Tardebigge - Upper Gambolds - Stoke Pound - Tardebridge

You need to log in as a member of Walkingworld to access the details for this walk and have an active subscription. Please join, or log in above if you are already a member.

This circular walk starts near to St Bartholomew’s (Tardebigge) Church, which is on the hill above the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. There are records of a Saxon church here in 974 AD. The name Tardebigge means 'tower on the hill'; the tower of a Norman church which replaced it in the 11th Century collapsed in 1775 and the present building, except the chancel, was completed in 1777. The Cookes memorial survives from the Norman church.

Tardebigge's flight of locks is the longest flight of navigable locks in the country, with thirty locks climbing 217 feet (66m). Originally it was planned to use lifts greatly to reduce the number of locks and to save canal water. However, there was some concern over whether the lifts would be robust enough and good water supplies were secured by building reservoirs at Tardebigge and later at Upper Bittal, so locks were built instead.

Tardebigge Reservoir was below the canal summit level, so a steam engine was used to lift the water above the locks. The engine house still stands, now called Tyler's Lock and is used for weddings and special occasions. One lift was built, but it was not reliable and became the top lock at Tardebigge. This accounts for its great depth, fourteen feet, one of the deepest on the canal system.

The walk follows the canal for much of the route, with some beautiful views of the Malverns and Clee Hill. It then crosses fields and countryside before returning to Tardebigge Church.

England - Central England - Worcestershire - Countryside


Church, Great Views, Pub, Toilets, Wildlife
10/18/2022 - Sarah Green

What a lovely walk! Interesting and varied with the locks, countryside and church. We parked at the church which has a donation box for parking and then walked down the path at the corner of the car park just a bit further along from point 2. Straight forward instructions although the farmer at Sheltwood farm (point 7) was a bit naughty and has fenced off the clearly marked footpath sign so we had to walk further along the field to another gate then turn back on ourselves but all was clear and easy to follow.

2/15/2022 - MARIAN THOMAS

We really loved this walk, we did it in reverse starting at Stoke Pound (no.3) parking at the Queens Head Pub car park which is huge (pub recommended); then did everything in reverse the 30 locks were amazing, the reservoir was stunning and the engine house with the historic plaques all added interest. From Tardebigge we followed the Monarch's Way, but at no 5, instead of turning south to no. 4 we carried on the path past Patchett's farm and back onto the canal footpath, retracing our steps to Stoke Pound and Queen's Head pub, thus avoiding some road walking.

11/5/2011 - Michael Lee

Lovely walk but pub was closed, had planned to stop off for lunch. Had a slight problem finding the wooden bridge but apart from that the instructions were spot on. Was muddy in a few places and had to climb over a lot of gates as they were locked. Will be doing more walks in the near future.

4/18/2011 - Graham North

Would recomend this walk. We did the walk on a sunny day 16/04/2011. The walk instructions were 100% correct. The walk is peaceful and interesting. The PUB has just be refitted and is first class.

11/24/2008 - Nick Spooner

Excellent walk, not too strenuous, with a lovely pub half way! Brilliant! Gets very muddy if the weather's not too good.

2/11/2008 - Nic King

An excellent walk, with really good instructions and notes. Thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the stiles just after waypoint 4 has been blocked by an electric fence, but it is passable with care.

8/18/2007 - Colin Butler

This is an excellent walk and the notes are well written and helpful. Unfortunately Ordnance Survey, in their wisdom, have renumbered Explorer maps. The map to use is now Explorer 204 Worcester & Droitwich Spa.

Walkingworld members near this walk

Distance away
16.8 Miles
Clubs/Walking Groups
Distance away
Festivals and events
Distance away