The Blossom Trail
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If Kent is the garden of England then the fertile Vale of Evesham is surely its allotment; when they're not busy growing produce here, they're dressing up as plums or reciting poetry to the asparagus (all forgotten over several glasses of homegrown fruit wine)!
In springtime the local apple, pear, damson and plum orchards put on a spectacular display of blossom lasting for just a few short weeks - those of you who came last year will know that the blossom won't be held to a strict timetable! The route for this walk is designed to take in as much of this show and the fragrant air that comes with it as possible.
Starting from Evesham, we'll follow the River Avon northwards before climbing up to the village of Norton and then, with views across the Worcestershire countryside and to the Malvern Hills, head to Fladbury for our lunch stop and the chance to see some unusual, elaborate Tudor tombs in the church at Cropthorne.
After a final flurry of blossom we shall take the ferry across the river and walk along the bank back to Evesham with a stop for a cream tea or a pint depending on your mood.
Getting there & parking
Evesham is easily reached by train from Worcester, Oxford, Birmingham and London.
There is limited parking at the station costing £2.60 for the day or parking in other larger town car parks just a few minutes' walk away that costs £4.00 for the day. If you're driving please consider offering others a lift.
What to bring
As always please dress sensibly for a reasonably long walk - you'll need your walking boots and a waterproof jacket even if the weather looks good. Make sure to bring 50p for the ferry crossing too! For more guidance please see below:
Water: bring at least a litre
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking, trainers are OK if the ground is dry and there’s little chance of rain
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally no jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Food & drink
Please bring along a packed lunch and plenty to drink for the day. We'll also make a tea & cake or pub stop towards the end of the day.