This is an easy circular walk starting either at The White Hart Hartlebury or St. James Church a few yards away across the road.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) From the White Hart Car Park, cross the road and proceed down Chadwick Lane. Continue out of the village passing a gate/opening to a barn on the left eventually reaching an opening into a field. continue along the lane till the footpath joins from the left. There is also a sign for a footpath to the right. Take the footpath to the right here. Head across the field following the footpath towards a Pilon directly ahead in the distance. Leaving a hedge on the Right continue across the field in a straight line to the corner of another hedge. The official footpath bears right diagonally across the field towards some trees. Here the path meets Hillditch Lane. Turn left, proceed along Hillditch Lane and follow it until you come to a signed pathway on your right.
(1) There is a sign welcoming you to Hilditch Coppice Nature Reserve and pools. Follow the path along the Titton Brook until you reach stairs on the right, leading down to a bridge, crossing the brook and to a field ahead. Turn left at the fence. Follow the path past the Hilditch pools and at the larger pool under the trees, turn left and walk up to the road. Turn right on to Titton Lane and walk along to entry to Hartlebury Common. (There is a road here leading to Poollands Farm and a public car park).
(2) Go through the gate to the common and up a slope. There are many, many paths which can be taken but bear sharp left and take a path leading through some trees for quite a way then bear right out of the trees and up to the sandy paths. Head left towards the ridge and then right to the trees along the top. (Good place here for a coffee break) Walk along the path until you come to a tree with lots of twisted branches (very obvious) bear right here and then left on to one of the main common paths.
(3) There are signs for Geopark Way and also pink arrows – horse route. Follow the horse route (bearing left when you see a public car park ahead of you) on paths leading down to Hartlebury Road.
(4) Through the gate, at the bottom (opposite the Bay Horse Pub), cross the road here (intersection of Wilden Lane) then cross Wilden Lane and take the next turning right on to Mill Road. Walk along this road and over the River Stour until you come to a T-junction. Turn left staying on Mill Road and keep going. Cross Millfields Drive at a roundabout and then straight on to where the road bears left. Turn right here onto Summerfield Road then almost immediately left on to Holly Road, which leads to the Bird in Hand Pub.
(5) At the back of the carpark, go through the gate leading to the canal. Turn left onto the towpath and walk along until you reach a bridge over the canal. Right over the canal and then right on to a pathway through woods running along the other side of the canal. This takes you through a very old graveyard with ancient headstones on both sides of the path. Come out into the current cemetery on both sides and church on your left. Turn right on to Longboat Lane and this will lead you to a path taking you on to the track leading over the viaduct.
(6) This path leads you back to the Leapgate Old Railway line. Keep walking along this track, under a high bridge until you reach another bridge over the track.
(7) Turn left, (waymarked) up the slope and right over the bridge, through some scrub leading to Charlton Farm fields. View of Hartlebury Castle over on the left when crossing the field). Follow the straight path between the two fields and near the end of it (at a hedge) move across on to a track leading down to the road.
(8) At the intersection of Charlton Lane and B4193, cross the road, bearing left and then right into a lane with houses on your right. Walk to the end of this lane keeping left and then left onto a waymarked path which leads you down to the grounds of Charlton Mill. This is private property with a right of way through it.
(9) Pass the waterwheel and stream and bear left to take the pathway up to the wide gate on to Hilditch Lane. (Do not take the new looking small gate on your right, which leads up to the house). On Reaching Hillditch Lane, turn left and cross the B1493 with care. Bear right and follow the footpath along the left hand side of the road. Follow the road along the footpath back to the White Hart where there is an official road to the castle which you can visit or end the walk here. (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 151ft - White Hart Car Park
1 : mi 0.64 - alt. 128ft - Sign for Hillditch coppice nature reserve
2 : mi 1.2 - alt. 128ft - Enter Hartlebury common
3 : mi 1.76 - alt. 190ft - Geopark way
4 : mi 2.18 - alt. 95ft - Bay horse Pub
5 : mi 2.64 - alt. 98ft - Car park
6 : mi 3.36 - alt. 85ft - Viaduct
7 : mi 4.1 - alt. 157ft - Bridge
8 : mi 4.67 - alt. 141ft - Intersection of Hartlebury Road and Charlton Lane
9 : mi 4.87 - alt. 121ft - Waterwheel and stream.
D/A : mi 5.39 - alt. 151ft - White Hart Car Park
In 817 AD Hartlebury was known as Heortlabyri, which means The Hill of the Deer – this stems from ‘heortla’ meaning hart (deer), and ‘byrig’ meaning an enclosed or fortified place.
The Manor of Hartlebury was granted to the Bishop of Worcester in 850 AD. Since then the Bishop’s residence, Hartlebury Castle has been host to several visiting monarchs – King Edward I, Queen Elizabeth I, King George III, and the present Queen, Elizabeth II.
During the Civil War, the Royalists set up a mint at the castle to make coins. A half-crown from this mint is now held at Hartlebury Castle in the County Museum.
Great views on both sides as you cross the viaduct. (6)
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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