Malvern Hills, from Battens Wood

SWC Walk 323 - Evesham to Pershore (via Dumbleton and Bredon Hills)

25-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Round House, Evesham

SWC Walk 323 - Evesham to Pershore (via Dumbleton and Bredon Hills)

25-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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All Saints Church and Old Abbey Bell Tower, Evesham

SWC Walk 323 - Evesham to Pershore (via Dumbleton and Bredon Hills)

25-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Backview to Meon Hill from Bridleway, Dumbleton Estate

SWC Walk 323 - Evesham to Pershore (via Dumbleton and Bredon Hills)

25-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Cotswold Escarpment from half-way up Bredon Hill

SWC Walk 323 - Evesham to Pershore (via Dumbleton and Bredon Hills)

25-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Landslips at Bottom of Bredon Hill, with Malvern Hills in Distance

SWC Walk 323 - Evesham to Pershore (via Dumbleton and Bredon Hills)

25-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Parsons Folly (The Tower) from below Bredon Hill

SWC Walk 323 - Evesham to Pershore (via Dumbleton and Bredon Hills)

25-Oct-18 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Evesham to Pershore via Dumbleton and Bredon Hills walk

Through the Vale of Evesham and over Cotswold Outliers with grand views of the Cotswolds and Malvern Hills

Length

34.4 km (21.4 mi). Cumulative ascent/descent: 530/532m.
For a shorter walk, see below Walk Options.

Toughness

10 out of 10

Time: 8 hours walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 13 hours.

OS Map

OS Landranger Map: 150 (Worcester & The Malverns)
OS Explorer Map: 205 (Stratford-upon-Avon & Evesham), OL 45 (The Cotswolds) & 190 (Malvern Hills & Bredon Hill)

Walk Notes

This long walk between two elegant Worcestershire market towns on the banks of the Avon is set in the heart of the Vale of Evesham, famous for its market gardens and fruit growing and Cotswolds views. The towns are surrounded by stunning countryside and set in the shadow of Bredon Hill, a 5 km long outlier of the Cotswolds. The route passes through the Abbey Precinct in Evesham and follows the Avon to pick up a tributary, the Isbourne to follow it through the Vale of Evesham to Sedgeberrow.
You walk through pastures to Dumbleton and rise through a beautiful clump of minor hills past Dumbleton Hall, a large Country Estate and descend through woods back into the valley, heading for the impressive Bredon Hill, a 5 km long range rising above the lunch destination, Ashton under Hill.
The post-lunch ascent is of the tiered kind, revealing ever further views south along the Cotswold Escarpment down the Vale of Gloucester. On a clear day, you’ll see the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons and eventually, from the Iron Age hillfort site at the top of Bredon Hill, the imposing Malvern Hills range 20 km to the west. Descend through woods and pastures, pick up the Avon for a short stretch and reach Pershore, also graced with an abbey. The station though is some way beyond the far end of town.

Various options to shorten the walk – either by bus, by a shortcut or an alternative ending or a combination of those – are described.

Walk Options

Buses X50 and 582 from Evesham (Railway Station or Bus Station) to Hampton Church (then walk back about 100m and turn right along the River Isbourne) cut 2.0 km/1.2 mi (2 per hour Mon-Sat).
Bus 540 from Evesham (Bus Station or Leisure Centre/Avon Bridge) to Sedgeberrow/The Farriers cuts 7.4 km/4.6 mi or 6.1 km/3.8 mi respectively (hourly Mon-Sat; 11/18 fare: £2,00), this is rated 8/10 [the bus also continues to Ashton under Hill, the lunch destination]. Note: every second bus is ‘short’, i.e. does not loop through Sedgeberrow village but stops only on Cheltenham Road/Hall Farm Drive. Turn south along a public footpath to link up with the described route along Main Street.
A Shortcut from Sedgeberrow to Ashton-under-Hill cuts 5.7 km/3.5 mi and 111m ascent (rated 8/10).
An Alternative Ending at Elmley Castle’s pub and then a bus (Lines 564/565) from there to Pershore or Evesham cuts 8.4 km/5.2 mi and 72m ascent (Mon-Sat; last to Pershore at 15.05, to Evesham at 16.14). Should you have missed the last bus, an agreeable walk route to Evesham is shown on the route map.
There are also several bus lines from the centre of Pershore to the outlying train station (cuts 3.2 km/2.0 mi; Mon-Sat, last at 17.50).

Transport

Evesham station is on the Cotswolds and Malvern Hills Line from Oxford to Hereford, with a journey time from 111 mins from London. Pershore is one stop and 7 minutes further towards Hereford.

Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take a train no later than 8.30 hours.

Lunch

The Star Inn Elmley Road, Ashton-Under-Hill, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 7SN (01386 881 325). The Star Inn is a traditional pub, located 17.1 km/10.6 mi into the full walk, and 11.4 km/7.1 mi into it if taking the Shortcut. Open all day every day. Food served 12.00-15.00 Mon, 12.00-15.00 and 17.00-21.00 Tue-Sat and 12.00-16.00 Sun.

Tea

Pershore Ending (all options are about 3.0 km/1.9 mi from the station):
Belle House 5 Bridge Street, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 1AJ (01386 555 055).
White Horse Hotel Church Row, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 1BH (01386 554 038). Open all day.
Bar 57 57 High Street, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 1EU (01386 552 625).
The New Inn 75 High Street, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 1EU (01386 550 570). Open all day.
The Pickled Plum 135 High Street, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 1EQ (01386 556 645). Open all day. Food served 12.00-15.00 & 18.00-21.00 Mon-Fri (from 17.00 Fri), 12.00-21.00 Sat and 12.00-16.00 Sun.

Elmley Castle, then bus to Pershore or Evesham Ending:
The Queen Elizabeth Inn Main Street, Elmley Castle, Nr. Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 3HS (01386 710 251). Open Mon 18.00-21.00, Tue-Wed 11.00-14.30 and 17.30-23.00, else all day (Sun to 20.00 only). Food served 12.00-14.00 and 18.00-21.00 Tue-Sat and 12.00-16.00 Sun. The QE Inn is located at the end of the Alternative Ending.
Ye Olde Red Horse 17 Vine Street, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 4RE (01386 442 784).
Casa 13 Vine Street, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 4RE (01386 485 09).
The Royal Oak 5 Vine Street, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 4RE (01386 442 465).
The Red Lion 6 Market Square, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 4RW (01386 761 688).
The Old Swanne Inne 66 High Street, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 4HG (01386 442 650). A Wetherspoon’s pub.
Thai Emerald 88 High Street, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 4EU (01386 497 88).

Notes

Evesham/Vale of Evesham
Evesham is a market town in the Wychavon district of Worcestershire. It is located roughly equidistant between Worcester, Cheltenham and Stratford-upon-Avon and lies within the Vale of Evesham, an area comprising the flood plain of The Avon, which has been renowned for market gardening due to its exceptionally fertile soil. The town centre, located on a horse shoe shaped peninsula almost completely surrounded by water in a meander of the river, is regularly flooded, and the 2007 floods – following the heaviest rainfall for 200 years – were the most severe in recorded history.
The town was founded around an 8th-century abbey, one of the largest in Europe, which was destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, with only the Bell Tower remaining. In 1265, one of the two main battles of the Second Barons' War (the other being the Battle of Lewes) took place near the town, marking the victory of Prince Edward who later became King Edward I.
Evesham is derived from the Old English homme or ham, and Eof, the name of a swineherd in the service of Egwin, third bishop of Worcester. The second part of the name (ham) typically only signifies a home or dwelling, but in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire was applied to land on the sides of a river, generally in bends of a river, which were liable to flood.
Evesham has a distinctive dialect, which locals call ‘Asum Grammar’.

The (Warwickshire) Avon
The Avon is a 137 km/85 mi long major left-bank tributary of the River Severn, of which it is the easternmost tributary system. Flowing generally southwestwards from Northamptonshire through Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, before joining the Severn at Tewkesbury. From Alveston weir, 3 km upstream of Stratford-upon-Avon, to Tewkesbury and the River Severn, the river has been made navigable by the construction of locks and weirs.
‘Avon’ derives from the Brythonic ‘abona’, meaning ‘river’.

Round Evesham Walk
The Round Evesham Walk is an 8 km/5 mi waymarked circular walk around the centre of Evesham, largely along the Avon, created by Evesham Rambling Club. It passes all the town’s attractions including the sight of the medieval Battle of Evesham, but must not be attempted if the River Avon is in flood. https://eveshamramblingclub.org.uk/rew/

River Isbourne/Isbourne Way
The River Isbourne is a 22 km (14 mi) long tributary of the Avon flowing through Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, from a series of springs at Washpool on the northern flank of Cleeve Hill to the Avon near Hampton, just outside Evesham. Despite its small size, the Isbourne has been an important source of power, exemplified by the mills at Dumbleton and Sedgeberrow, and it also has a history of flooding along its course, especially in Sedgeberrow. The Isbourne Way is a waymarked route along its course, created by Winchcombe Welcomes Walkers. https://www.winchcombewelcomeswalkers.com/isbourne-way/

