Monday, 19 March 2018

Walking the Malverns.

The Malvern hills had been on Mike's to do list for some time. Finally he found time for a few days to visit and invited me along. On the Monday morning we headed off down the A1 in atrocious conditions, with heavy rain and poor visibility. For once we were glad that instead of our normal routine of camping, we had opted to stay at a Travelodge. There was little difference cost wise and, given the conditions, much more comfy.

 Much to our relief, Tuesday turned out to be dry and in fact was quite pleasant. With the car parked at Upper Wyche, we made our way up to Worcestershire Beacon. A chilly wind but all round panoramic views.
A chilly trig point.
Steady descents and ascents on mainly hard paths led us over to Sugar Loaf hill and North Hill. There are a plethora of paths covering the Malverns and it can prove a wee bit tricky to ensure that one is on the desired route.
Fortunately we avoided going astray and contoured around the hills back toward the car park.
.Continuing down past the car park and across the road, a quick dash in to the public loos and then a steady ascent upwards to Perseverance Hill and then a high ridge walk, taking in Jubilee Hill, Pinnacle and Black Hills. For a weekday there where a fair number of folk out and about. In one area we passed through a small herd of Dexter cattle being used for conservation purposes. They appeared surprisingly placid as we passed through them.
Looking back I was a little surprised to see a woman approach one of the beasts, throw her arms around its neck and give it a hug. The animal stoically remained unmoved by such behavior. Maybe it is a local thing and the cattle are accustomed to being hugged?
We turned at Black Hill to head back. A short but rather uphill bit had me stopping at a convenient  bench for a breather and meds.Once again we followed a path that undulated around the hillsides passing through steeply wooded slopes to arrive back at our starting point.
Wednesday was windier but remained dry There was a cafe at British Camp by the car park, here we enjoyed a bacon butty before setting off. A slow, steady plod led us up Herefordshire Beacon and the hill fort. It had been a suggestion that this was the scene of the last stand by King Caractacus. However, it appears that there is no evidence of any battle here. It is now accepted that the hill fort was abandoned and king Caractacus  toddled off elsewhere.
The wind was strong on the top and we did not linger long.
 Steady walking took us onward to Hangman's Hill.
Mistletoe on an ancient blackthorn bush.
A long descent and then around to Gullet quarry which displays some fascinating bands of differing rock layers.
 Gullet quarry, swimming strictly forbidden!
. A very wet path led up up through the woods to join the track leading up to Midsummer Hill. A pause for a spot of lunch and Mike nipped off to visit a nearby obelisk. Wanting to reserve a wee bit of energy, I sat and waited for him.
Midsummer hill fort is ancient and encompassed a large area. Archaeological surveys indicate it was violently destroyed in AD 48.
A long, steady descent led us down to Hollybush. Mike had his eye on Ragged  Stone Hill. It was just a quick up and back. Looking at the steep path I once again opted to wait that one out.
Minor roads, footpaths and bridleways led us back to British Camp and the carpark The steep uphill bit by the reservoir was a little sting in the tail!
A pleasant two days. The Malverns, despite being highly popular, offer some grand walking with many places to explore and wander.There are plenty of contours but nothing extremely steep.

 Looking out over the Severn valley.


6 comments:

Geoff Crowther said...

That sounded a very pleasant little sojourn Dawn.

Dawn Linney said...

It was indeed Geoff.

surfnslide said...

Hills from my childhood (I grew up in the West Midlands) and I've walked these hills many times. Glad you enjoyed them, the views are spectacular although they are very busy in the warmer months. That quarry is a very well known local swimming spot and everyone ignores the no swimming signs. The water is always very cold but its a fine place for a dip on a hot day

Dawn Linney said...

They are indeed fine hills Andy.

AlanR said...

Good to see you out and about Dawn. Just shows how expensive some campsites are getting when it’s almost as cheap to stay in a hotel.

Dawn Linney said...

So true Alan, mind, travel lodge is another form of the cheap motel.