THIS delightful walk from Upton visits some of the scattered settlements which constitute Hanley.

Nowadays, Hanley Swan is the most populous part of the parish but the earliest settlements were probably close to present-day Hanley Castle, extending from Church End along Quay Lane to the River Severn, where there was an important wharf.

There is some evidence of a Roman fort by the river and a Roman temple on the site of the present church. The Saxons built their own church on the site of the putative temple, but it was only after the Norman Conquest that Hanley grew in importance.

Another church was built, incorporating Roman brick and Saxon stone, but it was later much altered and extended. The original tower was damaged in the Civil War and replaced with the massive brick structure which stands today. In the early 13th century, King John built a castle by Pool Brook. It had no real defensive purpose, but was more of a hunting lodge, and it had fallen into decay by Tudor times. It was subsequently plundered to provide building materials for local houses and for Upton Bridge.

Close to the church, the unspoilt Three Kings Inn was built in the 16th century. Its name derives from the fact that it was once owned by three brothers whose family name was Kings.

They sold it to Anthony Lechmere, of Severn End, in 1710 and it is still owned by the Lechmere estate. In 1911 Fred and Ethel Roberts were installed as publicans, and were succeeded in 1960 by their son George and his wife Sheila. Today, the pub is run by George and Sheila’s daughter Sue.

Returning to Upton, the route passes Clive’s Fruit Farm, which is another long-established family business, founded in 1917. Pickyour- own fruit is available here, including strawberries, raspberries and cherries. The farm shop has a wide range of produce, including award-winning fruit juices, and snacks are available too. If you’d like to extend your walk, the farm also offers a short nature trail.


Start: Upton Bridge, Upton-upon- Severn, grid ref SO851407.

Length: 6½ miles/10.5km.

Maps: OS Explorer 190, OS Landranger 150.

Terrain: Pasture, arable, woodland, mostly flat.

Footpaths: Excellent, apart from gaps in waymarking.

Stiles: 19.

Parking: Upton.

Buses: 362/363 Worcester- Malvern via Upton, Mon-Sat only; or call 01905 765765 for more information.

Refreshments: Good choice at Upton; Three Kings Inn at Hanley Castle; Clive’s Fruit Farm near Upton.


1 Walk up Hanley Road (B4211) then take a footpath on the right just after the entrance to Serenity Rose Spa. When the path comes to an end, follow Quay Lane back to the road and cross to a lane opposite at Church End. Follow it past the school and round to the right then walk through the churchyard. Turn left past the Three Kings Inn then go along the left-hand edge of a sports field before passing through a gate to join a fenced path which leads to a lane. Cross to another path almost opposite, just a little to the left.

Follow the right-hand edge of a pasture until you see a gate then bear left to the gate and cross the B4209 to a path opposite.

2 Keep to the left edge of dairy pasture at first, close to Pool Brook, then bear right uphill to a gate and walk through a wood, the Gorse. The path eventually leaves the wood to arrive at a junction with a farm track. Turn left, then leave the track when you come to a path on the right. Bear left across two fields then turn right in a third field to meet Hangman’s Lane.

Turn left, then take the next path on the left. Cross a field to meet the left-hand hedge then follow it back to the farm track you were on earlier.

3 Cross the track and continue opposite across three large fields then straight on along Horton Manor Farm’s access track.

Keep straight on when the track bends left and then go through a hedge gap to meet the B4209 at Roberts End. Cross to a path at a stile opposite. Pass some stables, go through a gate to a track and then shortly go through a gate on the left (not waymarked). Go diagonally to the far left corner of a meadow, cross a stile and go left, cutting across the corner of the next field then crossing another stile. Proceed along the next field edge. When you come to a corner the waymarking seems to point straight on, but ignore this and go diagonally right on a well-made path across an arable field, then keep straight on beside a hedge to meet a lane. Turn right.

4 After a few metres, take a path on the left. Bear right across an arable field on a well-made path then turn left at a junction. After going through a gate, go diagonally to the far corner of the next field.

Keep left along the edge of another field, cross a stile, continue a few metres further in the same direction then turn right, with hazel coppice on your left. Go straight on at a junction, passing the site of Hanley Castle, then proceed along a driveway to a lane.

5 Turn right, then left, following Pool Brook towards Upton.

You’ll pass Clive’s Fruit Farm and if you’re planning to visit it you can use a track on the right, which a notice indicates is for Clive’s staff and customers only (open 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm on Sunday). At a road junction beyond the farm turn left.

When you come to the next junction squeeze past a stile to join a path which runs along the top of an ancient floodbank all the way to Upton.