Bredon Hill
Bredon Hill is an approximately 5 km long hill south-west of Evesham in the Vale of Evesham and it is one of the 176 classified Marilyns of England. The summit of the hill is in the parish of Kemerton, and it extends over parts of eight other parishes. The name "Bredon Hill" is unusual in that it combines the name for "hill" in three different languages, "bre" being of Celtic origin, and "don" of Old English usage. It is geologically part of the Cotswolds and lies within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but – as the result of erosion over millions of years – now stands isolated and is the largest outlying hill of the Cotswolds. Bredon Hill is dotted with standing stones, it has three Iron Age forts, Norman castle remains, a holy well, a disappeared cave and a folly. Of these, the remains of earthworks from an Iron Age hill fort, Kemerton Camp, and a tower, Parson’s Folly are passed on the walk route, as it scales the summit in its north western corner. http://visitbredonhill.co.uk/

Wychavon Way
The Wychavon Way is a 64 km (40 mi) waymarked linear trail in the district of Wychavon, from the Spa town of Droitwich to the traditional Cotswold village of Broadway. It goes through meadows, woodlands, orchards and riverside pastures, and up hilltops with extensive views over the Vale of Evesham and beyond.

Wynchcombe Way
The Wynchcombe Way is a 68 km (42 mi) waymarked figure-of-eight trail in the northern Cotswolds, centred on the town of Winchcombe, the self-declared ‘Walking Capital of the Cotswolds’. The town has ‘Walkers Are Welcome’-status. Further information, gpx files and a guidebook are available here: https://www.winchcombewelcomeswalkers.com/winchcombe-way/

Wyche Way
The Wyche Way is a 121 km (75 mi) waymarked linear Long-Distance Path that links two national trails, Offa's Dyke Path and the Cotswold Way. The trail commences from Kington in Herefordshire (close to the Welsh border) and crosses superb countryside, including the spectacular Malvern Hills, to meet the Cotswold Way at Broadway Tower. The name is best known from an old 'Saltway' crossing of the Malvern Hills known as The Wyche Cutting, used by packhorse transports in the middle ages for salt from Droitwich to South Wales.

Kemerton Camp/Banbury Stone/Parson’s Folly (The Tower)
Kemerton Camp, named after the nearby present-day village, is an Iron Age hill fort site, believed to have been abandoned in the 1st century AD after a fierce battle. Protected by cliffs on two sides, and by two ramparts & ditches on the others, this promontory fort occupies a north-projecting spur of Bredon Hill. The two sets of defences were built at different times, ca. 300 and 150 BC respectively, and are widely spaced.
There are also Roman earthworks and a number of ancient standing stones on the hill. One large stone at the summit is called the Banbury Stone, deriving from 'Baenintesburg', a name for the fort in the 8th century. Parsons Folly (known locally as 'the Tower') was built in the mid-18th century for John Parsons, and intended as a summer house, from which a more extensive view of the surrounding countryside could be seen. Sitting near the 981ft (299m) top of the hill, the final height of the tower reaches 1,000ft (305m), in a fashion similar to Leith Hill in the south east of England. The folly became a well-known county landmark, and was believed to have inspired the building of Broadway Tower on the Cotswold Escarpment.

Pershore
Pershore is a Georgian town famed for the plums and pears grown locally (as even its name suggests) and included in the list of 51 British "Gem Towns" worthy of special consideration for historic preservation for its many listed buildings. Chief among those is the Abbey which stands majestically within the Abbey Park. It was founded in 689AD by St. Oswald with the majority of the building being built during the 11th century. The current structure is far smaller than the original building though, which was plundered during the Dissolution.
Pershore Old Bridge over the Avon was the scene of Civil War skirmishes between the Roundheads and
the Royalists in 1644. In subsequent years the bridge was maintained by re-using stones from nearby Elmley Castle and from the abbey. It is the only remaining monastic bridge over this stretch of the Avon.

Shakespeare’s Avon Way
The Shakespeare’s Avon Way is a 148 km (92 mi) waymarked linear Long-Distance Path which follows the course of the Avon as closely as possible using existing public footpaths, bridleways and a few minor roads, from its source at Naseby to its confluence with the Severn at Tewkesbury, en route passing Warwick, Stratford upon Avon and Evesham. http://shakespearesavonway.org/

Millennium Way
The Millennium Way is a 161 km (100 mi) waymarked linear Long-Distance Path in the Heart of England, between Pershore (Worcestershire) and Middleton Cheney (Northamptonshire). http://walking.41club.org/

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Jul-19

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