To get the most out of your cycle ride, the app will tell you all you need to know.
You will get:
- Directions to follow the route and where to take special care.
- Points of interest to visit along the route and what to look for.
- Cafés, shops, pubs and picnic places to stop for rest and refreshment.
A suite of six leisurely cycle rides exploring the natural beauty of the Vale of Evesham and showcasing its horticultural, agricultural and architectural heritage.
The project was designed, developed and jointly funded by Cycle Evesham Vale in partnership with GWR, Areca Design and Worcestershire’s Vale and Spa.
The pioneering app guides you around your chosen route providing live directional information and highlighting numerous points of interest and refreshment stops. Whether you are a novice or a more experienced cyclist, the choice of routes will inspire you to get more active, discover the delights of two wheels and enjoy The Vale of Evesham’s picturesque countryside. You can choose a route from 17 to 27 miles, some more challenging than others, all starting and finishing at Evesham Railway Station.
The Vale of Evesham nestles between the Malvern Hills, Bredon Hill and the Cotswolds and offers cyclists magnificent views, pretty towns and villages and a multitude of tempting refreshment stops. Our six routes on mainly quiet country roads encompass all the special features in and around the Vale. Read on to choose your route and enjoy the ride!
Evesham is a historical market town full of magnificent buildings, shops, pubs and restaurants. There are several notable sites worth going to see before or
after your cycle tour. Evesham’s name is derived from an 8th Century swineherd called Eof and the old English words ‘homme’ or ‘ham’ which were given to
land on the sides of a river. Eof, according to legend, was confronted by a vision of the Virgin and partly in fear and partly in excitement he went to Worcester to tell Bishop Egwin what he had seen. Egwin came to the same spot and after a period of prayer, the vision appeared to him in the same form, but this time the Virgin spoke to the Bishop, saying “This is the place I have chosen”. Egwin interpreted this message as an indication that the Virgin required a Church to be built on the spot in her honour and he set about establishing a monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary, becoming the first Abbot.
Dating back to 700AD, Evesham Benedictine Abbey was once one of the richest and largest in Britain but it was mostly demolished during the 16th Century Dissolution of the Monasteries. The surviving detached Bell Tower, the oldest building in Evesham witnessed the departure of Simon de Montfort to the Battle of Evesham in 1265 and a skirmish in the English Civil War in 1645 where the damage caused by musket shot is still to be seen on the tower. The Bell Tower overlooks the wonderful Abbey Park complete with a bandstand, a fishpond and playgrounds and the River Avon which almost encircles the town in its way to join the River Severn at Tewkesbury.
The Almonry Museum and Heritage Centre dates back to the 14th Century and is a Grade I listed property being originally built as the home of the almoner, a monk from Evesham’s Abbey. Since 1957 it has served as the town’s museum and tourist information hub and is well worth a visit. The heart of Evesham is the Market Place overlooked by ‘The Round House’, a Grade l listed 15th Century twin gabled timber framed building with a Cotswold stone roof. The Market Place with outdoor seating at the cafés and pubs is a wonderful place to relax on a summers day. From the Market Place, the pedestrianised Bridge Street leads to Workman Bridge and over the River Avon to Bengeworth. You’ll discover Workman Gardens by the river and in nearby Port Street, you’ll find the art deco Regal Cinema and a wide range of traditional and continental shops.
A 23 mile (37 km) moderately hilly route on mostly quiet roads suitable for the more confident cyclist on any bicycle type, starting and finishing at Evesham Railway Station.
This route follows the valleys of the River Avon and Arrow through remarkable villages and stunning countryside.
Offenham is a centre of horticulture with glasshouses surrounding the village. The main street leads to the longest thatch in Worcestershire spanning seven cottages. The magnificent 64ft wooden maypole, one of only six permanent maypoles remaining in England, is still used on May Day with a dancing tradition dating back to medieval times.
The Fish and Anchor pub overlooks the River Avon and nearby is the ancient ford beside a weir. Then a steep climb up a ridge provides fine views over the Avon valley. Cleeve Prior Heritage Trust with Grade ll listed Field Barn looks after 27 acres of old pasture, traditional orchards, woodland and ponds that have been acquired by the village over the years for visitors to enjoy. Cleeve Prior village is well worth a look. Onwards to Bidford on Avon you cross an eight arched early 15th Century packhorse bridge which is Grade l listed and a scheduled monument. There is a riverside pub, shops and cafés to provide rest and refreshment.
