The Worcester & Birmingham Canal provides a direct, traffic-free route past Worcester city centre. It’s well surfaced throughout, though often narrow. Take particular care by the locks, where the towpath falls rapidly and then sometimes curves sharply under a bridge.
You can head towards the city centre at Lowesmoor (just south of the railway bridge) or at the Commandery, though both are busy roads; or, of course, continue along the canal to the river, and head up the riverside path.
For south-east Worcester, follow the path past the Anchor Inn at Diglis Basin – famous for its Belly Buster Breakfasts! – to join the quiet Diglis Lane, a more pleasant alternative to the parallel Bath Road. This passes along an improved cycle path to Barneshall Avenue (once notorious for its bike-hostile residents) before crossing Bath Road towards the Norton Pedway, for access to St Peters and Norton itself.
Getting from eastern Worcester into the city centre, while avoiding busy roads, is an unsolvable challenge. We can’t claim this route will spirit you right into the heart of things, but it’s a handy one to know.
From the Tolladine/Lyppard Grange area and its excellent network of Pedways, head down towards Tunnel Hill. A short left-right dogleg across Rainbow Hill will put you on Lansdowne Road. (From here, you can drop down onto the canal towpath if you like, or take the next left turn – Chestnut Walk – towards the city centre and Foregate Street station.)
Following Lansdowne Road onto Little London will take you across the Tything to Hebb Street. From here, you can take residential roads towards the racecourse and Sabrina Bridge.
Once across the river, there’s now a short cyclepath that takes you from Hylton Road to Henwick Road, and hence the university.
The Worcester Racecourse path provides a great way into the centre without touching the main roads.
From Northwick, National Cycle Network route 46 follows residential roads to the northern end of the racecourse. The green, tree-lined path then takes you to Castle Street, where you can loop right towards Sabrina Bridge to cross the Severn. (For the university or St Johns, head west here.)
On the opposite bank now, the riverside path continues past the cricket pitch, then heads inland past the industrial area near Diglis Bridge. The cycle route is signed along roadside paths as far as Lower Wick and Powick.
It’s much easier to get across the south of the city, thanks largely to the Pedway network. The Orbital Pedway is signposted clearly from the Royal Hospital and the Worcester Woods country park; it’s almost entirely traffic free for the three miles to Diglis Bridge.
The latest improvement is a cycle path through the grounds of St Mark’s Church, a generous decision by the church authorities which avoids the need to follow the Bath Road. Watch out in wet weather for the path from Waverley Street to Diglis Bridge, which can get a little waterlogged.
Diglis Bridge is of course a superb crossing, and delivers you directly to Lower Wick.