Droitwich Locks and Hanbury Hall

5.5 miles. Start/finish: Gateway Park car park Hanbury Rd, WR9 7DX (charges apply), by Droitwich Junction Canal. This walk combines two canal towpaths, footpaths and a historic hall. The paths are well-marked.

From the car park of Gateway Park (a), go up the steps, cross the service road that leads to the rugby club and descend back down to the towpath of the Droitwich Junction Canal (restored in 2011). Continue east with the marina on your left and the road on your right. Leave the towpath to the right just before it meets the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, so do not pass under the bridge. Walk up the steps and turn left. Opposite you on the other side of the road is the Eagle and Sun pub. Cross the track and bridge (b) and turn left down to the towpath of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. With the canal facing you turn right and head north along the towpath. The towpath passes under the railway line before meeting Astwood Bottom lock (c).

Take the footpath (by the top gate of the lock) on your right and follow it across the field and across the foot bridge. The path now heads towards a tall tree and a gate. Once you have gone through the gate, the path veers slightly to the right to a cluster of trees where there is a National Trust sign and a stile at a junction of footpaths. Turn immediately left and go over another stile (d) by the National Trust sign. After a short distance, at the footpath post, take the blue route that veers to the right. The path ascends, goes through a kissing gate and follows a line with Hanbury Hall and Gardens on your right. The path crosses a drive and passes two ponds. Just after the pond on your right you will meet a cross roads of paths. Take the right path (e) so the car park is on your left. Follow the straight path in front of the hall, across the large meadow. Go through the gate, to the left of the pond, towards the farm gate and group of trees until you meet a stile and the road. Leave the meadow and turn right (f) onto the road and immediately pick up the path on the right. Continue along the path as it veers to the left ignoring the path and stile on the right. The path then turns right through a hedge, across a footbridge and ascends (g) towards the corner a wood. Gradually head away from the wood on your left towards and past the small group of trees and pond which will be to your right.

Go through the gate onto a farm track beside the wood. Don’t follow the path and track straight on, but take the left-hand path and follow a diagonal line down a slope away from the wood. Cross the track and pick up the path that crosses the hedge. The path runs to the left of a hedgerow. Ignore the path on the left and continue slightly to the left (h). This path passes over the railway line and eventually meets the bridge over the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. Turn left (i) onto the towpath. Retrace your steps back to Gateway Park.

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