Proceed through pretty Broom village with the Broom Hall Inn and 16th Century Broom Tavern to reach the furthest point of the route. St Milburga’s Church, Wixford contains a Grade II listed horsehouse of hurdle and gorse with a thatched roof dating from the 18th Century. It was built to shelter the mounts of visiting clergy. The Fish Inn has a large garden and views of the magnificent bridge over the River Arrow. Close by is a little known waterfall in an Arcadian setting.
The route then climbs for a few miles with fine views leading to Dunnington village. Hillers Farm Shop has a fine café and lots to do for children including ponies, birds of prey, a maize maze when in season and a working miniature railway.
You then pass Salford Hall Hotel – a Grade l listed Tudor building originally built as a guest residence for the monks of Evesham Abbey. Salford Priors and Harvington, both picture postcard villages with thatched cottages, are followed by the award winning Ellenden Farmshop. It has a farmhouse kitchen café, and shop both with homegrown produce.
The final attraction is Greenhill overlooking Evesham where you pass the site of The Battle of Evesham marking the defeat of Simon de Montfort, regarded as the father of parliamentary democracy. From here you can also see beautiful views across to the Malvern Hills.
A 24 mile (39 km) route with a handful of short sharp inclines suitable for the more confident cyclist, starting and finishing at Evesham Railway Station. Recommended for Hybrid and Off-Road bicycles since there is an off-road section.
A loop from Evesham into Shakespeare country and its beautiful villages. It includes one of only two National Trust pubs in the Midlands, a wildlife park and one of the largest tithe barns in Britain.
In Badsey you will see the stone Manor House and popular Wheatsheaf Inn. Shortly after you proceed along part of the NCN 442 off road route towards Bretforton, a pretty rural village with substantial large gentry dwellings. In the village square sits The Fleece Inn which was originally built in the early 15th Century by a farmer named Byrd. The pub remained in the Byrd family until 1977 when it was bequeathed to the National Trust. It currently hosts various annual festivals, the most famous being the British Asparagus Festival at the end of May.
On to Honeybourne with its 13th Century country pub, the Thatched Tavern, and the family attraction and café All Things Wild featuring animals, dinosaurs, indoor and outdoor activities.
The route goes through Pebworth, the most easterly village in Worcestershire with its Church of St Peter housing a beautiful light ring of ten bells, unusual for a small rural church.
Dorsington village is the centre of the Heart of England Forest, brainchild of businessman and philanthropist Felix Dennis. His legacy charity has so far planted more than 1.3 million trees across 3000 acres of new woodland. The village includes several elaborately thatched cottages.
The Cottage of Content in Barton is a perfect stop off for refreshment at the half way point. It is a rustic pub with a spacious garden and short walk to the River Avon.
Cleeve Prior village is well worth a stop. Cleeve Prior Heritage Trust with Grade ll listed Field Barn looks after 27 acres of old pasture, traditional orchards, woodland and ponds that have been acquired by the village for visitors to enjoy.
You will pass by The Farm Animal Sanctuary in Middle Littleton, Britain’s first, providing a secure place for rescued animals and birds. Also in Middle Littleton is the Grade I listed National Trust 13th Century Tithe Barn, one of the finest and largest in the country.
The route then passes Blackminster Business Park which includes The Potted Pantry and Fast Tracks cafés. The site was built in the early 1900’s by George Cadbury of the Cadbury’s Chocolate family. His idea was to create a fruit canning factory situated in the heart of The Vale of Evesham, where the supply of local fruit would be plentiful.
An 18 mile (29km) cycle ride ideal for all cyclists, family groups with any type of bicycle, starting and finishing at Evesham Railway Station.
A beautiful loop taking you into the foothills of the Cotswolds including four picturesque villages within the Vale of Evesham. You will cycle along country roads with wonderful views, see rolling farmland and historic churches. It is an area of market gardening, arable and pasture land, with surrounding fields and hedgerows.
In Badsey you will see the stone Manor House and popular Wheatsheaf Inn.
Willersey is worth stopping at to see many character Cotswold stone properties. There are spectacular views of the Cotswold hills from behind the 12th Century listed St Peters church. There are two pubs, a village shop with a café and a much admired duck pond.
