The well-established, popular nature reserve at Monkwood is included in this walk, and so is the much younger, little-known Spindle Wood.

Monkwood was first documented about 1,200 years ago, when it was granted to Worcester Priory. Spindle Wood was planted on former farmland just five years ago, in 1998-99. It is already developing into a valuable resource for wildlife and a pleasant place for people to visit.

The surrounding countryside is delightful, having mostly escaped conversion to arable farming. A traditional orchard still survives by Green Street, while elsewhere the ancient hedgerows enclose a mix of pasture and paddocks.

Naturally, there are sheep, cattle and horses, but you will also see peafowl, geese, donkeys, a llama and some tiny ponies no bigger than a medium-sized dog.

Birdwatchers can expect predators such as buzzard, kestrel and little owl, while a variety of woodland and hedgerow species may also be seen, with a little luck and patience.

Pheasants are abundant and a pair of mute swans is resident on a pool at Spindle Wood - a good place for a picnic.


Join a footpath beginning near the tennis club - on the west side of the main road to the south of the green. Pass to the left of the tennis club, and descend a slope to Hallow Lane. Cross over, turn left and join a path on the right.

Walk across a field, pass under power lines and cross a stile on the left into another field. Walk to a gate at the far side, continue across another field and then turn left in the next one.

Proceed to Ashfield Farm, join the farm drive and walk to Peachley Lane. Turn right, and then right again on a footpath. Go straight across two fields, to the left of three oak trees and over a stile.

Skirt round a knoll, cross Laughern Brook, continue across a field, walk up the left-hand edge of another and then along the edge of a garden to Shoulton.

Turn left on Green Street. After 400m, turn right into Spindle Wood. Walk to a junction and turn left. After passing a barn, continue in the same direction. The path soon swings right to a pool. Turn left to the far end of it then cross a footbridge and follow the left-hand hedge to a gateway. Go through and turn left to return to Green Street.

Turn right and walk to Greenstreet Farm. Pass between the farm buildings, go through the right-hand gate and turn right behind a barn and across a field to a gate at the far side.

Cross the next field, initially heading towards a gate at the far side. As you draw nearer you'll see another gate on the left - go through here and follow the right-hand boundary through two fields.

Cross a bridge, go to another field, then turn left to Monkwood Green. Turn right, then second left, signed Monkwood and Sinton Green.

Take the first path on the right into Monkwood and follow a nature trail which rejoins the road further along. Cross the road and turn right on a path along the edge of the main part of the wood.

When forced to join the road continue in the same direction then fork right at a junction. After 100m join a path on the right, follow the hedge to a corner then keep straight on to the left-hand gate ahead.

In the next field follow the right-hand hedge to the corner then cross another field to the left corner. Climb a stile, proceed to another and go left along a field edge. Keep straight on at a junction and finally pass a house to meet a road.

Turn left, shortly fork right at Sinton Green, then right again at a crossroads by a pond. Ignore two footpaths by Ivy Cottage but take the next one, at a green gate.

The path leads into a field, where you turn left. Shortly cross a stile and continue to another in the corner. Don't cross this one - turn right instead and walk past a farm, then down to the far end of a long field.

Turn right to find a footbridge half-hidden in trees. Take the middle of the three paths on the other side.

In the next field the right of way bears away from the edge to a stile at the far side. The stile is currently obstructed by barbed-wire fencing, so aim instead for a prominent gate at the top of a slight bank then rejoin the right of way, crossing a patch of grass to meet a road.

Turn left for a few paces then cross to another path at a gate. Turn left over a stile and follow a well-trodden path by a field edge and then along a passageway, keeping straight on at Oakleigh Heath.

Emerging in a field, turn left and keep straight on at a junction. When you meet Shoulton Lane cross a grassy triangle to Hallow Lane. Either turn left to the main road or join another path opposite. Two short paths soon branch off this to the road - one is by the village hall and the other is the one by the tennis club.


Start: Hallow, grid ref SO827580 (or start at Monkwood if you prefer).

Length: 7 miles/11km.

Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landranger 150.

Terrain: farmland and woodland, mostly flat, very muddy.

Paths: one is obstructed by barbed wire but there's an easy way round it; the others rate adequate to good.

Stiles: 25.

Parking: Hallow (or Monkwood).

Buses: 293, 294, 296, 298, 300,

308, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 758; Traveline 0870 608 2608 or

Refreshments: Monkwood Green, Sinton Green and Hallow.

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 or injury, however caused.