Three Choirs Way
Total distance covered; 102 miles (164kms)
8 days walking, based in Great Malvern
The Three Choirs Way is a circular route of 100 miles (162kms) which links the cathedral cities of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester. It takes its name from the annual Three Choirs Festival, the world's oldest classical music festival, which dates back to 1715. Each year the festival rotates between the three cathedrals and features a week-long programme of services, choral performances, recitals, lectures, masterclasses, and community events.
The cities of Gloucester and Worcester lie on the banks of the River Severn, and the city of Hereford on the bank of the River Wye. The attractive countryside between the two rivers, and through which the walk passes, is invoked in an old saying "Blessed is the eye between Severn and Wye", which is inscribed on the roundels which way-mark the route. The countryside is quiet and secluded; a varied tapestry of farmland, light woodland, lush pasture, orchards, hop-yards and vineyards. The attractive villages are unspoilt, and the lanes are largely deserted. The mixed hedgerows are populated by song birds, waterfowl abound on the rivers, birds of prey are a frequent sighting in the skys overhead, and the iconic Hereford cattle graze in the meadows.
In much of the area the terrain is gently undulating, but not all. The Malvern Hills rise dramatically from the surrounding countryside and the ridge affords magnificent views across the Vale of Severn, the Cotswold Hills and The Marches; thirteen counties in all on a clear day. In turn, the crest of the Marcle Ridge, wooded Ankerdine Hill and the Suckley Hills, all underlaid by the same Silurian rocks, are high points which provide good views of the Malvern ridge.
Aside from the three cathedral cities and the town of Great Malvern - our base for this holiday - the route passes through very few settlements of any size, but villages encountered include Tibberton, Clifford's Mesne, Much Marcle, Withington, Knightwick and Staunton.
Highlights of the Three Choirs Way include the exhilarating walk along the ridge of the Malvern Hills, and the expansive views from the ridge high points of Worcestershire Beacon and Herefordshire Beacon; the ancient yew tree in the churchyard of St Bartholemew's church in Much Marcle; and the three splendid medieval cathedrals in Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester.
Day 1: Gloucester to Kilcot 12 mls (19kms)
Day 2: Kilcot to Mordiford 13 mls (21kms)
Day 3: Mordiford to Withington 12 mls (19kms)
Day 4: Withington to Wolferwood Common 13 mls (21kms)
Day 5: Wofferwood Common to Elgar's Birthplace Museum 15 mls (24kms)
Day 6: Elgar's Birthplace Museum to Great Malvern 12 mls (19kms)
Day 7: Great Malvern to Staunton 13 mls (21kms)
Day 8: Staunton to Gloucester 12 mls (19kms)
Currency Converter: All of our prices are in British pounds. To estimate the cost in another currency use the currency converter here.