A walk with some uphill near the beginning of the walk. Follow the Winchcombe Way towards the Salt Way. Visiting Farmcote and Hailes Abbey before following the Cotswold Way back to Winchcombe. Lovely views of the town, orchards, Vale of Evesham and the surrounding countryside.
Distance: 7.5 miles/ 12 kms
Duration: 4 hours
Difficulty: Short sections of ascent, rough pasture with some cultivated fields and a fairly level return to Winchcombe.
Start/finish: Back Lane car park, Winchcombe (Grid Ref: 023/284) £1 all day. Toilets 20p in car park.
Refreshments: Hayles Fruit Farm and Winchcombe
Ascent: 580 feet/177 metres
Leave Back Lane car park via the far corner access into Cowl Lane. Turn right and follow the road to the High Street. Turn left and carefully cross the main street to the other side. Continue along to Castle Street on your right by the White Hart pub. Turn right into Castle Street and continue down the street to reach a finger post situated on your left between some houses. Turn left to follow the footpath to a gate. Go through the gate and bear right diagonally across the field (noting the medieval ridge and furrow undulations) to another gate A.
Go through the gate and turn right along a lane for approx 120 metres, turn left at the Winchcombe Way finger post opposite a cottage. Enter the field aiming for the telegraph post. From there towards a bridge on the right hand side hedge. Cross the bridge and bear left to a gate. Go through the gate and proceed straight ahead across the field to a gap in the field boundary on your right. Go through the gap and bear 45° left towards the external corner of the fence. Follow the fence to a gate, continue ahead uphill keeping to the left of the knoll of the hill. Look for a way-marked post on the skyline and upon reaching, look back at the lovely view of Winchcombe and Sudeley valley.
Continue on to a gate on your left, go through and follow the fence line on your left uphill towards another gate. Go through a small sapling plantation and another gate. Keep straight on towards the field boundary ahead. Keeping the boundary on your left and proceed to a gate. (At this point avoid following the farm track bearing right towards a gate to leave the route).
Go through and follow the path along the top of the pig enclosure to a gate. Turn left following the fence to a gate in a drystone wall. Go through the gate and continue straight ahead along the field boundary with a wall on your right.
Note the landscape now changes from a pastural valley to a more exposed upland agricultural setting.
After 200 metres a track appears from the left, ignore this and continue straight on to a field gate by a lane. At the lane turn left and follow until you reach a gate/cattle grid next to a sign, Little Farmcote Farm B.
Turn right along a track towards the farm, from where there are lovely views of Hayles Fruit farm and beyond to Evesham. Go through a gate and follow the way-marked signs between the farm buildings towards a large barn. Before the barn turn left to a gate then turn right and follow the fence. The path curves uphill to a field gate with Farmcote valley coming into view.
Go through the field gate and continue along the path following the contours of the land with a drystone wall on your right. Eventually you meet a gate, go through the gate and follow the footpath straight on through a wooded area and another gate/fieldgate into a field. Follow the field right hand boundary to a stile and field gate. Head straight on past a barn and follow the track to a field gate by the road C.
Turn left along the road for 25 metres to a finger post. Turn left and cross the stile back into the same field! (The road section can be avoided if no fencing).
Diagonally cross the field, aiming left of the copse, over a small knoll down to a stile. Continue straight across the field to another stile. Cross the stile and continue straight on towards a house. Here you will see the Malvern Hills in the distance on your left. Cross the stile and bear right uphill towards a gate leading onto a lane.
Go through the gate and turn left along the lane past St Faith’s Church, Farmcote and Farmcote Herb Garden on your left. The surfaced road becomes a track descending slightly with lovely views ahead.
You will meet the Cotswold Way joining from your right via a gate. Following the Cotswold Way way markers continue straight on down the track until you reach a road D.
(Here the road to your left leads to Hayles Fruit Farm approx 200 metres with a farm shop and tearooms for refreshments).
Continue straight ahead along the road to Hailes Abbey (ruins) on your left with Hailes Church opposite, which has medieval wall paintings.
On your left is a finger post signposted Cotswold Way, turn left through the gate and head across the field to a field gate gate. Go through the gate along a track to a lane. Turn right and follow the lane for approximately 100 metres to a finger post, turn left along a track signposted the Cotswold Way.
Continue along the track (ignoring the first footpath on your right after 200 metres) until the track begins to gently climb E. Here there is a junction of footpaths, turn right along a grassy track signposted the Cotswold Way (045298).
After approximately 150 metres bear left by a way-marked post, across a field to a stile. Cross the stile and turn left following the field boundary to a gate (no longer in use). Pass by the gate and follow the fence on the left, through another gate and views of Winchcombe will start to appear ahead of you. Go straight across the field and over a footbridge bridge, bear right downhill towards a stile. Cross the stile/footbridge and continue along the track until you reach the main road B4632.
Carefully cross the road and turn left along the pavement into Winchcombe. At the junction with North Street you can either turn right into North Street or continue ahead into High Street.
If you enter North Street, after approx 250 metres turn left at the crossroads and Back Lane car park is 100 metres on your left.
If you continue along the High Street turn right into Cowl Lane and follow this to Back Lane car park.
Points of interest.
St. Faith’s Church, Farmcote: The original building was Saxon, the only remains of the early church are Saxo-Norman nave and remains of a doorway. The pulpit is Late 17th C.
Farmcote Herb Garden:
Specialist herb garden growing a wide variety of herbs and chilli peppers.
Hailes Abbey: A Cistercian abbey founded in 1246. The abbey was one of the last religious institutions to acquiesce following the Dissolution Act of 1536.
Hailes Church: Church with medieval wall-paintings.
Hayles Fruit Farm:
Commercial orchard, farm shop and tea rooms.
© Winchcombe Walkers are Welcome 2022
WWaW hope you enjoy the walk, however the walk is undertaken at your sole risk and WWaW have no responsibility for loss, damage, injury or interpretation. Every possible care has been taken to ensure the information given was accurate at the time of creation.