"A poor life this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare" - William Henry Davies
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A 5.5 mile walk with a steady long climb at the beginning followed by a steady descent at the end and views to die for in between. Walk takes about 2 hours 30 minutes. There were some sheep along the way and a short stretch of road-walking but otherwise dog friendly and I passed a couple of others along the way with their dogs off lead.
I aimed for St Mary the Virgin church at Elmley Castle postcode WR10 3HT. This takes you into the village and to a circular road where I park on the side of the road. This is right alongside the church. Alternatively, just as you approach the village there is a small car park on the left.
Elmley Castle is a very pretty village, with a pub called the Queen Elizabeth Inn which is where the walk begins. I could smell the food and a wood burning fire when I passed by - very inviting.
1.Walk into the village and up to the pub the Queen Elizabeth Inn. You may want to drop in here on your return. As you face the pub there is a road to the left called Hill Lane. Take this road.
2.About 200 yards up the road and just past the Police House, you should see a footpath sign next to a gate leading into a field on your left. Head diagonally over the field aiming for the thatched cottage in view on the other side. Pass through the gate on the other side and bear left up the lane. This is a road but is access only so should not be too busy.
3.At the top of the lane carry on straight ahead along a footpath that takes you through trees. This was very muddy in February when I did the walk - wellies essential. Another gate takes you out into fields.
4.Four options ahead. Right is prohibited and ignore the left doubling back option. Ahead of you are 2 blue walking arrows; take the right hand option.
5.This has been a steady climb so far. The path flattens out ahead into fields where there are 2 gates ahead of you. Take the left hand gate with the blue arrow pointing up to the left. It says to stick to the path but the path is difficult to see. If you stay to the left hand side of the field you can’t go wrong and the path eventually becomes clearer.
6.Keep following this path through one gate (open both times I did the walk) and on up to another which takes you into woodland. (No right of way conservation area on your left as a point of reference).
7.You reach another gate which takes you out of the trees and onto another path. If you bear slightly left but across the path there is another gate taking you back off the path and over a field.
8. Cross the field to another gate with a footpath sign on. Go through here into another field which I think is particularly lovely and probably worth straying over to the left to check out the views. To continue the walk however keep to the right of the field aiming for the farm at the bottom called Lalu Farm - love that name.
9.A gate takes you briefly through the courtyard of Lalu Farm and back out onto a wide footpath and you are bearing immediately right. This is Skylark field as I call it – they are always here chirruping to your left and right.
10.At the first gate you reach you are going to go through the gate and then left. However you will probably want to go over to the view point to take in the views first. If you do, carry on straight ahead, through another gate and on to the wee turret that is the viewpoint . When you are ready, retrace your steps back through one gate and on to the gateway you passed through earlier and now you will be turning right.
11.Carry on down the side of the field with the stone wall on your left. Lovely views
12.Pass through another gate and after a short descent you will have choices. Take the left which is taking you back down the opposite edge of the field you walked up from Lalu farm.
13.You reach crossroads. To the left you should see Lalu farm; carry on straight across with the trees on your right.
14.Up ahead another crossroads with a row of tall trees leading away to the right. Again you want to go straight ahead here.
15.This lane leads to choices. To the right is a gate leading to a footpath. However you want to follow this lane around to the left. More fantastic views to your right.
16.Pass through another gateway with a yellow footpath arrow and carry on straight.
17.You will reach another gateway beyond which is a bench calling you to sit in it and take in the views - see blog.
18.Behind the bench is a path that leads down and away through trees. You are taking this option.
19.This path joins another path at the bottom. To the left is a gate saying entrance prohibited. Do not go right as I did. If you look ahead and slightly left there is a lane that leads down and away from the prohibitive gateway. Take this.
20.This path eventually arrives at a gateway into a field. Pass through the gate and head straight down through the field.
21.At the bottom of the field and to your right you should see a bridge. On your left is a gate into a field. Head towards the bridge which has a blue arrow on it; cross over it, then immediately bearing left in the direction of the arrow.
22.You reach a crest where it looks like the only way is right but when you move far enough forward and look to your left, you can see another bridge at the bottom. Aim for that.
23.Go over the bridge and follow the path around to the left where you will reach a metal gate. Go through the gate and immediately left over another bridge with a yellow footpath sign.
24.Follow the arrow bearing right down through the field. At the bottom of the field you will see a metal gate ahead of you. Follow the hedge with your eyes along to the left and you will see a stile in the hedge. Aim for that.
25.The yellow arrow on the stile points to kinda 11 o’clock. If you aim for the big red house you can see in this sort of direction across the field, you will reach another stile slightly to the left of the house.
26.Cross the stile, walk down this pathway and you will come out next to the church which is on the housing estate where you may have parked.
Maybe time to visit that inviting pub in the village.