At CheapTents.com we are always interested to hear from walkers, climbers and campers about what they have been doing and where they have been enjoying the outdoors. For example, Freddy Phillips recently got in touch with details about his wild camping expeditions. In this post, Steve Dempster praises his favourite walking destination: The Malvern Hills.
The Malvern Hills
– The Heart Of England’s Best Feature!
The Malvern Hills straddle the border between Worcestershire and Herefordshire, running in an almost perfect North-South line for some nine miles. Though of relatively modest height – The Worcestershire Beacon is just under 1,400 feet – and virtually surrounded by the town of Malvern and villages such as Colwall, there is a surprising feeling of remoteness once the ascent begins.
Most people visiting the hills for the first time opt for the swift ascent of The Worcestershire Beacon (aka Great Malvern) from Wyche cutting car park. This is a walk for everyone as the path is wide and even and – for the greatest part – tarmac-surfaced! This affords great access for those less able and to get a wheelchair to the top is fairly easy. If you like birds, from here are regularly seen Stonechat, Ravens and even guided-missile-like Peregrine Falcons.
At one time a cafe stood at the top of The Worcestershire Beacon – now long gone – and the only signs of man now there are the Trig. point and the splendid topgraph. To the North lies Worcester, Birmingham and the towering bulk of Shropshire’s Clee Hills. To the South, the ridge of the Malverns stretches away with the Cotswolds Scarp off to the South-East and the Severn in the remote distance (on a good day you can easily see Cheltenham). To the East lies the Severn plain, with Bredon Hill in the mid-ground, last outlier of the Cotswolds – The Malverns are a totally different geological formation, being some 400 million years old. There’s the often-quoted fact that there is no higher ground than the Worcestershire Beacon lying due East – until you get to the Ural mountains. No wonder it’s windy! Then the West – a stunning and far-reaching view over the Hereford landscape and on into Wales and the Black Mountains.
There’s More to The Malverns!
For many people that’s as far as they will ever go – and you really can’t blame them. Yet the Malverns have so much more to show – little-used paths along their flanks, a deer park at the Southern end, secretive woods carpeted with bluebells in spring and much more. And don’t forget the Malvern Springs! Bottled at Colwall, Malvern Water is famous world-wide – and yet there are a number of spouts along the Western flanks of the hills where the water is free for the taking.
To sum up, a visit to the Heart of England would really not be complete without a visit to the Malvern Hills. So why not pay them a visit? If you are looking for further information about walks on the hills or places to stay, do drop in on my website at http://www.countrywalkers.co.uk (update 12/07/18 – this website is no longer live) – it’s got several great Malvern walks on it that you’re free to print off as you like!
Your Favourite Walk?
Thank you Steve for your insight into the Malvern Hills. If you think that you are not familiar with the Malverns, you may be wrong! If you have ever driven along the M5 motorway south of Worcester the profile of the Malvern Hills can be seen dominating the Western Horizon and is an inspiring view.