THIS is a beautiful walk in the north-west of the county, contrasting the Teme Valley with the high ground round Menithwood, famous for its cherry trees, both wild and cultivated.

There are superb views from the trig pillar near Menithwood, extending from Cotswold to Clent, from Malvern to Mortimer Forest. The prominent church tower to the north is St Peter's at Rock, one of the highest villages in Worcestershire. However, it is the Clee Hills which dominate the scene, as they do throughout much of the walk.

St Andrew's Church at Stockton is worth a visit to see the tomb of Thomas Walsh, decorated with heraldic devices and grinning skulls. Walsh, who died in 1593, was the son of one of Henry VIII's barons of the exchequer.


Walk down the lane which leads to Shelsley and Stanford. After about 200m join a footpath on the left. Head in the direction indicated by the sign until your way is blocked by nettles. If you're wearing thick trousers you can push through safely enough. If not, a detour to the right will prove less painful.

Cross a stile and a footbridge before climbing up a slope to find a gate, a little to the right of a large pear tree. Once through the gate you should be able to walk straight across the next field but the path has been over-planted with potatoes, so you may prefer to use an alternative track which avoids the worst of the problem.

Leaving the field, turn left along a lane which descends to the Bridge Inn. Approach the Teme footbridge but just before you reach it climb a stile into the pub car park. Cross a brook to enter riverside meadows. Bear right on an anglers' path and follow it upstream.

The anglers' path is well-trodden but once you reach the end of the fishing rights there is no trodden path at all. However, your route is still by the Teme through the next field. In the subsequent field, veer slightly away from the river as you approach the far hedge.

Cross a nettle-infested stile then continue in the same direction to meet the Teme again, crossing another overgrown stile into sheep pasture. Follow the river until a stile gives access to a hopyard. Walk to the far side then turn right and go up a bank to the A443. Cross carefully and take the lane opposite, towards Menithwood.

Pass The Lowe Farm then take the first path on the left. Go through a gate then straight on along a field edge, ignoring a small galvanised gate and continuing until you come to a large one. Pass through and walk to the far left corner of the next field, through a gate and forward along the edge of an orchard.

Another gate opens into pasture where you bear left to meet a track leading into unfenced cherry orchards. Walk past the back of a house and then shortly through a gate into pasture. Immediately pass through a fence gap on your right but then continue in the same direction as before. There are more buildings ahead of you and you should pass to the right of them all.

Soon after passing a bench at a viewpoint the path meets a bridleway which plunges into Menith Wood. When you come to a junction keep straight on, climbing uphill through the wood. At the edge of the village of Menithwood the bridleway leaves the trees but follow it a little further until you see a footpath sign on the right.

Head back into Menith Wood on this path and keep straight on at all junctions until the path forks. You can go either way here: both branches lead to the southern edge of the wood where you turn left on a track.

Walk to a lane and keep left. Pass a house then fork right on a track which leads to another lane. Turn left, soon passing the Cross Keys. Go straight on at all junctions until you come to an old chapel.

Turn right on a footpath which soon enters a field. Walk straight across towards trees at the far side, where a gate opens on to a track. Cross to a stile opposite and bear right past a trig pillar (190m) to another stile. Continue to a lane and turn right.

Take the first left, a bridleway which descends to pass a farm then enters a field. Keep straight on along the edge of this field and then another one, after which the bridleway becomes a green lane.

Before long it joins a surfaced track close to a house. A few paces further on join a footpath on the left. Keep close to the hedge at first then veer slightly away from it towards a stile as Stockton comes into view below. Keep descending, passing to the left of a farm to meet the A443 on the edge of Stockton.

Start: the Shelsley Walsh turn off the A443 at Stockton on Teme; GR715674.

Length: 6.25 miles/10km.

Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landranger 138.

Terrain: mildly hilly at times; mostly riverside meadows, sheep pasture, orchards and woodland, with a couple of arable fields; overgrown with nettles in places, and there is also a field of long grass and thistles.

Stiles: 16.

Parking: there is some roadside parking by the Shelsley turn and opposite Stockton church (take care not to impede access); alternatively, start at Stanford Bridge, where the Bridge Inn car park is oe1 to non-patrons.

Buses: Yarrantons 758, Monday-Saturday; Traveline 0870 6082608.

Refreshments: The Bridge at Stanford; Cross Keys at Menithwood.

Please note: owing to continuing FMD restrictions, dogs should not be taken on this walk.


If you have handled cattle, sheep, goats or pigs in the last seven days please stay off all farmland.

Do not go near, and never touch, handle or feed livestock. If you come across them unexpectedly move away slowly. If necessary re-trace your route.

Do not take dogs on land where there are cattle.

Keep dogs on a short lead where there are sheep, goats or pigs.

Do not leave any waste food or litter.

Stay on the path and leave all gates as you find them.

Use disinfectant where provided.

Start your walk or ride with clean equipment, footwear and clothing.


This walk has been carefully checked and the directions are believed to be correct 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.