Home > A first-hand experience of the UK’s only Blossom Trail via the Springtime in the Vale coach tour
Worcestershire’s Vale and Spa is renowned for its wonderful blossom which spans the Vale of Evesham. Having heard stories about the vibrant pink and white flowers and being told it’s the UK’s only blossom trail (yes really!), I was keen to embark on the Springtime in the Vale Coach Tour with Royal Motorways to see it for myself.
On a brisk, bright and beautiful spring morning I set off from The Valley (which is located on the A46 just outside Evesham) with several other excited passengers. There was a buzz in the air and our tour guide, Helen, was good humoured joking “you have seen some blossom now, so you can’t ask for your money back” as we passed the first blossom tree on our way out of the carpark.
After leaving The Valley, we headed through Badsey and Wickhamford on our way to the stunning Cotswold village of Broadway. This short part of the tour took us through smaller villages and here we were able to see some lovely thatched cottages and trees full of blossom. These cottages were amazing to see – having grown up in a larger town, these aren’t something I see often.
We then journeyed up old Fish Hill and turned around at the turnpike. This gave me an opportunity to take a video of Broadway High Street. A few of the buildings on the High Street were covered in wisteria, and the perfume scent filled my nose as I walked by. We had a 1-hour coffee break in the village, allowing time for us to look around, grab a coffee, snack and take a toilet break. I headed straight to Tisanes Tea Rooms as I was looking forward to trying one of their many varieties of flavoured tea. I had a delightful mango-flavoured loose tea and it warmed me up instantly. There was a variety of cake on display which was very tempting, but I managed to resist. After exploring Broadway’s quirky independent shops such as Sew U Knit and Tea Ink, we jumped back on the coach.
Next, we headed through smaller villages Overbury, Beckford and Eckington and made our way up Bredon Hill where we learnt the meaning behind the name. ‘Bredon Hill’ is made up of three different languages; ‘hill’ and ‘bre’ is of a Celtic origin and ‘don’ is olde English, therefore meaning ‘hill hill hill’. On this stretch of the journey, we saw many orchards packed with plum trees. The plum blossom had sprinkled off the trees, giving way to beautiful green leaves. Our tour guide told us in the coming months lots of workers will pick the plums off the trees ready for the Pershore Plum Festival in August. We weren’t disappointed with the green leaves because there was still a lot of apple blossom out for everyone to enjoy. On the way to Pershore we drove over Eckington Bridge which provided an outstanding view up and down the Avon. This is a popular spot for canoers and paddleboarders in the summer.
Once we arrived in Pershore we hopped off in the retail market carpark ready for a two-hour lunch break and was greeted by a photographer who took pictures of us, making many of us feel like celebrities. To get to the town we walked through the market, which was full of local goodies like cakes, pasties, meats, cheeses and vegetables. By this point my stomach was rumbling and being conscious not to spoil my lunch at Sugar N’ Spice I bought a cake to put away for later. Of course, the market has more than just food! An array of scents filled my nose as I took in sights of furniture, tools and sweets. The market has everything you could possibly need.
Coming out the market the bright sun warmed my face as we made our way past Asda down the High Street towards Sugar N’ Spice, a homely café with lots of tables both inside and out. Each table is named after a village within the vicinity of Pershore, ours was called Peopleton, a special touch which made me feel like I was still exploring the district. The menu had lots of options, from eggs on toast to a curry. I had the vegetable soup which was homemade and far superior to any soup I have had recently. The service was excellent and the staff were very accommodating. After lunch, we walked around the town to do a spot of shopping. Pershore has a brilliant selection of independent shops from homeware stores and crystal shops to ladieswear and a bright pink art gallery. Our next stop was K&J Mason and Daughters greengrocers to pick up some fresh vegetables – nothing beats fresh local produce! You can learn more about shopping in Pershore by reading our blog.
Back on the coach, we started the last part of the journey back to The Valley in Evesham. We travel through the Combertons and Cropthorne on the way to Fladbury. Each of these villages are quaint, they have a mix of new build and older thatched cottages. En route, we drove over the Jubilee Bridge in Fladbury, which was built in 1887 to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, again this bridge offers amazing views of the River Avon. From here you can see Cropthorne Mill, a fantastic grade II listed historical building; built in the 18th century, the mill has been in the Barrow Cadbury family for over 150 years. There are two mills along this section of the River Avon: Cropthorne Mill and Fladbury Mill.
We then headed up into the Lenches. There are five villages all with Lench in their name: Rous Lench, Abbots Lench, Atch Lench, Church Lench and Sherrifs Lench. An interesting fact we learnt on tour was the word Lench actually comes from an Anglo-Saxon word ‘Litch’ meaning ‘rising ground, hill’. Each of these are high above ground level and offer stunning views of the villages below, making them the perfect place for pictures. The Lenches provide many opportunities to see blossom and lots of beautiful houses, including Rous Lench court. This was owned by the Rous family in the 16th century, however very little of the 16th century house still exists as at the end of the 20th century the house and gardens were renovated.
We finished our journey back at The Valley with an hour left for more shopping. I was delighted with this! I went into most of the shops, The Works and Blue Diamond garden centre were my favourites, I bought some new books for my friends baby and some plants for my sister. Everybody felt they had a fantastic day out. I learned so much from the coach trip and had lots of fun socialising with other passengers and taking in the beautiful blossom. I can’t wait to go on the next coach trip.
Read more about The Blossom Trail and learn about the different varieties and ways of viewing them.
The next royal motorways / Wychavon coach trip is 12 May and is the Asparabus Coach Tour. To book, phone Royal Motorways on 01527 376098. See you there!