A varied, circular walk, combining canalside walking, hedge-lined fields, historic buildings and parkland. The walk is indicated by the 'lock gates' symbol.
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 Gateway Park car park, go through the vehicle entrance, cross the drive and follow the path ahead. Continue with the Droitwich Canal on your left for 500 metres Droitwich Canal is 12km long and its restoration completed in 2011. The Barge Canal between Hawford and Droitwich was originally built in 1771, and later in 1854, Droitwich Canal Junction was constructed to join the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Hanbury. Both were designed to carry salt out of Droitwich.
(1) You will pass a lock and several narrowboat moorings. Briefly leave the canal, crossing a minor road and cross the bridge on the footway, opposite the Eagle and Sun Public House. Turn left, down steps to re-join the canalside. You now follow the Birmingham-Worcester Canal. Continue along the canal for two miles until you pass under bridge number 40 and pretty lock keepers cottage. Between the cottage and the next lock, take a footpath on your right through a gate.
(2) Cross the field to a footbridge and follow the field edge to the next gate. Go through the gate and cross the field to another gate at the roadside.
(3) Turn right and then almost immediately left, along a footpath with the hedge boundary on your left. Continue straight ahead, through a gate, cross a sunken track and through a further gate. Continue straight ahead along the field edge. Before reaching the top boundary of the field, turn left, cross the footbridge and continue ahead with the field boundary on your right. Cross the footbridge and continue straight on to a kissing gate at the wood edge.
(4) Go through the kissing gate to enter the woodland at Piper's Hill.
Piper’s Hill, a wood pasture of pollarded Beech and Sweet Chestnut, together with large Oak trees believed to be 300 - 400 years old. The woodland is also an excellent habitat for fungi and some 200 species have been found here. Pipers Hill is managed by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. Visit: www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk.
When you reach the track, turn right and continue along the path, skirting the bottom of the wood. Bear right onto a stone track.
(5) Go through the gate and head up a steep hill, passing through a couple of further gates to reach the churchyard of Hanbury Church. Walkers starting at or taking a detour from the walk to visit the Jinney Ring Craft Centre, join and leave the route at this point, by turning left and descending down the steep slope, crossing the road and following the public footpath back to the Centre. Continue through the churchyard to the main gates and then go down the road bearing right and then through a kissing gate on your left, to enter the parkland of Hanbury Hall.
(6) Cross diagonally to a kissing gate and head for the avenue of Oak trees, through a further kissing gate. Go through the next kissing gate and past the main gates of Hanbury Hall on your right. If you wish to visit Hanbury Hall and grounds, tickets are available from an office located alongside the main drive next to the car. National Trust members and ticket holders wil be required to show their tickets, so please do not be tempted to enter the grounds unless you have one. Go through the next kissing gate and continue diagonally across a large grazed parkland area, heading for a kissing gate to reach the roadside.
(7) Turn right, and continue through a gate. With the fence on your right, continue through a kissing gate and turn right along the field edge. At the field corner, bear left, ignoring the first footpath and continue with the field edge
on your right.
(8) Turn right and cross footbridge. Head for the corner of a wood and a waymark post. Now bear slightly right and head to a clump of trees on top of the hill.
(9) Continue straight towards Summer Hill Farm, go through a field gate and bear diagonally left (ignoring the track) and head to another field gate. Go through the gate and continue with the field hedge on your right. Passing a footpath on your right, continue through a gate ahead and over the railway bridge. Bear left and go through a kissing gate to rejoin the canal. Turn left to re-trace your steps back along the canal towpath.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 38m - Gateway Park car park
1 : km 0.51 - alt. 51m - Lock
2 : km 3.29 - alt. 53m - Footbridge
3 : km 3.8 - alt. 57m - Road
4 : km 5.28 - alt. 103m - Piper's Hill
5 : km 5.84 - alt. 118m - Gate
6 : km 6.76 - alt. 78m - Kissing gate
7 : km 7.74 - alt. 64m - School Road
8 : km 8.07 - alt. 57m - Footbridge
9 : km 8.75 - alt. 59m - Summer Hill Farm
D/A : km 10.51 - alt. 38m - Gateway Park car park
Parking: Parking is available at the Start/Finish point (parking charges apply), located off B4090 Hanbury Road, approximately 3/4 mile east of Droitwich, in front of Droitwich Rugby Club.
Gates and stiles: 12 pedestrian gates, 11 kissing gates and 2 field gates.
Terrain: Level canal towpaths, crossfield, field edges and parkland. One gradual climb, two shorter, steeper, climbs and one flight of steps.
Waymarking: Simply follow the Hanbury Circular Walk ‘lock gates’ symbol and direction arrows and you won’t get lost.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.