Walk 16
6½ mile Circular Walk from Egdon

Egdon Map

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A pleasant 6.5 mile circular walk from Egdon. An easy walk with the opportunity to ramble over open fields and enjoy the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire. If time allows explore White Ladies Aston and visit it's church with interesting spire. During the walk, you will follow a section of The Millennium Way which is marked by the green Millennium way waymarkers. Find out more about the walk by clicking on the information icon.

Please Note:   As at 4 July 2020  -  as a temporary measure  -  we advise walkers to avoid this circular walk as a result of very heavy ploughing in a large field ( in Section C ) leading to Egdon Lane.  The farmer has not reinstated a suitable walking path and has rendered the terrain somewhat difficult.  As soon as the situation has improved we will remove this warning. 

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During the walk, you will follow a section of The Millennium Way which is marked by the green Millennium way waymarkers.

A Turn right out of the car park of The Berkeley to reach the main road (A44). Turn left up the main road in the direction of Worcester and after approx 100 paces you will see footpath sign left with the distinctive green Millennium Way waymarker. Take the metal gate left then go forward under power lines and take mid hedge kissing gate / footbridge into field. Stay ahead parallel with power cables to find and take hedge gap then go left with hedge left. At hedge corner follow around left to follow grassy track with green topped barn left. Turn left round corner of barn then turn right when level with barn. Go ahead under power cables turning left by red brick building (Kits Kitchen). Cross road and keep ahead on bridleway. After 25 paces, you will come to a waypost with several waymarkers. Continue directly ahead up the bridleway (The Millennium Way used to go right here and currently this old route is still showing on the OS map.  We have re-routed the Millennium Way, so just follow these instructions and the waymarkers to keep to this new route). Go past wide gap left and continue up bridleway track with orchard right, until you emerge with a delightful view of the Malverns directly ahead. As you enter this field, with a stand of tall trees to your right, go left into the field with hedge left walking away from the line of trees. Ignore any gaps and walk down to the hedge corner with a large tree with overhanging branches. Bear slightly right across large field towards low railway bridge. Half way across you could turn left to shorten your route - skip to point C if you do this

AnimalsB Cross the brick built bridge over the railway and go through the large metal gate. Stay ahead with wire fence then hedge left through another large metal gate into large paddock. Stay ahead towards a long barn to exit by an old metal gate onto a farm bridleway. Continue through farm to turn sharp right on track directly in front of the farmhouse (Windmill Hill Farm). Pass between more barns / stabling and down through gap, passing a pond on right eventually to reach a metal gate at the bottom corner of field by a telegraph pole. Go through gate to a waypost then stay ahead, ignoring path left, and follow the footpath alongside a wood on your left with hedge right. Towards the end of the wood the track splits, take the waymarked left fork along a well defined path through an arch of trees, to go forward over a red brick bridge then though metal kissing  gate. After the gate bear right, to follow the hedge line with stream right staying on the main track to a kissing gate just beyond the overhead power lines. Take gate then turn left and go up field with hedge left. At the top corner of field go left through a small gap between hedges and follow this round to find a metal gate on your right. Take gate then narrow path between fence and hedge to another metal gate into churchyard. Go ahead through churchyard keeping to right of St. Edmunds Church and exit by a double metal gate to reach road. Turn right onto wide track and pass last house on left to take wooden kissing gate ahead at end of the grassy track.

Enter field and bear slightly right across field on an ill defined path to walk under power lines to reach the protruding hedge corner ahead. On reaching the hedge corner turn right staying in the same field and walk gently downhill with hedge left to reach corner footbridge and stile. Take the stile then cross narrow field to take large metal gate ahead. Take the left hand waymarked footpath and go diagonally across corner of field (or go left around edge if field heavily cropped) to reach a stile on left just behind a large tree. Take stile, very carefully crossing the main London railway line and take another stile into field. With your back to this stile go diagonally half right across a very large, often heavily ploughed, field keeping well right of the largest tree ahead. Stay on this same line.

C Half way across the field you will pass over an ill-defined path leading from left to right which you took earlier on the route at point B. Keep going gently uphill through this large field (no wayposts and often no visible path) and eventually a farmhouse with two visible chimneys will appear jto the far right. Head about 100 yards to the left of this farmhouse (100 yards to the right of the field corner) to find and take very narrow unsigned gap through hedge.
Cross over road, taking care of bends, to take footpath opposite through wooden gate. Go across small field to take gap, then go diagonally 1/4 left across next field towards wide gap in hedge. Take gap then turn left on farm track staying in field to pass in front of group of houses ahead to reach the main road.

