Monarch’s Way lists

Places where Charles slept

  1. Day 1 – Battle of Worcester day, no sleep that night
  2. Day 2 – White Ladies Priory / Spring Coppice (daytime)
  3. Day 3 – Madeley Barn (daytime)
  4. Day 4 – Royal Oak (daytime) / Boscobel House (night)
  5. Days 5-6 – Moseley Old Hall
  6. Day 7 – Bentley Hall
  7. Day 8 – King’s Lodge, Long Marsden
  8. Day 9 – The Fleece or other Inn, Cirencester
  9. Days 10-13 – Old Leigh Court, near Bristol
  10. Day 14 – Manor House or the Old House, Castle Cary
  11. Days 15-19, also 22-33 – Trent Manor
  12. Day 20 – The Queen’s Arms, Charmouth
  13. Day 21 – George Inn, Broad Windsor
  14. Days 34-40 – Heale House, Middle Woodford
  15. Day 41 – Bury Lodge, Hambledon or adjacent King’s Cottage
  16. Day 42 – George Inn, Brighton – either Middle Street or West Street
  17. Day 43 – on board The Surprise, later renamed HMY The Great Escape

Near encounters with Cromwell’s Troops

  1. Day 1 – Rode through troops at Stourbridge town centre
  2. Day 2 – In Spring Coppice, troops passed close by
  3. Day 4 – In the Royal Oak with Captain Careless, troops passed underneath
  4. Day 7 – At Moseley Old Hall, troops arrived at the building while Charles was concealed there
  5. Day 8 – Troops avoided at King’s Lane, just outside Stratford-upon-Avon
  6. Day 21 – Charles encountered troops at the George Inn at Bridport
  7. Day 21 – Charles and party narrowly avoided troops while leaving Bridport via Lee Lane
  8. Day 21 – At Broadwindsor, Charles and Party are given quarters in the attic of the George Inn while Cromwell’s troops occupied the rest of the building
  9. Day 42 – Cromwell sympathisiers avoided near Arundel Castle
  10. Day 42 – Rode through troops at Bramber Bridge
  11. Day 43 – Troops arrive two hours after the boat sailed

George Inns and the like

  1. Pub at Abbot’s Leigh called the George
  2. We stayed at George Hotel in Castle Cary
  3. We stayed at George Hotel, Crewkerne
  4. Charmouth has a George Inn
  5. Charles paused at the George Inn Bridport
  6. Charles stopped at the George Inn Broadwindsor, aka The Castle Inn
  7. Charles paused at the George Inn, Mere
  8. There was a George Inn in Hambledon, the landlord was once Richard Nyren. It is now residential accommodation.
  9. At Wanford, there is a George & Falcon Hotel, very likely visited by Wilmot while he waited for Charles
  10. Charles paused at the George and Dragon, Houghton
  11. Charles stopped at the Old George Inn, Brighton, on the final night. It is not certain where this was.

Literary connections

  1. Tong has the supposed grave of Little Nell, from The Old Curiosity Shop.
  2. It has been suggested that the memorial verses on a tomb inside Tong Church were written by William Shakespeare.
  3. Bromsgrove is the birthplace of AE Housman, author of A Shropshire Lad.
  4. A well-known Elizabethan / Jacobean playwright was born at Stratford-upon-Avon.
  5. Bristol is the birthplace of Robert Southey, Poet Laureate 1813 – 1843.
  6. Lyme Regis, near Charmouth is the setting for The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles.
  7. Lyme Regis is also the setting for important scenes from Patience by Jane Austen.
  8. Bridport, fictionalised as Port Bredy, is the setting for Fellow-Townsmen, a short story by Thomas Hardy. Bridport is on the Hardy Way.
  9. TS Elliot’s ashes are interred at East Coker, a place which gives its name to one of his Four Quartets.
  10. John Nyren of Hambledon wrote (or perhaps just provided material for) Cricketers of my Time; arguably the most important cricket book ever.
  11. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene is set among the Brighton underworld and is one of the great Twentieth Century novels

Areas of Natural Beauty etc on the route

  1. Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site
  2. Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site
  3. The Cotswolds Area of Natural Beauty
  4. The Mendips Area of Natural Beauty
  5. Dorset Area of Natural Beauty
  6. Cranborne Chase Area of Natural Beauty
  7. South Downs National Park

Note – The Monarch’s Way books suggest that the route goes through six AONBs. As far as I can see, that is not correct, it only touches four, but it does come close to two others (Blackdown Hills and East Devon).

