Sunday, 22 August 2010

#112 - Malvern Hills

On top of Herefordshire Beacon
I have wanted to visit the Malvern Hills for a couple of years, and, thanks to my friends Lynn and Paul, I got the chance to plan a walk for them this weekend.

We started from Hollybush, and it wasn't long before the inevitable rain began. The route would take us north along the base of the Malvern Hills, before climbing up on to the ridge and returning south.

The northward journey was a lot trickier than I expected. I won't lie, I am not a fan of navigating paths in woodland, and on this walk, there was a lot of it! Mindful of some shoddy navigating on a couple of recent occasions in wooded areas, I took particular care and avoided any wrong turns.

Despite being under cover, we were getting soaked; the paths were overgrown and before too long it was too late to don the waterproof over trousers. We stopped at Upper Colwall, for lunch, sheltering under a tree. Unfortunately, the persistant rain had, by now, worked its way through the canopy so it wasn't much of a respite.

Given the weather, we cut the walk short of the Worcestershire Beacon, and headed straight up the hill from our lunch stop, to the Shire Ditch. On top of the ridge, the rain stopped, and we turned south, Worcestershire below us, to our left, Herefordshire to our right.

We did have one more downpour, and a particularly bracing one given we were exposed to a strengthening wind, but it didn't last too long, and was quite exhilerating. Soon afterwards, we were sweltering in the humidity.

British Camp, an Iron Age Hill Fort
We soon reached British Camp, a massive Iron Age hill fort and the location of Herefordshire Beacon. The views were excellent, the Malvern Hills weren't disappointing!

Down off Swinyard Hill, we followed a road around to the last climb, up to Midsummer Hill and another hill fort, this one not as exposed as British Camp, hidden away amongst the woodland that surrounded it. There wasn't any breeze to cool us on this ascent, and the top was a welcome sight. Amongst the trees, we spotted the path down, and within fifteen minutes, we had returned to the car.

All in all, a great walk, with different aspects to it; woodland paths, short but steep ascents, lofty views and bags of history. I'll definitely be back to complete the entire length, hopefully with some better weather!

For more on the Malvern Hills visit http://www.malvernhills.org.uk/

  • Date: 21/08/10
  • Region: The Malvern Hills
  • Status: Member
  • Description: Hollybush - News Wood - Evendine - Pinnacle Hill - Upper Colwall - Shire Ditch - Jubilee Hill - Herefordshire Beacon - Swinyard Hill - Midsummer Hill - Hollybush - Rain, wind, 16.5km, 5.5 hours
  • Type of Walk: Personal Walking