Alcester

Circular Walk 29  (7 Miles)

Walk Overview

This 7 mile circular walk, with no stiles, combines the delights of both town and country walking. You will enjoy riverside paths, country lanes and gentle farmland. It is mostly flat and very dog friendly. We share the path with the Monarchs Way from Coldcomfort Wood into Alcester. Just over half distance you go down the attractive Alcester High Street with its shops and cafes - Cafe des Fleurs by the church is nice. You can start and finish the walk here if you chose to avoid parking at The Throckmorton.

Except in the winter months, there is also the chance to visit Coughton Court, an interesting and attractive National Trust property. The first part of the walk incorporates a section of the Millennium Way, where you will be guided by our distinctive black and white waymarkers.

Walk Details

  • Start: The Throckmorton, Coughton B49 5HX
  • Start Grid Ref: SP049 608
  • Parking: The Throckmorton on the A435 if using
  • Refreshments:
    • The Throckmorton (01789 766366)
    • Alcester High Street inc. Cafe des Fleurs
  • Maps: OS Explorer 205 & 220 or OS Landranger 150
  • Distance: 7 miles
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Stiles: None
  • Download: Walk GPS (GPS Exchange Format, GPX)
  • GPS and GPX explained
  • Find a mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play

Updated August 2023

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Walk Instructions

Section A

Starting with your back to the "The Throckmorton" pub on the very busy A435, carefully cross road and go right. Once you pass Coughton Lodge you have now joined the Millennium Way. From here you have a smashing view of Coughton Court over to your left. Cross over the pedestrian crossing then almost immediately, just past the phone box, turn right into Coughton Lane. Stay along Coughton Lane for a mile and at the T junction turn right on the B4090. Cross road and go for 30 paces, then go left through hedge gap and bear slightly right for a few yards to go with hedge left down the wide grass bridleway.  Where the hedge finishes (ignore hidden footbridge to the right) go 1/4 left, past a yellow topped waypost, to reach the gap.

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Open Country

Section B

Go through gap and turn left into next field and continue along with hedge left, where we have now left the Millennium Way. At the field corner you will eventually cross a very small ford (footwear!) into a large field. Go immediately 1/2 right for 20 paces, then bear left to stay along field edge, keeping very wide ditch on your right (Spittle Brook runs in this ditch if it's wet). Continue with ditch right crossing dip in corner of field into next field, again to continue with wide ditch on right and Coldcomfort Wood 200 yards on far right. Pass through hedge gap and stay on same line with ditch right to pass under power lines. At the end of field, where you arrive at a hedge gap ahead, turn right on a track over ditch for 70 paces to find corner waypost under oak tree. Here we turn left to join The Monarch's Way and stay along with hedge and trees left. The ditch and small brook are now on your left. Stay along the partly surfaced track ro reach a T - junction. Here you will see Coldcomfort Farm far right. Go left at this T - junction walking away from the farm past the bench on the left and continue along the lane. Go past Allimore House on your left and, just before meeting the main road, take the incline on right to reach and cross the bridge over main A435 road.

Section C

Stay ahead into Allimore Lane past The Field House and crossing bridge over disused railway line to enter the outskirts of Alcester. Go over crossroads into Seggs Lane and continue ahead to pass the Alcester Fire-Fighters Memorial Garden (worth a short visit) and the Fire Station on left to cross over a roundabout. Go into Swan Street in the direction of the town centre and just past the pedestrian traffic lights, turn left into High Street.

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St Nicholas
Alcester

Section D

Continue along the busy High Street, with several tea shops and pubs, to pass to left of St. Nicholas Parish Church down the adjacent alleyway, passing Church House, to arrive at the ancient Alcester Memorial Town Hall (there is a plaque on the wall of historical interest). Continue past the Town Hall into Henley Street with the road soon bearing right to become Kinwarton Road. Cross the bridge over River Arrow and 20 yards before Gunnings Road turn left along surfaced path past outdoor sports pitch.

