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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Saturday Walk - The Malvern Hills from Great Malvern (Great Malvern Circular)

Length: 20.6 km (12.8 mi) [shorter and longer versions possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  1035m; Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ¾ hours
Toughness:  10 out of 10 

The walk starts at the train station at 10.10 for people already there, or at 11.05 for anyone travelling up from London on the day.
From the direction of Worcester take the 09.47 Great Malvern train from Worcester Shrub Hill (calls Foregate Street, Malvern Link), arrives Great Malvern 10.05.
Form the direction of Hereford take the 09.39 Birmingham New Street train (Ledbury 09.58, Colwall 10.05), arrives Great Malvern 10.10.
From London take the 08.22 Hereford train from Paddington (Slough 08.38, Reading 08.54), arrives Great Malvern 11.03. With a Network Railcard (valid to Worcester Stations), buy split tickets (unless you have secured a cheap Advance Ticket).

(Direct) Return trains: 17.45, 18.32, 20.53 (from 162 mins). There are also several indirect, and often cheaper options. Or stay in the area for Sunday’s walk. Convenient accommodation is available along the train line in Evesham, Pershore, Worcester, Great Malvern, Colwall, Ledbury and Hereford (only Worcester and Great Malvern are convenient though for the Sunday morning train).

“The Malvern Hills stand majestically above the Severn Plain in Worcestershire and the rolling wooded hills of Herefordshire, offering far reaching panoramic views across a variety of landscapes from a multitude of viewpoints. The area is famed for its steep dramatic hills rising out of flat vales and for the pure spring water that flows from them, but it also offers a rich cultural heritage of forts, castles and priories in a landscape of ancient woodland, rolling pastures and wild, open commons.
The circular route rises through the town past all important landmarks and ascends the famous 99 Steps to St. Ann’s Well, but then heads southerly, mostly through ancient woodlands along the foot of the hills, to lunch. It then rises up through the mid slopes of scrub, grass, rock and bracken, first to the Herefordshire Beacon and then returns along the top of the ridge via the Worcestershire Beacon to Great Malvern, with its grassy commons maintained by livestock grazing, in places with Bilberry and Common Heather.”

Walk Options:
Taxi from the station  to Wyche Cutting/The Wyche Inn or The Malvern Hills Hotel/British Camp (£7/£12 resp., taxis usually on stand, else try: 01684 578 749 or 07730 573 738).
Bus 44B to/from Wyche Cutting and British Camp (hourly, from near the station).
Bus 675 to/from Wyche Cutting (from outside The Mount Pleasant Hotel, 1.5 km into the walk).
Outward and return route are never far from each other (if mostly at much different height), therefore there are several ways to pick up the return route to Great Malvern earlier than described:
· at the Gold Mine stone dial (7.9 km/4.9 mi, 457m ascent, 3/10);
· at the Wyche Cutting/The Wyche Inn (9.1 km/5.6 mi, 519m ascent, 4/10);
· at The Malvern Hills Hotel (17.2 km/10.7 mi, 884m ascent, 9/10).

Finish at The Malvern Hills Hotel after going up to British Camp and take the 44B bus back (12.9 km/8.0 mi, 737m ascent, 7/10).
An Extension to the four northerly tops adds 2.0 km/1.2 mi and 111m ascent.

Elenvenses/Lunch/Tea en route/Tea in Great Malvern: Plentyful options. Check the webpage or the pdf for details.  
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files  click here. T=swc.324


David Colver said...

Is there any connection between this area and Elgar? I have long wanted to see the area he lived in.

Walker said...

There absolutely is, yes. This is the area he loved and mostly lived in. The landscape is the one his music describes and encapsulates. Elgar himself once claimed that much of his music came from walking and cycling around the area and writing down the sounds he heard. He lived in various places in the area (particularly in Worcester) and there is even an Elgar Birthplace Museum - though I would warm you he only lived there till he was two, so the influence on him of that particular location can’t have been that great!

Thomas G said...

Elgar's statue is passed early on: see the last para on page 5 of the pdf

Thomas G said...

Due to a change of plan for one walker, a couple of cheap Advance tickets for the 19.12 return train on Sunday are available (£20.00 for two). They are only valid though with a Two Together-Card and for two people travelling together! If interested, send an email to me (if you have my address) or to saturdaywalkersatyahoodotcodotuk

Thomas G said...

So there it was: the easiest accessible ridge walk in Britain (possibly). In weather much improved from yesterday, namely w=dry-with-sunny-periods.
22 at the station, 3 picked up higher up in Gt. Malvern near their hotel/bus drop off, 1 starting early straight from his hotel and 2 up from London on a later train. N=28
The sightseeing bit at the start of the route seemed to be appreciated by the masses, as was the first bit of ascent out of town to St. Ann's Wells. We then contoured the ridge half-way up it, mainly under tree cover, past the odd viewpoint, quarry or hidden lake, a bit of ridge walking with views of hills to climb later, and the Holy Well. Some stopped at the lunch pub at its first passing, reasoning that the loop up to Herefordshire Beacon and back down was unnecessary as we'd be up there tomorrow anyway, but most took the time.
Fine views were the just reward, as it would be the case from the following tops, to The Black Mountains across Herefordshire, and into the Severn Plain and to The Cotswolds on the other side.
About half the group walked the northerly extension to End Hill and North Hill, towering over Great Malvern. Drinks were in order at The Red Lion after the descent.