THIS walk is particularly enjoyable in autumn, especially where it passes through the woods which crown the long limestone ridge running south from Whitman’s Hill.

Another highlight is the path which descends into the valley enclosed by End Hill, North Hill and Table Hill.

This steep and narrow path passes rock outcrops and former quarry workings now reclaimed by nature, and is one of the best places in the Malverns to see rowan trees showing off their glorious autumn display of scarlet berries and yellow leaves.


START Malvern Link Station, grid ref SO782478.

LENGTH Eight miles/13km.

MAPS OS Explorer 190, OS Landranger 150.

TERRAIN Pasture, woodland, orchard; mildly hilly.

FOOTPATHS All of the Herefordshire paths are excellent. Most of the Worcestershire ones are good or excellent, but some are very poor. One path (MV573 – see point 2) differs from what is shown on OS maps and appears to have been re-routed. A ‘private’ sign has been put up to deter walkers and the waymarking appears to confirm the legitimacy of the new route. However, Worcestershire County Council’s Definitive Map confirms that the true route is the one mapped by OS.

STILES Three, plus two locked gates.

PARKING Howsell Road, Link Common, Link Top, Tank Quarry or North Quarry.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Frequent trains; also frequent buses from Great Malvern (43/44) and Worcester (44) to Malvern Link Station; timetables, 01905 765765,, 08457 484950.

REFRESHMENTS Café and shop at Elim Arts Centre at Westminster Bank (closed Sunday afternoons); shops and pubs at Link Top and Malvern Link; Knights Cider (weekends only) at Storridge.


1 Take the main exit from the station, cross Howsell Road and look for some steps almost opposite, by a bus stop. Go down the steps and along a short path.

Turn left to walk along a street.

Turn left again at Church Road, pass under the railway and take a path on the right. Keep straight on at all junctions, with the railway behind the trees on your right.

When you enter a large field you’ll find that several paths have been established by local usage, but the right of way stays by the edge, eventually tunnelling through trees to emerge on Lower Howsell Road. Turn left.

2 Take a path on the right, which passes a former gasworks. Turn left when the path enters a field. Keep to the left edge of a second field to rejoin Lower Howsell Road. Turn left, then take the next path on the right, at a bend in the road. There’s no waymarking and the fingerpost is hidden in the hedge. When the path enters a field keep straight on, to the left of a hedge. You’ll quite soon see a waymark which implies that you keep to the same side of the hedge but the OS map shows the path (MV573) changing sides at this point, to continue in the same direction but on a more attractive route, past a pool. The county council’s Definitive Map confirms that the OS map is correct. Whichever you choose, turn left at the next junction, along a wide path. Keep straight on at another junction and then left when you meet a farm access track. Walk to Grit Lane, turn right and then soon left on Birchwood Road. (NB Local usage has established a field-edge path which avoids Grit Lane, though it’s not a right of way). Follow Birchwood Road to Leigh Sinton Road and cross to Halfkey Road.

3 When Halfkey Road bends right keep straight on along Hospital Road. At the end of this go straight on along a footpath which is initially also an access track. The path soon bears right, away from the track, and runs alongside a brook bordered by veteran oaks. When you come to the largest of the oaks a waymark points right. Ignore this and go straight on, to the left of the brook, along the edge of orchards (MV520). After 300 metres turn left at a junction, joining the Worcestershire Way and Geopark Way. Follow them through the orchard and across a meadow to a footbridge.

4 Leaving the Worcestershire Way and Geopark Way, turn right uphill and then keep left of a fence to find access to Rough Hill Wood. Join a track and follow it to the top of the hill, past a house and then a little way down to a cluster of farm buildings. Pass these buildings then turn right along a track and down steps to an orchard. Descend diagonally right to meet a road at a junction. Turn left and cross Cowleigh Road to take a path climbing up Whitmans Hill. Turn left at the top, on a bridleway through woods. Go straight on at all waymarked junctions, then left at an unmarked Y-junction, where a waymark a little further on confirms you’re on the right path.

Soon after this the bridleway descends to Croft Farm. Keep to the right past a scrap metal collection then turn left on the farm access track and walk to a road.

5 Turn left, then keep straight on at a junction, up Croft Bank. Cross West Malvern Road and walk up Westminster Bank to the open hills. Climb to a junction by Westminster Bank Spring and turn left. Just after Joyners Meadow fork right uphill, rejoining the Worcestershire Way.

Keep straight on at the next junction, then bear right uphill at another. Contour round Table Hill until you come to a bench at a bend in the path, above a valley filled with bracken, rosebay and a light scattering of trees. Leave the Worcestershire Way and descend into the valley on a narrow path which emerges on North Malvern Road near Tank Quarry and the clock tower. Turn right past North Quarry. At a junction descend right to Link Top. Cross Worcester Road to Link Common and choose any route to Malvern Link.