Rolling LandscapeD Go directly across the busy main road and proceed along driveway of Wolverton Hall Farm. On reaching the farm house, by the game farm business, go right on farm track following the waymarker. Stay on track which shortly veers left, to take waymarked footpath left through a black metal kissing gate. Go straight across the field aiming to the right of the octagonal Folly. Continue past waymarker on telegraph pole to take gate in tree line to go through copse exiting by another gate. Continue slightly left ahead up field with hedge far left passing lone oak tree and taking gate at top corner. Go with hedge right and after about 250 yds (at the brow) take wide gap right into adjacent field staying on same line but now with hedge left. Proceed gently down field to take large metal gate before continuing up the track ahead.

E Stay along track to go past farm buildings left and eventually past Aston Moat where the track swings left. Go past the 30mph signs until you reach the road. Turn right on road towards the hamlet of White Ladies Aston. Continue along road past houses, through the Z bends eventually reaching a public footpath on left, (Here, we re-join The Millennium Way). This footpath is situated next to a red brick barn. Go up this path with wall then hedge right. Leave woodland path when it swings left, keeping straight ahead on short unclear path to find and cross ditch with footbridge to field.

F  Go left here and walk through three fields, past house left, eventually arriving at a field corner. At the field corner go 20 paces right and take stile into private garden. Cross garden and exit by stile into gravelled area. Go a few yards to the right of garage barn for 30 paces (it can be overgrown) to exit by two tricky fence stiles into field, then go left to reach metal kissing gate. Do not take kissing gate or exit field, instead turn your back to the kissing gate and go diagonally 3/4 left to pass field corner and take far kissing gate (adjacent to large metal gate) to road. Go right on road and after some 250 paces take gate left into narrow field. Go diagonally half way down field to take gate right into adjacent field. Go diagonally to take far corner field kissing gate leading to road. Go left on road to arrive back at The Berkeley pub.


Points of Interest - What to know and what to see.... by John Rae

On your way south westwards towards the railway line you may just see to the northwest the new monastery of Mucknell Abbey dedicated as recently as 2011 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. The abbey was formerly a derilict farm and was purchased by the community after they had sold their former property in Burford. A large part of the ethos of the community is ecological sustainability this includes high grade insulation, heating supplied by a biomass boiler, photovoltaic panels, solar water heating, rain water harvest and sewerage digester.

The railway was constructed in 1852 and opened as the Oxford Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway and opened to traffic on 3 May 1852. It became the West Midland railway in 1860 and merged with the Great Western in 1863. Today it carries an hourly service to London.

St Edmund ChurchStoulton parish church dedicated to St Edmund King and Martyr is Norman and dates from 1120. Note the red fire engine of flowers in the churchyard. The windows date from the 13thC and the tower was rebuilt in 1936. It has a peel of 6 recast bells. H B Kingford donated much to this church in memory of his father who was onetime vicar here. The carved panelling and stained glass came here from St Helen’s Worcester. The woman spinning in one window is a portrait of Rev Kingsford's daughter, Madelaine Chaytor. In the churchyard are the memorials of two local families the Blizards and Hemus’. These generous benefactors left a charitable fund to supply bread to villagers, a practice that continued up to the time of rationing in wartime.

Village Hall StoultonThe old vicarage dates from the 17thC and was rebuilt in 1820.

The village formed part of the Eastnor Estate until 1917.

The old school house was once lived in by Gustav Holst's half-brother, who played the cello, and taught music in local schools. The village school was opened in 1877 and closed in 1933. Today it is used as a village hall.

The Mount was a staging posting house on the London Road. Is now Grade II listed Several windows were bricked up in the days of window tax but are now reopened. A yearly Wake was held outside the inn, with stalls, backsword play and shin kicking. The landlord presented copper kettles as prizes.

At Wolverton Hall you will notice an octagonal Folly. Built in 2020 (yes) it has three stories. A dining room, an office and a viewing gallery. The architect, Quinlan Terry, has designed buildings for Prince Charles and all the building materials were sourced locally including bricks from Moreton in Marsh and glass from Cirencester. The hall itself was renovated since the year 2000 by the current owner.

St John Baptist White LadiesThe name White Ladies Aston derives from an order of nuns who were granted land in the parish The church of St. John Baptist was enlarged with the aisle and vestry in 1861 but it stands largely unaltered since the 12th C. Windows have been inserted in the 14th century and another in the 15th. The round-headed south doorway is 12thC , The font, probably of the 13th century, is of a dark red sandstone with a twelve-sided bowl. There are three bells: the first dated 1707; the second 1636; the third inscribed 'Sancte Jacobpe, ora pro nobis,' with a crowned female head and a cross.

The village has many half timbered thatched houses. At the south end of the village lies Moat Farm complete with a moat. Aston Court was formerly the residence of the Good family.. During the Civil War the Goods took the Royalist side, and Aston Court was plundered. 'The Puritan commander', noticing a pretty Miss Good, became very rude in his attentions, and to save herself from outrage she fled into a neighbouring wood, where she climbed into a tree and shrouded herself among the thick foliage and thus escaped further notice.