THIS is such a beautiful walk that it demands to be done in all seasons, but spring is perhaps the finest time of all. Hedgerows overflow with primroses, fields are alive with young lambs and calves, and the Malvern Hills form a splendid backdrop to the thousands of daffodils which fill the churchyard at Tedstone Delamere.

The walk is described from Meadow Green, the modern part of Whitbourne.

The old part of the village is a little further on, at the end of the lane, and well worth the short detour as it’s a charming place with lovely houses and a fine church.

Next to the church is Whitbourne Court, built on the moated site of a palace once owned by the bishops of Hereford.

Two bishops were buried at Whitbourne, one of whom was Francis Godwin (1562-1633) who took a keen interest in astronomy, influenced by the discoveries of Copernicus, Kepler, Gilbert and Galileo.

In the 1620s he wrote one of the earliest known works of science fiction, The Man in the Moone, which was published posthumously in 1638, under the pseudonym Domingo Gonsales.

A local craft brewery, Brew On, now produces a beer called Man in the Moone, which is on sale in the well-stocked Whitbourne Village Shop at Meadow Green.

Brew On operates as a social enterprise, reinvesting profits in the local community, and is located on the National Trust’s estate at nearby Brockhampton.

The shop is also a social enterprise, owned by its shareholders, and run by volunteers.

It specialises in local food and drink, most of it produced within a 30-mile radius.

All profits are reinvested in the shop and community.

Other associated ventures include a community orchard, allotments and a wildlife garden which is intended to attract bees and other pollinators for the benefit of the orchard and allotments.

Soon after leaving Meadow Green, the walk route passes through parkland around Whitbourne Hall, a Palladian-style mansion built in 1861-2 for Edward Evans of Worcester, whose family owned what was then the world’s largest vinegar works.

The architect was E W Elmslie, better known for designing some of Great Malvern’s finest Victorian buildings. Whitbourne Hall has a Grade II* listing and retains some stunning original features.

It’s available for weddings and other big events but is also open to the general public on Mondays in May and June.

FACTFILE START Whitbourne village hall at Meadow Green, on a minor road north of the A44 between Knightwick and Bringsty; grid ref SO720567.

LENGTH Seven miles/11km.

MAPS OS Explorer 202/204, OS Landranger 149.

TERRAIN Pasture, parkland, traffic-free lanes; mildly hilly in places.

FOOTPATHS The paths used in this walk are problem-free but the choice of route is restricted because certain other paths in the Tedstone area are closed by order of Herefordshire Council, so do bear this in mind if you wish to vary the route. The paths in question have been closed for years, with the council repeatedly renewing closure orders instead of attending to maintenance.


PARKING Meadow Green.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT First 420, Worcester-Hereford, serves Meadow Green, Mon-Sat only; or 01905 765765.

REFRESHMENTS Shop and pub at Meadow Green.

ORDNANCE SURVEY Worcester News recommends the use of OS Landranger Maps, your ideal passport to navigating the countryside. This walk is based on OS Landranger 149.

DIRECTIONS 1 Walk along the lane which runs above the school. Turn left when you come to a junction, towards Tedstone. Go to the right at the next junction then take the first footpath on the left, at a gate next to a driveway. Go diagonally across parkland, passing to the right of some large oak trees, then drop down to the right into a valley, walking past five pine trees. Cross a brook at a footbridge and turn left on the other side.

2 Re-cross the brook at the next footbridge and go diagonally right up a slope, passing to the right of four tall, narrow conifers. Continue across high ground to meet a farm track near a cattle grid by a bridge over a lake at Longlands Farm. Follow the track to an unfenced road and turn right.

Follow this traffic-free road for about one-and-a-half miles, passing Longfield Coppice, The Oasthouse and Lower Norton Farm, after which the road climbs through Woodcock Hill Wood and passes a cottage.

3 Take a path on the right just after the cottage. Follow an old hedgeline, now marked only by four surviving oak trees, across a field to a stile. After that the waymarked path is very easily followed to Upper Norton. Pass to the right of the house and garden, cross three stiles close together then take the path which goes to the right. Follow it along field edges to meet a lane at Hill Cross.

4 Turn right and ignore all turnings, following the lane round to the right at Tedstone Heights. After passing Tedstone Court you’ll see a path on the left which gives access to the church, should you wish to visit it to see the daffodils.

A little further on, you’ll see the Pixhill bridleway (the best return route to Meadow Green) but this is currently closed so keep on along the lane to reach Badley Wood Common. Despite the lack of signage, the common is access land, so feel free to explore, using any of the footpaths but ending up in the south-east corner.

5 If you prefer to stay on the lane, don’t go onto the common until you reach the far end, then take a path which runs along the edge to a junction with two public footpaths at the south-east corner.

Take the path which goes to the left, following a brook back to the lane.

Turn right, then take the second path on the left, just before another brook.

Shortly cross the brook, pass to the right of a pool then turn right at a junction, crossing fields to Meadow Green. Go straight on to the village hall.