Completed 1st September 2012
We parked up in a little car park located just outside the village and then it was a pleasant walk along the road into Emley Castle, passing the playing fields and some lovely cottages on the way. Elmley Castle is a beautiful village in Worcestershire. The village nestles below the northern slopes of Bredon Hill in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The tree lined main street is populated by black & white and old red brick cottages. At the end of the main street is the Queen Elizabeth Public House with its sign depicting the visit of Queen Elizabeth I to the village in August 1575. The 11th century castle that the village is named after has long since disappeared and only earthworks remain.
The first part of the trail took us from the village through some lovely countryside to Great Comberton. I enjoyed walking through the beautiful countryside, some of the grass was long but at least dry. Pip needed a carry over a very dog unfriendly stile but to be fair it wasn’t the walker friendly either! Being the end of summer, I spotted lots of wild fruits on the bushes waiting to be picked.
As I reached Great Comberton the church bells chimed for 11.30am. Then as I walked up the hill towards the church, the bells chimed once again, this time for a wedding that was about to commence. It was great to see the wedding party gathering at the church in their fine outfits and then this dirty hiker comes past! As one of the caches were located nearby, a little stealth was required.
The route is a figure of eight, so on the way back we crossed over a section that we had walked earlier in the morning. We then had a little climb up Even Hill, before going entering some woods. The woods had taken some pretty heavy felling recently and if it had been done post the series being set, it is very lucky that one of the caches placed in wood had survived. The next stage was one of the steepest climbs I had done for some while, I was completely worn out by the time I reached the top. Leaving the wood at the top of the hill, I came face to face with a herd of about 30 deer! It was a fantastic sight, but once they spotted me they didn’t hang about very long before leaping back over fences into the woods.
This is a nice series and one that I’d recommend. There are as mentioned several stiles that are not dog friendly, but you get these out of the way very early in the walk then it was easy. It was great to see so many deer in one place and I loved the views around the route. It was also a very peaceful walk around this lovely part of the world.
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