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Jill Liddington




(A) Midlands

(B) Cotswolds

(C) Thames

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Laurence Housman Anniversary Walk Route

July 2014. (A) South-West Midlands

1: Friday 11th ~ Bromsgrove to Alcester.

  • 10am - Assemble at car park, Bromsgrove Station (Worcs), on south side of town. Local accommodation includes Premier Inn - 0871 527 8170.
  • 10.30 Le Grand Depart ~ Jim Page's good wishes, opportunity for photographs.
    Turn right at war memorial, cross rail line by road bridge, then immediately left.
  • OS map 204:  Monarch's Way heading east via Finstall Park. At Cherry Tree Farm, bend right for short cut (avoiding road) over Worcester-Birmingham Canal. Tardebigge Church has view, good place for a snack break. Continue south, to Banks Green Farm.
  • OS map 220 - Monarch's Way ~ head east, skirting Redditch suburbs, Warks. Bend south at Boxnot Farm, down to Mount Pleasant - bend east, walking through Morton Stanley Park. At B4504, leave Monarch's Way, heading south-east through Redditch suburbs. At Crabbs Cross (Jubilee Av, on Evesham Road), catch 247 bus (14.53, 15.20, 16.48)); or the 26 school bus, both via Studley. It's 20 minutes' ride down to Alcester.
  • Walk distance: about 9 miles.
  • Alcester accommodation: Swan Hotel (£40 single b&b) ~ 01789 766999.
  • Alcester eating: Turk's Head, 4 High St ~ good food, most popular pub in town, so need to book: 01789 765948.

Left: Elizabeth Oakley of the Housman Society joined me to recce the walk from Bromsgrove. Right: as we headed for Stratford-on-Avon the countryside opened out.

2: Saturday 12th ~ Alcester to Stratford.

  • Alcester - at stop near Swan Hotel catch 247 bus again ~ departs 10.13 (& 11.13) ~ to avoid walking alongside A46. A short bus ride to Wixford.
  • OS map 205 ~ at Wixford, join Heart of England Way ~ down via Broom to Bidford-on-Avon, where walk joins Shakespeare's Avon Way - very pleasant walking, along river bank via Welford-on-Avon (though some road-walking through Welford is unavoidable).
  • At far side of Welford by the Maypole, bear left down Chapel Street, following footpath (on right) back onto Shakespeare's Avon Way. Then join Greenway (disused rail line) shortly before Stratford race course. Will we be in time to see the 4 pm race gallop past, to a thunder of hooves? Finally, we rejoin Avon Way ~ into busy Stratford-upon-Avon with its many visitors and coach parties. The town has rail station.
  • Walk distance: about 10 miles.
  • Stratford accommodation:  lots, but pricy & if central get booked up fast. Penryn Guest House, 126 Alcester Rd, CV37 9DP, 01789 293718 ~ £55 b&b ~ slightly out of the town.
  • Stratford eating: lots, but get booked up fast ~ try Sheep Street: recommended the Vintner.
Stratford Stratford

The Shakespeare's Way leaves Stratford by a bridge over
the River Avon, then rises gently - giving good views back.

3. Sunday  13th ~ Stratford to Chipping Campden.

  • From Stratford (Warks), OS map 205 – 10.30 set off from Holy Trinity Church (Old Town) and cross bridge (A4390) over the Avon. Follow Shakespeare Way up gently sloping hill, leaving the town below. A short stretch along B4632, then turn left along River Stour to idyllic village, Clifford Chambers ~ perfect for a snack.
  • Continue on Shakespeare Way southwards to Preston-on-Stour church & village green. Lunch here? Local taxi (Chris 01789 330254) will pick us up from Preston for lift to Mickleton Church.
  • OS map OL45: leave Mickleton about 2.30, walking on Heart of England Way/Monarch's Way heading south. Continue south, skirting Kiftsgate Court, past Mickleton Hills Farm. Here the landscape begins to undulate, as the walk approaches the Cotswolds ~ taking us into Chipping Campden about 4.30.
  • Walk distance: about 9 miles (ie about 4½ to Mickleton, & about 4 from Mickleton to Chipping Campden).
  • Chipping Campden accommodation: Volunteer Inn, St Catherine's Square ~ very attractive & near the town centre ~ 01386 840688 ~ £50 b&b.
  • Chipping Campden eating: Eight Bells, Church Street ~ table for five of us has been booked for 7pm in this popular inn. Ring 01386 840371 in good time to book a meal. Celia Jones whose performance of 'Dear Mrs Ashbee' at the 2012 Housman Weekend was my original inspiration for the sponsored walk will join us.
  • Note: Chipping Campden does not have a rail station. See (B) Cotswolds for travel advice.

For Monday onwards, please turn to route (B) Cotswolds.