is interesting too, and Halfway House is a fine Georgian building.

There are good views from King’s End of Powick’s 12th-century church, dedicated to St Peter and St Lawrence. Set on a slight hill, the church commands good views of the surrounding meadows and the tower was used by the Royalists as a look-out post during the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

The Roundheads turned their fire on the church and the south face of the tower still bears the holes made by cannon shot.

The northern part of the route borders Powick Hams, enabling you to extend the walk if you wish, perhaps to include a stretch of the river Teme. There is open access to a large part of the hams, marked with a yellowish colour on the map.


Start: Halfway House Inn, Bastonford, on A449, grid ref SO810504.

Length: 4¾ miles/7.5km.

Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landranger 150.

Terrain: Pasture and arable, mostly flat.

Footpaths: Most are problem-free apart from some dodgy stiles, some overgrowth and an absence of waymarking at one point.

Stiles: 15.

Parking: At the Malvern end of the old road near Halfway House Inn.

Buses: Worcester-Malvern 44;

Refreshments: Pub at Bastonford, pub at Colletts Green, pub and shop at Powick.


1 Cross Malvern Road to take Lodge Farm Drive. Follow it round to the right after passing The Bramlings. Cross a wobbly stile and pass to the left of Woodland View. Turn right after passing a barn and look for a footbridge over a brook. Go obliquely left on the other side, passing to the right of a clump of small oak trees then proceeding in the same direction to a woodland corner. Walk along the woodland edge then in the next corner go through the wood and then cross a field as waymarked. Turn right at the far side. Ignore paths branching left and right and continue along the field edge into a corner.

2 Go through a gate on the right and to the far right corner of a field. Keep to the right through two more fields then join a track and turn left to Sparrowhall Lane.

Turn left past The Three Nuns, walk to Colletts Green Road and turn right, then take the first footpath on the left. Pass Whitecroft and Lucies Farm before entering a field. Cross to the far side to meet Kings End Road. Turn left and then immediately right on Ham Lane, which becomes a footpath. Follow it into the Teme valley, ignoring all branching paths.

3 Soon after passing The Post House go into Powick Hams, where you can extend your walk if you wish. Otherwise, just keep to the right-hand edge for a short distance and then leave the hams at a stile. Climb up Ham Hill and turn left at the top. Keep straight on at a junction to reach Powick then turn right on Kings End Road.

After passing the last of the houses take a path on the left which leads along a field edge. After 100m ignore a path branching left (this is a more direct route but it’s seriously obstructed further on) and continue along the welltrodden field edge. Pass to the left of a brick wall and walk through the next pasture to a junction near a timber-framed cottage. Turn left and keep left in the next field to meet Old Malvern Road. Turn left to Powyke Court Close.

4 Cross Malvern Road to a bridleway which goes to the right. Keep straight on through Broadfields Farm then go through a gate into a field and turn left.

Cross Carey’s Brook and continue across the next field. Turn right when you come to a waymarked junction just after a pond. Walk along field edges to another junction and keep straight on along a well-defined path to another junction at a stile. Turn right here after crossing another brook. Walk along a field edge to a very overgrown gate in the corner.

Go along the next field edge to another gate where you cross into the field on the right.

5 Turn left along the field edge.

Don’t cross the field to a prominent footbridge but stay by the left-hand edge until a waymark directs you right. After a short distance another waymark points right to another footbridge. Ignore this and carry on through the field.

A little further on you’ll see another waymark on a low tree stump. Turn left here, going back across the field to a fingerpost at the other side. Cross a wobbly stile and turn right along a field edge to another fingerpost. Cross a broken stile to a driveway (or go past the end of the hedge) and turn right to the Halfway House Inn at Bastonford.