Elmley Castle and Bredon Hill Walk
The Elmley Castle and Bredon Hill Walk is a wonderfully scenic hike that will expose you to beautiful views of The Cotswolds AONB from a protected hilltop site. The trail will take you uphill from the village to visit Bredon Hill, an important conservation area that is home to several unique habitats and wildlife species. Also located atop the hill are an 18th Century tower and the remains of an ancient hillfort that was excavated in the 1930s. While there are some steep sections of terrain along the route, this is a fantastic walk for a fun, informative, and beautiful day on the trails with family and friends.
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Route Description for Elmley Castle and Bredon Hill Walk
The Elmley Castle and Bredon Hill Walk features some fairly steep climbs and a good variety of terrain that includes open farmland, forest paths, paved roads, and rocky surfaces. Be sure to wear proper walking footwear in order to better traverse the more challenging parts of the trail. Additionally, all walkers should remember to stick to the pathways atop Bredon Hill and pack out any trash, as the area is one of the most important wildlife sites in all of England, featuring unique habitats, plant, and animal species that are under conservation. Make sure to treat the area with respect and leave no trace of your presence.
Due to its designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Bredon Hill is a wonderfully scenic place to explore and take in some of the most beautiful sights in The Cotswolds. The trail sets out from the charming, cottage-lined village of Elmley Castle and climbs uphill through farmland and forest to reach the summit of Bredon Hill. Once there, you will enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding countryside and have the opportunity to check out an ancient hillfort and a nearby 18th Century tower. This is a fantastic route for anyone with natural and historical interests.
Setting out from the centre of Elmley Castle opposite the Queen Elizabeth Inn, make your way to the southwest along Main Street and turn right onto Hill Lane. Continue on past the charming cottages of this sleepy village for the next 0.2 km and turn left onto the footpath that branches off from the road. Make your way through the kissing gate and after roughly 122 m of traversing the open farmland you will pass through a gate and turn left to get back onto Hill Lane, following it for another 0.8 km. Here, the road will transition into a dirt track on your left and there will be a foot path directly ahead of you that runs past a farm. Take the footpath through the small stretch of wood, passing through one gate to arrive at a junction.
Pass straight through the junction and follow the track as it leads you through a field to the northeast between Doctor’s Wood on your left and Fox Hill Wood on your right. Reaching a junction at the northern end of Doctor’s Wood, make a sharp left along the trail to continue to the southwest, climbing uphill for 0.6 km to arrive at a junction. Turn right here and follow the trail along the edge of the hill for the next 0.9 km, enjoying the beautiful scenery surrounding you as you make your way toward the top of Bredon Hill. Arriving at a fork in the path, head to the left and keep straight for 0.3 km to arrive at the summit of the hill, where you will be greeted by the ancient remains of the Kemerton Camp Hillfort, Parsons Folly - an 18th Century tower - and stunning views of the surrounding Cotswolds countryside.
After exploring the area and taking in the views, follow the path to the southeast for 0.9 km and pass through several gates to make a sharp left at the junction in front of Lalu Farm. Continue on to the northeast and make your way through a few more gates to arrive at nother junction after 0.6 km. Make a left here, followed by an immediate right to descend the hillside through a peaceful stretch of forest and arrive at a junction that you had previously passed through. Head through the gate and turn to the right, following the path further downhill for another 0.6 km. Head to the right to make your way past the farm and back onto Hill Lane, which you can use to retrace your steps back into the quaint village of Elmley Castle. Once there, you can pop into the Queen Elizabeth Inn right next to the trailhead to enjoy some post-walk refreshments, having just completed the Elmley Castle and Bredon Hill Walk.
This 18th Century tower was built for MP John Parsons (1732-1805) and was meant to serve as a summer house with a commanding view over the surrounding countryside. It is a well-known landmark in the area and is believed to have been the inspiration for the building of the Broadway Tower.
Kemerton Camp Hill Fort
The Kemerton Camp Hill Fort can be found adjacent to Parsons Folly atop Bredon Hill and features the remnants of an Iron Age fort. After excavations occurred in the 1930s and the remains of roughly 50 slaughtered men were found, it is thought to have been abandoned after a large battle that occurred sometime in the 1st Century CE.
Consider a Walking Holiday in the Cotswolds
One of the best ways to experience this stunning Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is by booking a pre-planned adventure tour in the Cotswolds. Find the famous self-guided Cotswolds Way and other amazing guided and self-guided tours on 10Adventures Tours.
Insider Hints for Elmley Castle and Bredon Hill Walk
- Make sure to wear proper walking shoes, as there is a good variety of terrain and steep slopes along the trail.
- Respect the conservation efforts in and around Bredon Hill, as there are sensitive habitats and wildlife that can be found here.
- Stop into the Queen Elizabeth Inn for some post-walk refreshments to cap off your day.
Getting to the Elmley Castle and Bredon Hill Walk Trailhead
To reach the starting point of the Elmley Castle and Bredon Hill Walk from Pershore, head south on Bridge Street/B4084 for 0.8 km and turn right onto Pensham Hill, following it for 4.8 km. Continue straight onto Main Street, where you will find roadside parking and the trailhead in 0.5 km.
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