At the top of Church Street (the main street) bear right to walk up St Ann's Road. Keep straight on at the junction with Happy Valley. A little further on, soon after a wooden shed, join a footpath on the right which climbs into woodland. You will encounter a choice of paths, but keep to the lowest one, bordered by a stone wall. The path contours round North Hill, just above Great Malvern.

Keep forward at all junctions, eventually descending to a car park at North Quarry. Continue in the same direction along North Malvern Road and then West Malvern Road, passing Tank Quarry picnic place. Just after the road bends left descend steps on the right to join the Worcestershire Way at Old Hollow.

Climb a stile opposite and go to the far left corner of a field. Turn right to enter High Wood. The waymarked route runs along the edge of the wood then into the centre, before swinging left, passing an unsightly tip and climbing uphill. It then crosses two boggy patches and makes a couple of right turns to reach a crosspaths.

Leave the Worcestershire Way at this point, turning right on an unwaymarked but well trodden path. Go straight on at a rather complex junction, then fork left at two subsequent junctions.

Descend into the valley of Whippets Brook, fork left to ford the brook then climb up to Cowleigh Road (B4219). Turn left, then left again on a track leading to Cowleigh Gate Farm. Pass the farmhouse and continue along the track, into a field then through a bridle gate on the right into another field.

Turn left, walk the length of the field to the far end then keep going across the ensuing field until you intercept the Worcestershire Way again. Follow it diagonally uphill beside a line of trees to enter Six Acre Wood. Climb to a T-junction at the top of the ridge and leave the Worcestershire Way, turning right, then right again a little further on, where a yellow arrow shows the way.

Stay on the top of the ridge until you come to a waymarked T-junction. Turn left, descending along the edge of Whitman's Hill Coppice. Keep straight on at a junction with a bridleway, then turn right when you meet a lane. Join the first footpath on the left, which runs through two fields then into Lumbridge Hill Wood.

Take the first branch path on the left, crossing a footbridge into a field. Turn right, go through a gate and turn left until a waymarker points the way up Cockshot Hill. A stile at the top gives access to woodland and a path leads to a track, where you turn left.

Approaching Bank Farm, join a footpath on the right, which descends into a valley. Pass between two blocks of woodland and then through a gate. Go forward to another gate and follow a tree-lined track. After passing through another gate bear right below a slope, then left past Rose Farm to a lane.

Turn left until you see a footpath signpost for the Bell Inn. The path leads into a meadow, where it forks. Go to the left and then just keep going through woods and meadows as the path becomes increasingly well trodden. Keep forward at all junctions, eventually joining the Worcestershire Way again, albeit briefly.

Follow it to a lane then leave the Way, turning left, then immediately right on a bridleway which passes Park Farm, crosses Brockhill Road and bypasses Parkwood to arrive at the B4232 opposite a spout where Malvern water is available.

Walk straight uphill to meet a track and turn right. When the track descends to the road keep straight on instead, into birch woodland. Head slightly uphill at a crosspaths then turn right at a T-junction. Keep climbing to reach a stone direction indicator and choose your own way back. For the easiest route, take the path signed "Quarry walk and St Ann's Well via Earnslaw".

Very soon fork right on the lower of two paths and you'll come to a clearing. The quarry is to the left, but the easy route is on the wide track which descends almost to the road before climbing slightly to contour round Worcestershire Beacon. There are numerous branching paths but they all lead to Great Malvern. For the easiest route just keep straight on at all junctions.


Start: Great Malvern; GR775459.

Length: 8.5 miles/13.8km.

Maps: OS Landranger 150, OS Explorer 190, Harvey Superwalker Malvern Hills.

Terrain: gently undulating, with only one steep ascent; mainly woodland and pasture, very muddy in places.

Stiles: 14.

Parking: Great Malvern (or North Quarry or Tank Quarry).

Public transport: frequent daily buses and trains; County Bus Line 0845 7125436.

Refreshments: Great Malvern; and fresh spring water near Parkwood.


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.

ONE of the loveliest features of the Malvern Hills is the woodland which clothes the lower slopes.

It doesn't offer the same stunning views you get higher up, but on a misty autumn day that hardly matters.

And it's in autumn that the woods are at their very best, especially where there are beeches and sweet chestnuts, such as on the eastern slopes of North Hill and Worcestershire Beacon, and silver birches, which throng the west side of the ridge just to the north of Wyche Cutting.

All of these areas are included in this walk, which also takes you to the beautiful woods on the limestone hills to the west of the Malverns, including High Wood, Six Acre Wood and Whitman's Hill Coppice. Just as memorable, on a clear day at least, are the views across Herefordshire to the Welsh mountains which you can enjoy from the track between Cockshot Hill and Bank Farm.