Most of this walk is devoted to the Malvern Hills, exploring the area between the two cuttings at the Wyche and Wynds Point. A short detour to the east, however, adds variety to the walk, with visits to Little Malvern Priory and St Wulstan’s Local Nature Reserve.

Little Malvern Priory was founded in 1125 as a daughter house of Worcester Priory. It was one of the smallest monasteries in the country, with never more than 10 or 12 resident monks. Its history is fairly uneventful, though when Bishop Alcock visited in 1480 he was unimpressed by the state of the priory and the behaviour of the monks, who were sent off to Gloucester Abbey for some ominous-sounding ‘correction’.

The priory was refurbished and two years later the exiled monks were allowed to return home. In 1534 the priory was dissolved and the site leased to the Russell family of Strensham, with the stipulation that the priory church would remain available for the use of local people. The other buildings were demolished, except for the prior's hall, which forms part of Little Malvern Court.

St Wulstan’s is a popular nature reserve with a valuable range of habitats, including mature woodland, plantation, naturally regenerating woodland, scrub, grassland, a brook and a pond. It’s all open to the public so feel free to vary the route described here, which, for clarity’s sake, sticks to one well-used path running mostly along the northern edge of the reserve. The site is 22 hectares in size and was formerly occupied by a hospital, which was demolished in 1994. St Wulstan (also known as Wulfstan) was a Warwickshire man born in 1008. He studied at Evesham and Peterborough before moving to Worcester, where he started out as a clerk, later serving as treasurer and then prior of the Benedictine monastery before being ordained Bishop of Worcester in 1062.

Though he was a friend of King Harold he managed to hold on to the bishopric after the Norman Conquest. By 1075 he was the only pre-Conquest bishop still in office, all the rest having been succeeded or replaced.

A deeply enlightened man for his time, he was an advocate of social reform and an opponent of slavery.

He died, still in office, in 1095 and was canonised in 1203.


START Wyche Cutting, Malvern Hills; grid ref SO769437.

LENGTH 8¾ miles/14km.

MAPS OS Explorer 190, OS Landranger 150, Harvey Superwalker Malvern Hills (shows most of the route but not Upper Welland/St Wulstan’s).

TERRAIN Grassland and woodland, moderately hilly.

FOOTPATHS Mostly excellent.


PARKING Beacon Road, Upper Wyche.

BUSES Malvern-Ledbury 675 to the Wyche, and Worcester-Upton- Malvern 363/43 to Little Malvern Priory (through journeys operate from Worcester to Malvern with a change of service number at Upton); etables or 01905 765765.

REFRESHMENTS The Wyche and Wynds Point.


1 Climb the steps next to the bus shelter at the Wyche to gain the ridge-top and walk south, either along the knobbly spine of the ridge or on the lower paths to either side. After passing Blackhill car park keep to the high ground until you can go no further and are forced to descend right to Jubilee Drive (B4232), meeting it close to the Malvern Hills Hotel at Wynds Point. Cross the A449, walk through British Camp car park and take a bridleway which descends through woodland and to the left of a reservoir. Fork left at a junction and continue down to meet a track near Underhills Farm.

2 Turn left and walk to the Upton road (A4104). Turn right past Little Malvern Priory then cross to a path on the left which goes diagonally to the far corner of a large arable field. Cross a stile, bear right through a vehicle dump, cross another stile to a track and turn left. Turn right on meeting a road at Upper Welland.

3 Turn left at Woodend Farm.

Walk through the yard and across fields to a hedge corner, then straight on by the hedge. Go through a gate in the next corner (no waymark) and turn left to go through another gate, t hen left along the ensuing field edge.

Proceed along the edge of another field after crossing a footbridge.

Towards the end of this field cross another footbridge to enter St Wulstan’s Local Nature Reserve.

4 Keep close to the right-hand edge as far as possible, eventually exiting from the nature reserve on to St Wulstan's village green. Turn left, then go left along a street to a T-junction. Turn right then take the first bridleway on the right. Follow it to a field and turn left along the edge on another bridleway. Proceed to the top of a second field and leave the bridleway, crossing a stile on the right to join a footpath.

5 Follow the right-hand edge through two fields then enter a third field. A footpath which leads back to the hills leaves this field 150m to the left, at a stile just beyond a fallen tree, but the right of way does not go directly to this point. It goes diagonally to a farm but intersects another path on the way. When you reach this intersection turn round and go diagonally to the stile near the fallen tree by the top edge. Cross the stile, take the left-hand one of two paths and walk to the A449.

6 Turn left then cross to a footpath. Climb to a lane, turn right and after a few paces join a path to the left just above the lane for a way before climbing steeply uphill to a junction. Turn right and walk to the Wyche. There are several junctions and paths to choose. Any will do as long as you avoid descending paths which lead to the road.