FROM the Teme valley to the Suckley Hills, this walk offers plenty of variety and some beautiful landscapes in one of the more unspoilt corners of the county. One of the highlights is Crews Hill Wood, a nature reserve owned by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.

The trust allows access to the wood on a permissive path and this is the route described below. If the permissive path should be closed (unlikely, but possible) the Worcestershire Way provides an alternative route. Please note that if you take a dog into the wood it should be on a lead.

Despite some 20th-century planting of alien conifers, wonderful ancient woodland still survives at Crews Hill Wood.

The dominant species are ash, oak and lime, with an understorey of hazel, hawthorn and field maple. However, there are also beeches and hornbeams, and local specialities such as wild service tree. Some of the limes are massive pollards, many centuries old, and there is also a scattering of ancient yew trees. The ground flora is typical of ancient woodland, with bluebells, wild garlic and early purple orchids in the spring. Even in January the first primroses and dog’s mercury are likely to be in bloom.


Start: A44 at Knightwick, opposite the Suckley turn; grid ref SO731558.

Length: 7¾ miles/12.5km.

Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landranger 150.

Terrain: Pasture, arable, orchard, woodland; a few slopes but nothing too demanding; the green lane in point four is subject to flooding.

Footpaths: Some are excellent but others are neglected and/or obstructed. However, there are no substantial problems.

Stiles: Eight, plus two fences.

Parking: Behind the bus shelter.

Buses: First 420 Worcester-Hereford via Knightwick, Mon-Sat only; s or 01905 765765.

Refreshments: The village shop at Alfrick is a community-owned venture run by volunteers. It’s open daily, but mornings only at weekends. The Talbot Inn is also close to the route, across the Teme footbridge.


1 Cross the Bromyard road, take the Suckley road and then branch left on the Lulsley/Alfrick road. Ignoring all branching paths, walk to a road junction and turn left. After a few metres, just before the embankment of a dismantled railway, climb a stile on the right and follow the railway for nearly 200m, walking below the embankment and along the top edge of an orchard. In the next corner cross a stile into woodland, cross a brook at a footbridge and then turn right. Follow the brook for 50m on a wide path between trees then turn left (no waymark) so that you’re a field’s width from the railway embankment and going slightly uphill.

2 Cross a stile at the top of the field. A waymark directs you diagonally right across the next field to meet a track. However, the path to the track is often blocked by crops. If that’s the case, you may have to go straight on along the edge then turn right on meeting the track. Follow it round to the left and proceed to a lane.

Turn left, then take a path on the right after a few paces. It leads into a field, and the map shows the path going diagonally right for 100m before turning left towards the far left corner. However, the waymark arrow simply points directly to the far left corner, where a stile gives access to another field.

3 Follow the right-hand hedge to a corner then continue straight across the field to the other side.

Turn left along the edge, rejoining the dismantled railway. Before long you’ll come to a waymarked junction where you turn right on to an inviting track which immediately swings right along the course of the old railway.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the right of way – for that, go straight on to a collection of gates arranged to form a barrier. Climb over and turn right along the field edge.

After 100m a waymark directs you diagonally left. The exact line of the path is unclear but there’s a line of telegraph poles running across the field – head just to the right of the furthest one and you’ll end up in the right place. Climb over an electric fence at an insulated section and descend to the left of a pheasant pen. Go straight on at the bottom corner of the pen to meet another path.

4 Turn left to join a green lane and turn right. After about 500m the green lane climbs to cross the railway then continues as a field-edge track. Leave it at the next corner and turn right on a bridleway. Go straight on when you meet a lane, Folly Road. Keep straight on at the junction with Green Street and straight on through Alfrick until you reach the church. Walk through the churchyard to a gate at the far side, where two paths are waymarked. Take the one on the right, which crosses a field to a lane. Turn right, then left. After about 100m take a path on the left.

Follow it to a lane then turn right and start climbing up Crews Hill, ignoring two lanes branching left.

5 Take a path on the left between Glen House and New House.

Skirt the garden of Dove Barn and head straight uphill by the field edge. On entering Crews Hill Wood bear left uphill. Turn right at the top and proceed a few paces to a junction. You have a choice of two paths here: they run roughly parallel to meet a lane, but the permissive path along the crest of the hill is the best option. When you reach the lane join the Worcestershire Way opposite. It’s easily followed back to Knightwick – just take care not to miss a left fork shortly before Woodbine Cottage.

Worcester News recommends the
use of OS Explorer Maps, your
ideal passport to navigating the
countryside. This walk is based
on OS Explorer 204.