Between Willersey and Broadway there are continued views of the Cotswold escarpment, Saintbury village and the famous Broadway Tower.
Broadway, at the half way point of the route is referred to as “The Jewel of the Cotswolds”, and is a vibrant and bustling large village ideal for a refreshment stop. The “broad way” is the wide grass-fringed main street, centred on the Green, and lined with red chestnut trees and honey-coloured Cotswold stone buildings, many dating from the 16th Century. It is known for its association with the Arts and Crafts movement. The High Street contains a variety of shops, art galleries and cafés, many housed in listed buildings. Specific tourist sights include; the Old Coaching Route building, The Lygon Arms, The Gordon Russell Museum, The Broadway Museum and Art Gallery. The village has several festivals and events throughout the year with lots to do for all the family.
Just outside Broadway the route takes you to Grade l listed St Eadburgha’s church and through more remote farming areas.
Broadway Station, reconstructed from scratch was re-opened in 2018 by Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. The station is a real gem and a must visit. The volunteer operated heritage railway offers a round trip of 28 miles to Cheltenham Racecourse on steam and diesel trains which run at various time through the year.
Childswickham is situated within the flat open landscape of the Vale of Evesham. You will pass by the Childswickham Medieval Cross and see the original Norman church of St Mary the Virgin with its 15th Century spire, a local landmark seen for several miles. In the graveyard lies a stone marking the grave of Mary Lane, who died aged 133 years! The final refreshment stop before returning to Evesham is the Childswickham Inn and Brasserie.
A 26 mile (42km) cycle ride on mostly quiet roads suitable for the more experienced cyclist on any type of bicycle, starting and finishing at Evesham Railway Station. There is an option to shorten the route by turning at Stanway village for a less challenging ride.
An aptly named route travelling into the heart of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You will see unspoilt villages with honey-coloured Cotswold stone buildings and breathtaking views across the Vale of Evesham.
Once out of Evesham you travel along open country roads and through the small villages of Aston Somerville and Wormington. The rolling Cotswold hills and grasslands frame the beautiful rural views as you climb. The village of Stanway is worth exploring, including Stanway House, a Jacobean manor, with its magnificent gravity fed fountain which is the highest in the country. Its estate also contains a flour mill and a revived brewery, one of only two log-fired breweries in Britain. The route goes directly past Stanway village cricket pitch which has a stunning 1920’s cricket pavilion built on staddle stones.
You retrace your steps and pass through Stanton village whose buildings are nearly all made of locally quarried stone. The village itself has a history going back over 1000 years and contains The Mount Inn, with spectacular views from the outside seating area. The Stanton Guildhouse was built in the 1920s by Mary Osbourn a craftswoman inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. It is now a popular retreat and accommodation for learning, creativity and personal development.
The return section of the route passes close to Childswickham and the final refreshment stop before returning to Evesham is the Childswickham Inn and Brasserie.
The optional route extension, which adds a further nine miles (14kms), passes by the extremely pretty village of Didbrook with several excellent examples of medieval cruck framed cottages and the timber framed roof of St George church. You will pass Hayles Abbey Halt, a recently refurbished railway station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, before the route takes you up to the Hamlet of Hailes. This is famous for the Grade l listed Cistercian Hailes Abbey founded in 1246 but dissolved by Henry Vlll. Owned and managed jointly by The National Trust and English Heritage, it contains visible abbey remains and a museum housing several artefacts from the abbey itself. Pre-dating the abbey is Hailes church, consecrated in 1175 whose interior walls display unrestored medieval wall paintings. A little further up, a perfect place to admire views across the countryside and take a refreshment break, is Hayles Fruit Farm and Café. After this you will retrace the route back to Stanton village.
A 27 mile (43 km) moderately hilly route on mostly quiet roads, starting and finishing at Evesham Railway Station. Recommended for Hybrid and Off-Road bicycles since there is a short off-road section.
This ride goes around Bredon Hill, an outcrop of the Cotswolds and long considered a mystical and sacred place. Including its tower at the top, known as Parsons Folly, it reaches 1000 feet. There are traces of iron age camps, a medieval castle and Roman remains which include the Bredon Hill hoard of silver Roman coins discovered in 2011. The hill is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is immortalised in A. E. Housman’s 1896 anthology, “A Shropshire Lad”. The first verse reads:
In summertime on Bredon
The bells they sound so clear;
Round both the shires they ring them
In steeples far and near,
A happy noise to hear.
