ON this lovely walk you’ll pass through some of the orchards managed by Colwall Orchard Group, an organisation dedicated to promoting, celebrating and restoring traditional orchards.

A traditional orchard – one where sheep graze below full-size trees – is far richer in wildlife than a modern orchard of dwarf trees grown in regimented rows in mown grass.

For instance, all three species of British woodpecker are found in Colwall’s orchards. Even if you don’t glimpse any woodpeckers you’ll see plenty of birds, including grey herons and mute swans, as you pass a beautiful lake near South End. There is no public access but it’s visible from the footpath. At Riddings Farm there is permissive access to fields and woods under Defra’s stewardship scheme. Access is available until 2016 so look for the on-site maps if you’d like to extend your walk.



Start: Colwall Station; grid ref SO755424.

Length: Eight miles/13km.

Maps: OS Explorer 190, OS Landranger 149/150.

Terrain: Arable, pasture, orchard, woodland; mostly flat.

Footpaths: Excellent around Colwall.

Elsewhere, some field-edge paths are narrow and overgrown, there are wobbly stiles and patchy waymarking.

However, the only substantial problem is an appalling example of obstruction near Coddington where a 650m-length of public footpath is over-planted with potatoes and maize. It is possible to find a way round (see point six). Herefordshire Council has been informed.

Stiles: 42.

Parking: Near the station.

Public transport: Trains to Colwall, daily; 44/363/364 to Great Malvern then 675 to Colwall, Mon-Sat; or 417 Worcester-Ledbury service, which passes very close to Riddings Farm (point five), Mon-Sat; worcestershire.gov.uk/bustimetables or 01905 765765.

Refreshments: Colwall.



1 Take the road opposite the station, left of Colwall Pharmacy, then turn right on a footpath after a few metres. Keep straight on at all junctions to reach Long Barn, where you turn left to follow a path to a lane. Turn left, then immediately right on another path. After a fenced section the path runs along the left edge of an orchard. When you come to a gate, leave the orchard, walk along a track for a little way then turn right on a path which soon bends right to arrive at a junction.

2 Go straight on, with houses on your left. Pass a playground, walk through a young wood and then along a field edge. Coming to a junction at the next stile, ignore an obvious cross-path and go obliquely left to the far left field corner. Cross into another field, walk along the right-hand edge and then continue along the edge of the next field for just a few metres.

3 Take a well-made path going left across the field. It’s not waymarked so if it has been ploughed up turn left just before overhead powerlines. Go diagonally so that you pass under the powerlines and head towards a corner, then follow a hedge to the next corner. Cross a footbridge into another field and turn right along the edge. Cross a wobbly stile in the next corner and continue along another field edge. Cross a footbridge and go diagonally left, cutting across a field corner to a stile. Turn right in the next field to meet a lane. Turn left.

4 At Kilmorie take a path on the right and cross a field to another lane. Turn left, then left again towards South End. Join a footpath at the end of the lane. It’s misleadingly signed ‘permissive footpath’ but it’s a diverted right of way. Follow it to a junction and take the left-hand path. Keep left along three field edges then through a wood. When you come to a cluster of stiles, footbridges and boardwalks ignore a path branching right and keep straight on along a field edge then to the right of a house – you’ll find a stile behind a wall of nettles. Follow the driveway to a lane, turn right then cross to a footpath.

5 Follow a field edge to a stile, go left in the next field and then left along the edge of an orchard to another stile. Turn right along a field edge. Go straight across a second field then across another to a stile visible at the far side. Don’t cross the stile but turn left on a track. Follow it through Riddings Farm, ignoring all turnings and eventually meeting a road. Turn left.

6 Go through a gate on the right to find two paths. Take the lefthand one, walking through a long field to meet a hedge on the right then following it to a gate. This gives access to a field where the path is blocked by potato plants.

The correct line of the path would take you to the corner of a wood then diagonally across another field, where the path is blocked by maize. It’s difficult but possible to get through the potatoes but you risk a twisted ankle as the plants are earthed up steeply and the ridges are hidden by the densely planted crop. If you prefer not to attempt the path, tractor tracks offer escape routes. Head towards Coddington church and you can’t go wrong. Meeting a lane, turn left through Coddington. Ignore a lane branching right to Woofields but take the next path on the right.

7 Cross a cornfield, bear left uphill, pass to the right of a house then descend to meet a lane at a junction and go down the lane opposite. Just after Pithouse Farm take a path on the right. This is easily followed across fields, paddocks and orchards, eventually crossing a brook on the left. Turn left at a lane then take the next path on the right. Go straight down a field towards a dead oak then follow an overgrown path to a footbridge over Cradley Brook.

8 Take a well-made path bearing right across a cornfield. In the next field follow a trodden path to the right to meet a track. Turn right to meet a road opposite Colwall church. Go straight on past the church then turn left after Willow Cottage, on the Geopark Way. Keep straight on through fields, ignoring branching paths and eventually going to the far right corner of Colwall’s cricket ground before turning left along the edge. Walk to a road, turn right, then left on a footpath after the village hall. Walk to the road and turn left to Colwall station.


Worcester News recommends the
use of OS Explorer Maps, your
ideal passport to navigating the
countryside. This walk is based
on OS Explorer 190.