My seven best days on the Monarch’s Way

  1. Walk 1 – Powick to Fernhill Heath – Starting at the ancient Powick Bridge, passing through the main battlefield of the Battle of Worcester, seeing Worcester cathedral, vising the Commandery, lunch at the King Charles House and leaving the city along the Worcester Birmingham canal. What a start to the walk!
  2. Walk 8 – Berkbury to Boscobel – final day of the Boscobel Loop and visit to the most famous house of the escape, where we saw the priest-hole and son of Royal Oak. The evening in Ironbridge was memorable for Colin’s adventures and the Pondicherry Restaurant, housed in what used to be Ironbridge Police Station.
  3. Walk 11- Bentley Hall to Bumble Hole – a walk exploring the Industrial Past of the Black Country as seen from the canal. The walk ended with a 1.7 mile trek through the amazing Netherton Tunnel. Afterwards, a pilgrimage to the famous Netherton brew-pub, the Old White Swan, aka Ma Pardoe’s.
  4. Walk 26 – Upton Cheney to Bristol Harbour – Great stretch along the Bristol Avon and then a wonderful ferry trip across Bristol Floating Harbour. Much fun was had.
  5. Walk 32 – South Cadbury to Mudford – Memorable for a personally arranged visit to Trent manor, the very heart of the escape journey.
  6. Walk 37 – Bridport to Broadwindsor – a journey across Dorset that had the same start and end points as the desperate one one made by Charles and his party after the Charmouth fiasco with Parliamentarians never far away. Some wonderful views of Thomas Hardy country especially from Pilsdon Pen hillfort.
  7. Walk 50 – Old Winchester Hill to Hambledon – for me, an unforgettable visit to Broadhalfpenny Down, home of the ancient Hambledon Cricket Club where we played a mini-game of cricket. And later finding the much-neglected King’s Cottage where Charles may have spent his last full night in England before his escape.

Some waterways on the route

  1. River Teme
  2. River Severn (Worcester, again near Madeley)
  3. Wesley Brook / River Worfe,
  4. Droitwich Canal
  5. Stourbridge Canal
  6. River Stour
  7. Staffs & Worcs Canal
  8. Shropshire Union Canal
  9. Wyrley and Essington Canal (Curly Wyrley)
  10. Walsall canal
  11. Birmingham Main Line canal
  12. Netherton Tunnel branch canal
  13. Dudley number 2 canal (part-derelict)
  14. Worcester Birmingham canal
  15. Warwickshire Avon
  16. River Windrush
  17. River Coln
  18. River Churn
  19. Thames & Severn canal (derelict)
  20. River Boyd
  21. Bristol Avon
  22. River Char
  23. River Brit
  24. River Cale
  25. Salisbury Avon
  26. River Bourne
  27. River Test
  28. River Itchen
  29. River Arun
  30. River Adur (Bramber, again Shoreham)

Some places to visit on or near the route

  1. The Commardery at Worcester
  2. Harvington Hall (Historic House)
  3. White Ladies Priory (English Heritage – ruins)
  4. Boscobel House (NT)
  5. Ironbridge Gorge and museums
  6. All Nation’s Inn, Madeley – one of just four home-brew houses which survived into the 1970s
  7. Moseley Old Hall (NT)
  8. Old Swan Inn, Netherton – aka Ma Pardoe’s – another of the four home-brew houses which survived into the 1970s
  9. Black Country Museum
  10. Hidcote Manor (NT)
  11. Kiftsgate Court Gardens (Historic Houses)
  12. Chedworth Roman Villa (NT)
  13. Westonbirt Arboretum
  14. Bristol Floating Harbour (ferry trip recommended)
  15. Old Leigh Court ruins
  16. Trent Manor (not open to the public, view from outside)
  17. Bishop’s Palace Garden, Wells (Historic Houses)
  18. Cadbury Castle
  19. TS Elliot memorial (East Coker)
  20. Montacute House (NT)
  21. Heale Gardens (Historic Houses)
  22. Mottisfont Abbey (NT)
  23. Old Winchester Hill
  24. Broadhalfpenny Down Cricket Field and Bat and Ball Inn, near Hambledon
  25. King’s Rest Cottage, Hambledon
  26. Goodwood Racecourse
  27. Arundel Castle (Historic Houses)
  28. Bramber Castle (ruins)
  29. St Mary’s House, Bramber
  30. Brighton Pavilion

Bold means connected to the escape

Other routes walked by our group

  1. Diamond Way
  2. Cotswold Way
  3. Three Choirs Way
  4. Clarendon Way
  5. Gloucestershire Way
  6. Mortimer Way
  7. Donnington Way
  8. West Mendip Way
  9. St Kenelm’s Trail