Continue along as it narrows between hedges then opens up again and keep River Arrow on your left for quite a while, passing sports fields and  three yellow bollards on your right. When you eventually reach picnic tables you go right up a short incline to join another surfaced track. Go right for 40 paces, then take hidden gap left through two yellow metal posts to bear slightly right through area of woodland. Stay ahead on narrow, sometimes overgrown path through the woodland keeping close to metal fence right, ignoring any side tracks, to eventually emerge at a service road. Go left on grass, passing an office building right and still keeping river left.

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Charming Cottages

Section E

On reaching main road (with metal barriers), cross over and take footpath just to the left of SWL in Arden Court, which continues along the riverside. Cross a footbridge to emerge into field and stay along path with river left. Pass through gap to field planted with saplings, then through another gap into another large field, also with saplings. You pass a small weir in front of an industrial estate on the opposite bank. Continue through gap and stay with river left to bear sharp right with river. Pass under two sets of power lines, then reach a gas pipeline marker on left. 10 paces further on go slightly left to cross concrete footbridge and through metal gate into field.  Head diagionally across field to take metal gate and continue along same line across next field (sometimes with cows - emergency exit in front of farm) to find and take kissing gate in corner, well to left of farmhouse, onto lane.

Section F

Go left on lane to pass Millford Cottage and the larger Millford House After 40 paces, take the hidden narrow footpath left (easy to miss). Take the metal bridge across the River Arrow and through a metal gate into large field. Continue ahead across field towards the farm buildings in the far distance and take a metal kissing gate to next field. Go 1/2 right to exit this field via kissing gate. Turn left on lane to reach the main A435, then turn right up the road to return to the "The Throckmorton" for some well earned refreshments.

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Throckmorion Arms

Points of Interest - What to know and what to see...

by Andy Botherway

Throckmorton Arms

The Throckmorton Arms named after the family who since 1409 have occupied, and still occupy, Coughton Court. Pleasant comfortable accommodation is available.

Cold Comfort Wood

The Cold Comfort Wood a mainly Oak & Hazel wood. Passing through is the Monarchs Way, a 615 mile, long distance footpath, which is supposed to closely follow the route of Charles II's escape after his defeat at the battle of Worcester in 1651. It goes from Worcester to Shoreham via Bath

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Medieval Houses

Alcester

Alcester is a lovely old market town of Roman origin at the junction of the River Alne and River Arrow. In Roman times Alcester (Alauna) was a walled town and Roman fort of some importance being located at a junction between the Ryknild Street Roman road, Medieval Housesthe ancient Saltway from Droitwich and the Roman road from Stratford upon Avon and the Fosse Way.

The High Street, which you will pass through just after halfway through the walk, is very interesting, with pubs and tea rooms and a number of preserved Tudor and other houses, notably those near the parish church in Butter Street and Malt Mill Lane. The Old Rectory, situated directly in front of the church, is a particularly interesting example of Georgian architecture.

St Nicholas Parish Church

The parish church of St. Nicholas has a 14th Century exterior but the whole interior was remodelled in Classical style in 1729-33 by Edward and Thomas Woodward.

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St Nicholas Parish Church

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Town Hall
Alcester

The Town Hall

A two-storied building from17th Century, stands to the north of the church. The lower story consists of a stone colonnade, filled in by 1873, which was built about 1618. It was originally intended to build the whole in stone, but this was found to be too costly and it was decided to make the upper story of timber. The basement was also used as a prison and was still in use as the town's lock-up as late as 1850.

Coughton Court and Coughton Parish Church

The Throckmortons were a catholic reclusant family who refused to give up their faith and suffered the consequences. They were involved in both the Throckmorton Plot of 1583, a conspiracy to execute Queen Elizabeth I, and the Gunpowder Plot, the plan to blow up Parliament and kill the King in 1605.

Full details of the very interesting history of both the National Trust Coughton Court and the Coughton Parish Church can be found in the ‘points of interest’ page for Circular Walk – Coughton. Check their website for garden and house opening times - certainly worth a visit.

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