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St KENELM'S TRAIL

ROUTE

[St Kenelm's Trail - Introduction] [Route] [Legend] [Practicalities] [Highlights]
     
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The route is set out in the thick black line below:

A narrative outline of the route appears below together with a guide to further reading.

The route makes much use of other paths, in particular the North Worcester Way and the Wychavon Way as well as taking in an extensive stretch of the scenic Worcester to Birmingham  Canal.

 

Buy the guide to the St Kenelm's Trail

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St Kenelm's Church, 

Romsley

 

OUTLINE OF ROUTE

Day 1 St Kenelm’s Church, Romsley [0.0] to Tardebigge [14.5]

The journey starts at St Kenelm’s Well, by the church of that name, about 1 mile north-west of the village of Romsley. The Church and the Well mark the legendary location of the martyrdom of St Kenelm, the survival of the legend being evidenced by the ribbons still left on trees adjacent to the site, continuing the ancient folk tradition of well-dressing. The reason for the isolation of the church is that it is the last surviving remnant of a much older settlement – the village of Kenelmstow.

From here, the route moves to Walton Hill where it picks up the North Worcestershire Way , and travels successively over Walton Hill, Romsley Hill, Waseley Hill and the Lickey Hills, taking in many fine views on the way. At the Lickey Hills visitors Centre, we leave this path and proceed south to exit the park at Barnt Green and then weave our way through the streets of that village, over and under the railway line, until we arrive at the Worcester Birmingham canal.

This most scenic of canal routes was constructed between 1794 and 1815 and today is in great demand for boating holidays and anglers. After following the canal for one and a half miles, arrive at Tardebigge.  

 

 

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St Kenelm's Church, 

Upton Snodsbury

 

Day 2 Tardebigge [14.5] to Flyford Flavell [32.1]

The first nine miles continue to follow the canal, taking in the astonishing line of the thirty Tardebigge locks, one of the great feats of canal engineering.

At Dean Brook the route leaves the canal and joins the Wychavon Way for three miles to the village of Shell.

The St Kenelm’s Trail then proceeds due South for some five miles, closely following the line of Bow Brook, passing through Himbledon and then Huddington to arrive at Upton Snodsbury where we find another ancient church dedicated to St Kenelm. Local legend has it that the body of the Saint rested here for the night on its last journey to Winchcombe.  From Upton Snodsbury, travel westwards for three miles, via North Piddle to Flyford Flavell.

 

 

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The Avon at Fladbury aka

Pyriford

 

Day 3  Flyford Flavell [32.1 ] to Ashton under Hill [47.9]

Rejoining the Wychavon Way, journey successively through the ancient villages of Rous Lench, Church Lench and Sheriff’s Lench, the name Lench being supposed to mean ridge or hill.  

After Sheriff's Lench, the route proceeds through a large orchard and then the Wood Norton Estate before reaching the Evesham Golf Club on the banks of the Avon and then the riverside village of Fladbury.

Cross the river at Jubilee Bridge, possibly the Pyriford site where the monastic dispute over the remains of St Kenelm may be supposed to have taken place, and pass into Cropthorne. Leaving Cropthorne meet and follow the ancient Salt Way which would have been part of the route taken by travelers in the ninth or tenth centuries. This road leads to Ashton Under Hill.

 

 

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St Kenelm's Well, Sudeley

 

Day 4 Ashton under Hill [47.9] to Winchcombe [59.7]

Again rejoining the Wychavon Way, move southward towards and then over Dumbleton Hill and then Alderton Hill, before descending towards Gretton.  

Instead of carrying on for that village, divert South East towards Greet, and then to Hailes Abbey a famous ruined monastery now in the care of English Heritage.

From there, the Route goes up Salter’s Hill towards the second St Kenelm’s Well, this time above the finish of the walk at Winchcombe. This is the site where the funeral cortege was supposed to have rested prior to its arrival at Winchcombe, but it may not escape the walker's notice that they had already passed their destination.  

The route is completed by a trip through the grounds of Sudeley Castle before arriving at Winchcombe.

 

 
  FURTHER READING
  • As much of this walk is derived from the North Worcestershire Path and the Wychavon Way, the books describing those routes are to be considered.

North Worcestershire Path
Jonathan Preston, Della Hook and Dave Hollis

ISBN 853010227, 1997.

 

The Wychavon Way

Mark Richards (editor)

ISBN 095080990X, 1993.