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 stile, climb the stile and head 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 stile on your left, go over the stile and follow the fence line on your left uphill towards another stile. (Stiles soon to be replaced with gates). Go across the stile, through a small sapling plantation and across another stile. 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.
Go through the gate and turn right along the road, until you reach the gatehouse.
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 cross a stile then turn right and follow the fence. The path curves uphill to a gate with Farmcote valley coming into view.
Go through the 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 into a field. Follow the field right hand boundary to a stile and gate. Head straight on past a barn and follow the track to a gate by the road C.
Cross the stile and 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.
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.