LAST month we explored the urban and urban-fringe reaches of Laughern Brook. Now it’s the turn of a completely rural stretch of the brook, between Castle Hill (Wichenford) and Hallow.

The walk begins at Cob House, a fishing centre, which also offers a range of other activities and facilities, including a café.

Laughern Brook runs along the north-east boundary of the site.

Cob House was named Worcestershire Visitor Attraction of the Year in the 2011 Worcestershire Welcome Awards.

Chickens and guinea fowl range freely across the site, while ducks, moorhens and swans occupy the pools. Spacious paddocks are home to goats, pigs, alpacas and reindeer. There are even some gerbils – inside, in the reception area. Cob House is open daily and there is no charge to visit the animals or stroll through the meadows.

If you want to feed the animals you can buy suitable food at reception. Please note that dogs are allowed only on public footpaths at Cob House and must always be on the lead. The route described, therefore, keeps entirely to public footpaths, but if you don’t have a dog you can make use of short cuts at both the start and finish of the walk.

Look at the on-site map to see where to go. Your dog should also be on a lead at Spindle Wood if you use the permissive paths, and when walking through paddocks at Shoulton.

If you would prefer an easier walk, you can pick up leaflets at Cob House describing some very short strolls.


Start: Cob House, on B4204 between Worcester and Martley; grid ref SO777586.

Length: 10 miles/16km.

Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landranger 150.

Terrain: Pasture, arable, woodland, mainly flat.

Footpaths: Local volunteers work valiantly and have brought about massive improvements, but neglect is endemic and some paths are still cropped over. One was completely blocked until recently, but is currently walkable (though not on the correct line).

The paths around Cob House are excellent, but recent extinguishments, diversions and creations mean that the 2010 OS map currently in the shops is no longer accurate.

Stiles: 19 Parking: Cob House Buses: Astons 308/309/310; visit the website

uk/bustimetables or call 01905 765765.

Refreshments: Mayfly Café at Cob House.


1 Walk eastwards alongside the road then take a path just before Pig Bridge. Follow it past pools then into a field. Turn right, then left at the next junction. In the next field corner, go through a wide gap and follow the right-hand edge of the next field to another gap on the right. Go into the adjacent field and diagonally left to a gate. After that the path is easily followed, bypassing Woodhall Farm to meet a track. Turn right.

2 Turn left after passing through a strip of woodland then proceed through more woodland to the road. Turn right, then cross the road by Mill Cottage to find an overgrown stile. Walk across three fields to Green Street and take a path opposite into Spindle Wood.

Turn first right, passing a pool, then walking through the wood to a junction. Turn right to Green Street, then left.

3 Take a path on the right, walk down two fields then cross Laughern Brook. Skirt to the right of a knoll, climb a stile and cross fields to Peachley Lane. Turn left, then take the Ashfields Farm access track. The track eventually leads into a field. Keep straight on towards Laughern Brook. Turn right where waymarked and cross a paddock to another field. Keep well above the brook, meeting trees at a hedge corner then walking to the right of the trees to find an overgrown stile. Go along the right-hand edge of the next field, through nettles and thistles, to a hedge corner, then proceed to Hallow Lane.

4 Turn left across Laughern Brook then take a path at Hollybank. Walk up the right-hand field edge and then past tennis courts. Turn left just after Court Close. Keep straight on at a junction to rejoin Hallow Lane.

Walk across a grassy triangle and across Shoulton Lane to another footpath. Keep straight on at all junctions, eventually following the path round to the left to rejoin Shoulton Lane. Turn right.

5 Turn right by Rose Cottage.

Turn right again at Shoulton Cottage then take a path on the left. Walk through paddocks then turn left, going through a gate then over two stiles and an overgrown, unstable footbridge. Ignore a misleading waymark and go obliquely right towards a dead tree. Cross a nearby stile to reenter Spindle Wood. Take any route you like (it’s best to turn right initially) to Green Street.

Turn right.

6 Approaching Greenstreet Farm, take a path on the left and go diagonally across two fields. Climb a barrier by a water trough (the stile is completely blocked) and continue in the same direction across another field to a gate. Turn right along the next field edge to a hedge corner then straight on across the field to the far side.

Proceed to the right-hand end of a range of farm buildings. Bear right, then keep left of a pool to a junction. Go straight on downhill, cross a bridge and go diagonally left across a field corner. Cross a footbridge then go along a field edge. Keep straight on for nearly half-a-mile before bearing right to Venn Lane. Turn left and ignore two turnings.

7 Pass Buryendtown Farm then go through a gate on the left – there's no fingerpost or waymark but it's opposite an overgrown stile. Go down a field to meet the left-hand hedge near an oak tree then continue to a gate at the bottom. The path should go diagonally across the next field but may be blocked – if so, follow the right-hand edge. Turn left at the road then cross to a small layby.

Take an unsigned path which bears left by a sycamore tree and climbs slightly to a lane. Cross to a path almost opposite. Keep straight on at the first junction then left at all subsequent junctions to return to Cob House.