The ride mostly follows Worcestershire’s Cycle Route 21 loop and takes in ten villages starting with Elmley Castle, named after a Norman earthwork and timber castle. Its wide street leading to St. Mary’s church must be one of the most picturesque in the country. The community owned pub, The Queen Elizabeth, was said to have been visited in 1575 by Queen Elizabeth l.
The picture postcard villages of Little Comberton and Great Comberton are followed by Eckington, a larger village with shops and two pubs.
The tiny village of Bredon’s Norton with its Chapel of Ease, St. Giles was recorded in the Domesday Book as Nortune and in the early 12th Century Bredon’s Norton Manor was held by the Bishop of Worcester. A prominent resident who died in 1927 in the Manor House was Victoria Woodhull. She was an American who, before moving to England, was the first woman to run for the presidency of the United States.
Continuing on, the village of Kemerton features both a pub and delightful café. Overbury is a particularly pretty unspoilt village and Conderton has an historic pub. Beckford’s church, St John the Baptist, has two Norman tympani and some unusual Norman carvings. It also includes a detailed model of the church which lights up and the roof rises to the sound of organ music.
You then pass Beckford Silk and Beckford Nature Reserve which is home to sand martins, a number of rare orchids, great crested newts and a host of interesting insects. This is an ideal place for a picnic beside its lake.
The last village on the route is Ashton under Hill with a perfect refreshment option at The Star Inn. The return to Evesham is via the Salt Way, an ancient off-road track.
A 23 mile (37 km) cycle ride mostly on quiet roads with undulating terrain and some busy junctions. Ideal for any type of bicycle, starting and finishing at Evesham Railway Station.
A circular route encapsulating the Lenches villages, Pershore Town and the foot hills of Bredon Hill which forms the north western tip of the Cotswold Hills.
The ride passes the site of The Battle of Evesham marking the defeat of Simon de Montfort, regarded as the father of parliamentary democracy. From here you can also see beautiful views across to the Malvern Hills.
The Lenches comprises five settlements – Church Lench, Rous Lench, Atch Lench, Sheriffs Lench and Ab Lench and you pass through three of them. The name “Lench” comes from an Anglo-Saxon word ‘linch’, meaning ‘rising ground or hill’.
The village of Bishampton includes the first opportunity for a refreshment at the community owned pub – The Dolphin.
Next is Throckmorton whose 13th Century Chapelry has no electricity but is lit by gas-lamps and candles. Throckmorton Airfield formerly known as RAF Pershore was built in the 1940’s and housed Wellington, Vulcan and Valiant bombers.
Pershore is a Georgian market town with shops and cafés. Being approximately half way, it is the ideal place for refreshment. The perfect time to visit is during the annual Plum Festival in August which celebrates the tradition of growing plums including Pershore Purple, Pershore Yellow Egg and Pershore Emblem. Pershore Abbey has been a centre for Christian Worship for over 1300 years and is a fine example of Norman and Early English architecture. Well worth a look inside, it is a triumphant remnant of a Medieval Benedictine Monastery.
Pershore Old Bridge over the River Avon was originally built by monks in about 1413, supposedly after their abbot, Upton, drowned falling from stepping-stones. The scene is included in the historical window installed in 1862–64 in Pershore Abbey. You then proceed to the picturesque villages of Little Comberton and Elmley Castle whose Main Street contains the Queen Elizabeth Inn, a community owned pub named because Queen Elizabeth I stayed there in 1575.
Towards the end of the route is Hampton Farm Shop and Café which has been providing the local community with local fresh fruit and vegetables for over 20 years. Hampton’s St Andrew’s Parish Church site can be traced back to 708 AD in the endowment of Evesham Abbey. The magnificent 1714 tomb of John Martin is in the front churchyard. He was a local farmer who established various trusts demonstrating his desire for children and young people to have a Christian upbringing, a good education and to help those in need.
Cycle Evesham Vale promotes safe and responsible cycling. Please ensure you adhere to the Highway Code at all times and be courteous and considerate to other road users and pedestrians.
Throughout the rest of June and July you can enter the Festival of Evesham Vale Rail Trails.
Simply sign up, download the app and ride one or more of the routes in your own time. Then submit your results to receive a bespoke wooden medal. All proceeds go to help local charity Cardiac Rehab.