IF the house-building proposals for Worcester go ahead then much of the attractive countryside on this walk on the western edges of the city will disappear.

It’s an easy walk exploring two tributary streams of Laugherne Brook, one of which runs through old hazel coppice in Oldbury Wood.

The other stream also used to run through woodland, but this was cleared to make way for fishing pools.

These do at least provide new habitats for water birds and their banks have been colonised by birches and alders.

Elsewhere, there are veteran oaks in the hedgerows, fine views of the Malvern Hills and the opportunity to visit the Elgar Birthplace Museum.


Start: At the end of Oldbury Road, Dines Green, grid ref SO822553.

Length: 4¾ miles/7.5km.

Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landranger 150.

Terrain: Farmland and woodland, no hills.

Footpaths: Most are excellent, but some are poor. The path which gives access to Oldbury Wood is overgrown with brambles, and so is the path from the fishing pools to Oldbury Road (part of this one is also littered with dozens of cans and bottles which can only have been dumped by anglers).

Some stiles need repairing and waymarking is patchy.

Stiles: 14.

Parking: Car park at end of Oldbury Road.

Buses: First 30 serves Dines Green (Tudor Way, 300m from Oldbury Road) every 10 minutes (hourly on Sundays); LMS 308 serves Crown East Lane and Bell Lane, while LMS 310 serves Martley Road, (Bell Inn, 300m from the route); both LMS services operate Monday-Saturday only; worcestershire.gov.uk/bustimetables or 01905 765765.

Refreshments: Café at Elgar Birthplace Museum, and Plough Inn next door. Broadheath post office and Bell Inn are 300m from the route.


1Walk past children’s playgrounds then pass through a fence gap into a field. Walk towards the far right corner – that is, towards Oldbury Road. Go through a gap near the field corner and pass through a young wood to meet a bridleway. Follow it to Oldbury Farm and then turn left before Oldbury Grange on another bridleway/cycleway. Stay on this for 400m until you have crossed a brook, then look for a stile (no waymark) on your right.

2Cross the stile and bear right through trees, trampling down brambles to find another stile, beyond which you can cross the brook and enter Oldbury Wood.

Turn left, following the brook until it is no longer possible to do so.

Keep on in much the same direction and you’ll soon meet a wide track.

The footpath continues opposite (no waymark) and you’ll soon find the brook on your left again. Leave the wood at a stile and proceed to a junction.

3Turn right along the edge of the wood. At the next corner, bear right, going slightly downhill, to meet the Oldbury Farm bridleway.

Turn left, following it past Elgar’s birthplace to Crown East Lane.

Turn right, then shortly cross the lane to find a path starting just beyond three Scots pines. The path is waymarked and leads through fields to meet a bridleway (incorrectly waymarked with a yellow arrow). Turn right and return to Crown East Lane. Cross to Broadheath Common (beware the roadside ditch) and turn left towards a group of seven trees near the corner of the common.

4The path continues opposite, and is also the driveway to Elm House. Keep straight on when the driveway bends right, soon entering woodland – this is Little Common. Like Broadheath Common, it is public access land despite the lack of signs. Turn right at the far side. Turn right again at Heath Grange Farm, then immediately left past BDWM. Walk through the farmyard, between paddocks and into an arable field.

Continue in the same direction to meet the right-hand hedge near the third of three oak trees. Bear slightly left across the field to cross a footbridge in the far hedge. Go through a gate and walk along a field edge towards Partridge Farm.

5Leave the field in the next corner, turning right into the adjacent field and walking along its left edge. Go straight on through the next field then cross a stile to another field and turn left. Turn right when you come to a junction and follow Partridge Lane to Bell Lane. Cross and turn left to find a path leading into a field. Turn right along the edge, shortly rejoining Bell Lane. Turn left.

6Take a footpath which is also the driveway to Innisfree and Broadlands. Having passed the houses, continue along field edges.

Keep straight on at an unmarked junction by a footbridge but turn right at the next junction, by a waymarked stile. Cross a field, step over a low stile at the far side and go diagonally left, as waymarked, then walk between two fishing pools (not shown on OS maps) and cross a brook to a path junction.

Turn left, following the brook. The path soon re-crosses the brook then turns right so that it’s still following it, but on the other bank.

There are more pools on your left.

7Cross a stile into a field, where there are two more pools. Turn right when you’re halfway along the second one, crossing the brook and a broken stile (missing step) to follow the remains of a green lane.

It's overgrown in places but please use it, resisting the temptation to take to the nearby field edge, or it will be lost altogether. Eventually, however, soon after crossing a stile, you will find it completely blocked and will have to climb over the low fence on your left. Proceed to Oldbury Road and turn right.

Please note this walk has been carefully checked and the directions are believed to be accurate at the time of publication. No responsibility is accepted by either the author or publisher for errors or omissions, or for any loss, accident or injury, however caused.