TACKLE the hard-to-find and often hard-to-follow footpaths near Welland to be rewarded with a pleasant, peaceful landscape of fields, hedges, ancient trees, lovely cottages and farmhouses, late-summer wildflowers and good views of the surrounding hills.

There’s a wide range of livestock too, including goats, donkeys and miniature ponies.


Start: Welland, between Upton and Little Malvern; grid ref SO796400.

Length: Six-and-a-half miles/10.5km.

Maps: OS Explorer 190, OS Landranger 150.

Terrain: Pasture and arable, mostly flat. Blocked footpaths necessitate a fair amount of road walking, but only on very quiet lanes.

Footpaths: Some are adequate, good or even excellent, but many are poor, even by Worcestershire’s dismal standards. Two paths are completely blocked but are shown on the map with dotted lines as you may wish to attempt them after the harvest. Most stiles, gates and footbridges are overgrown to some extent, often with brambles and nettles. Several stiles have missing steps. Waymarking is often absent and there are discrepancies between OS mapping and the situation on the ground.

Stiles: 37, plus a gate and a fence.

Parking: By village hall at crossroad.

Buses: First 363/364, Worcester- Upton-Malvern via Welland, Mon-Sat; worcestershire.gov.uk/bustimetables or 01905 765765.

Refreshments: The Inn at Welland (formerly Anchor Inn) near Hook Common. The Pheasant Inn at Welland has closed.


1 Walk along Drake Street towards Upton to find a path on the right.

Cross a meadow, pass an orchard then go obliquely across a meadow to a gate/stile at the far side. Turn left in the next field and keep straight on at a hedge corner. Pass to the left of a group of trees surrounding a pond.

Climb a stile when the trees end and cross the next field to a stile by a maple tree. Continue along the next field edge, climb over a gate in the corner, proceed through nettles to another gate then through more nettles to a stile.

2 Turn right along the edge of pasture, then continue along the edge of another before turning left in the corner (don’t cross the stile). Walk down the field edge and cross a stile in the bottom corner. Go straight on for 12 metres then look for a stile hidden in the hedge on the right. Cross into the adjacent field and go obliquely right, towards trees at a corner where two sets of powerlines meet. Keep straight on along the field edge.

3 Cross a stile in a corner and cut across the next field corner to find a footbridge. Turn left in the next field and proceed to a lane.

Take a path opposite, which is easily followed until you’ve crossed a pair of stiles in a field corner. Go diagonally across another field to meet the edge just before a group of trees surrounding a pond. Turn left along the edge, then keep straight on in a corner so that you pass to the right of the trees. Move away from the field edge to find a stile in the hedge ahead. Cross another field to meet a track at Keyses Farm.

4 Turn right, then immediately left after the farm buildings, to walk along the edge of the yard.

Keep going in the same direction past a rubbish dump to find a stile into pasture. Keep straight on, as the pasture narrows, almost to a point. Climb over a wooden fence and turn right along the next field edge. Go straight on in the corner, through a gap to another field. Go obliquely left, passing to the right of a dead tree, to find a footbridge.

Continue across the next field, through a gateway below a dead tree and across another field to a pair of gates giving access to a lane and another path.

5 You could attempt the path but after the first field you would find your way completely blocked.

At the time of writing, the only option is to turn left along the lane.

Take the next path on the right, at Gunnells. Walk along a driveway then across a paddock until a waymark points right. Ignore it, and go diagonally left instead to rejoin the lane at a junction. Go straight on, signed Longdon and Upton, then go left at the next junction. After Walk Farm there’s a path on the right, but it starts badly and soon gets much worse. There’s currently no point in attempting it.

6 Turn right at a T-junction, then take the second path on the left, after Micklefield Cottage. Walk through two fields, pass a lake then go through a gate on the right and diagonally up a sloping field to the far top corner. Go diagonally across two more fields. Reaching a house, go through a gate on the left to another path. Follow it along the left edge of a field to a lane. Turn right, then take the next left.

7 Turn right just before Meregate.

Walk along a green lane then through a meadow towards the far left corner. Approaching the corner, look for a stile in the right-hand hedge. Cross the meadow, squeeze past the redundant stile and walk through a small copse, looking for another stile on the left. Cross into a field and follow the left-hand edge.

Continue along the edge of a second field to a lane. Turn left.

8 Cross Drake Street to a footpath opposite. Go diagonally across a field to a gate below two oak trees near the far left corner, then along the right-hand edge of the next field.

Go through a gap into another field and straight on by the edge, soon turning a corner. After 100m turn left by a fence then shortly pass through a gate and turn left. At the end of the fence, having drawn level with a long narrow field and a wood on the right, turn left up a slight rise. At the top, continue to a fence ahead and turn right.

9 Cross a stile in the next corner and turn left. After another stile turn right and walk to Drake Street.

Turn right, then soon left on Byefield Lane. After passing Byefield House take a path on the right. Walk up a sloping field and turn left at the top. Continue along the edge of a second field then into a third. After a few paces cross a stile on the right and retrace your outward route to the trees around the pond (point one). Turn right on a path to Drake Street, then left to Welland.