Along the lower slopes of the Brown Clee to Cleobury North and back to Ditton Priors.

Distance

6.25 miles

Terrain

Undulating farmland paths, bridleways and green lanes

Start from

Ditton Priors

Nearest to

Cleobury Mortimer, Ditton Priors

The route

Through woodland and pasture along the lower slopes of the Brown Clee to the to the attractive village of Cleobury North and along ancient tracks and bridleways back to Ditton Priors.

 

1. Start from the centre of the village with the Howard Arms behind you and the church on your right. Walk approximately 50 metres from the village board, take the second turn left (waymarked), continuing down the road to the fingerpost marked Hall Yard Path. Follow the path for a short distance, over a stream, through a gate and to the end of some barn conversions.

2. At the end of the barns turn right, take the waymarked path to the left of the stream and cross a stile into a meadow. Go diagonally right, crossing two fields to bring you into Chapel Lane.

3. Turn right and then, where the lane turns 90 degrees right, go straight on up the stoned track, and turn left into Hall Farm Road to cross the stile at the end. Bear diagonally right through a sparse hedgerow and continue to the corner of the field to cross a stile and immediately opposite cross another stile into Bent Lane.

4. Go left for a few yards to cross the stile on the other side of the lane, and then cross a further stile and a sleeper bridge on to a footpath. Bear right, heading for the gate at the top end of the field and, after passing through the gate, take the footpath to the left. The route then goes alongside woodland on your left to cross the stile by the end of the wood.

5. Continuing with the hedge on your left, cross a stile in a wire fence and head towards a further stile at the left hand end of Hillside Coppice. Go over this stile and follow the woodland edge, passing through a gate, continuing for about 50 metres until you cross a stile on your right, leading into the wood. Follow the path roughly diagonally left to emerge at a junction of woodland rides and take the ride at 90 degrees right.

6. Following this ride around a left hand bend, continue till you cross a stile at the end of the wood, Cross the meadow, aiming to the right of the two houses and, after emerging on to the drive to the houses, go right on to the lane known as Hillside. Go left for a few metres and where the lane turns left cross the stile to the left of the cattle grid, the entrance to the Boyne Estate.

7. Aim to pass to the right of the houses in front of you and then, after about  a further 100 metres, follow the waymarked route until you emerge on to a track. Turn left past a cottage and then through a gate. Head diagonally right to a wicket gate by the end of a wood. Do not go through this gate but go left alongside a wire fence. Go through a gate onto a track which leads you out through the yard of Home Farm, Cleobury North.

8. Cross the lane and take the short path opposite which leads to the main Ludlow to Bridgnorth Road. There is a shop here where you may find refreshments. Take care crossing the busy road  and then turn left following the roadside footpath as far as Cleobury North Church, much restored but of Norman origin.

9. Take the path through the churchyard, leading you to the track of the former Cleobury Mortimer -Ditton Priors railway built to carry the stone quarried on the Brown Clee. Tum left along the track, a permissive path, to re-emerge on the main road by the site of the old railway station. Go right for 150 metres and cross the road, again with extreme care.

10. The next section of about 2.5 kms is a bridleway. Go through the gate, following the left hand hedge leading into the green lane, and at the end of the holloway cross a footbridge over a stream and through a gate into a field. Go via the right hand hedge to the diagonally opposite corner of the field where you may go through a bridleway gale and ford or jump a small stream.

11. Following the route of an old green lane bearing right, go through a field gate and continue along the track left to a further gate. Follow the right hand hedge to pass through a metal bridleway gate and continue along the left hand hedge to another bridleway gate, continuing to a third gate leading into another old green lane.

12. Bear right to the final bridleway gate leading into a large field and, keeping right, follow the path round the edge of the field, continuing along the edge of two further fields until the end of the right hand hedgerow. Drop down slightly to the right to pass through a gate in a farm drive, and down to the Neenton to Middleton lane, turning left here until just short of a bridge over the Rea Brook (a distance of 350 metres).

13. Take the stile on your left and, heading parallel to the stream, cross another stile at the end of the field, following the stream for approximately 150 metres to the footbridge marked Plowden's Bridge, an ancient crossing point mentioned in medieval documents. After crossing the bridge go left along the edge of the field to pass through a large gap in the hedge, and then turn left along the hedge to a track. Now turn right, going up the field to cross a private air strip at the top of the hill. Take care here and continue straight on to a stile leading on to the Ditton Priors to Middleton Priors lane. Turn left along the lane to arrive at the village centre.