EXPLORE the Suckley Hills and the valley of Leigh Brook on this lovely walk, which includes two important nature reserves belonging to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.

One is Crews Hill Wood, which is a beautiful ancient woodland. The other is Knapp and Papermill, which is more varied, with woods, meadows and orchards, as well as a section of Leigh Brook, inhabited by kingfishers and otters.

There are both public and permissive footpaths within the reserves and one of the permissive paths at Knapp and Papermill features in this walk.

The Knapp and Papermill is open to the public every day except Christmas Day (when there is still access by public footpath – use the Geopark Way via Millham Farm and Pivany Bridge).

There is no entry charge but donations are welcomed. Please stick to the paths in both nature reserves and keep dogs on leads.


Start: Alfrick village centre, grid ref SO749530, or Knapp and Papermill Nature Reserve, grid ref SO750522.

Alfrick is south-east of Knightwick, west of Bransford and Leigh.

Length: 6½ miles/10.5km.

Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landranger 150.

Terrain: Pasture, paddocks, woods, orchards, arable; hilly, occasionally steep.

Footpaths: Mostly excellent, but let down by just two, both of which are obstructed and poorly waymarked.

One of these is the path through Holloways ( it’s easily avoided) and the other runs between Leigh Brook and Tundridge. The county council is aware of these issues.

Stiles: 16, plus an illegally padlocked gate.

Parking: In Alfrick or near Knapp and Papermill.

Public transport: LMS 425, Fridays only, serves Alfrick and other points along the route and is well timed; or LMS 423, Monday-Saturday but best on Saturdays. Full details on worcestershire.gov.uk/ bustimetables or 01905 765765.

Refreshments: Excellent, community-run shop in Alfrick, specialising in local produce. Also a café at Holloways, Lower Court, Suckley.


1 If starting in Alfrick, take the roadfor AlfrickPoundand Suckley, which leads south, past the church. When the roadbends right, keep straight on instead, signed ‘no through road’. Pass Patches Farm, ignore all branching paths and keep straight onas the road becomes a sunken track which descends to meet another road.T urn left to Knappand Papermill Nature Reserve.

2 Follow the signs which point the way to the information centre and the reserve entrance.You may then take any path you like,but for the purposes of this walk keep close to Leigh Brook. The path is a permissive one at first but when you come to Pivany Bridge you will join a public footpath (Geopark Way), which enters the reserve at the bridge (don’t cross the bridge).

Follow the GeoparkWayfor about 600metres before descending left to leave the nature reserve as you cross Leigh Brookat a wooden footbridge.

3 Turnleft along a driveway to a gate then turn right on a woodland-edge footpath. Follow it to a junction and turn left, going steeply uphill through woodland.

Turn left at a junction, then shortly enter a paddock on the right. Go to the far left corner then cross two stiles and go through another paddockto a junction at a padlocked gate. Climb over and keep straight on, ignoring a path going right. Go diagonally right after crossing the next stile, through a large paddock towards a solitary oak tree. Cross a stile behind the oak and turn right along a lane. Turn right at Cherry Bank on a trackto another lane. Turn right.

4 Cross a bridge and follow the lane as it bends right. Pass Upper Tundridge Farm then take a bridleway on the left and follow it uphill into woodland. Joining the Worcestershire Way, continue in the same direction. At the top of the ridge, descend left on a bridleway, leaving the Worcestershire Way. Keep straight on down at two junctions then proceed along a clear route to Suckley church. Turn right along the edge of the churchyard. Soon after leaving the churchyard cross a stile on the right (no waymarking) and go straight across Holloways’ yard, or as close to straight across as the state of the path allows. Access to the lane is through a gate which is chained partially shut in such a way that not everybody will be able to squeeze through the gap.

5 Cross the lane to a path opposite. Go to the far left field corner, cross a footbridge and turn right along a garden edge, past a pond, then through a gate in a corner and along field edges. When you see another pond go diagonally to pass to the left of it, cross a footbridge and take a footpath to the left of a barn conversion. Walk up through a field to a stile into woodland. Go steeply uphill. Turn left at the top, rejoining the Worcestershire Way, which leaves the woods and continues along the edge of an orchard to a lane.

6 Climb the next hill and turn left at the top. Enter Crews Hill Wood Nature Reserve and walk to a lane. You can either stay on the Worcestershire Way or join a permissive path where waymarked. Either way, turn right at the lane, then shortly take a path on the right at a stile. Walk across a pasture below the edge of Crews Hill Wood. Cross a stile then turn left downhill, soon with an orchard on your left. Before long you’ll draw level with another orchard on the right. Turn right across the field and walk along the edge of this orchard (don’t enter it) then cross a stile into another orchard. Keep to the left edge.

7 At a fence corner turn left and follow a well-trodden path to a stile. Follow waymarks to a gate then proceed a few steps further to a junction at a stile. Climb the stile, cross a brook and follow a track to a lane. Turn left, then take the first path on the right and walk through a paddock to another lane. Turn right, then take a path on the left and follow it to another lane. Turn right, keep straight on at a crossroad then left at Upper House Bungalows to find a path leading into the churchyard and the centre of Alfrick.


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