Offlist Walk: Malvern (Worcestershire Beacon & North Hill)

18 08 2010
18th August 2010
with Matt, Mat & Ruth
3.8 miles
Explorer 190 (Malvern Hills & Bredon Hill)
Warm, sunny then very wet

View west from Worcestershire Beacon

I travelled down to Worcestershire for the day to spend a little time with some ‘old’ friends from my teenage years. We met up in Worcester but then drove down to Malvern for a short walk. After trying a few car-parks, some narrow lanes, and a dead end – we eventually came to Earnslaw carpark on Wyche Road (B4218), just to the south of the Worcestershire Beacon.

There had been a couple of short but sharp showers on the drive from Worcester, and the weather continued to change quickly; as we were getting ready we all put on soft shells only to take them off two minutes later – partly as the sun had come out, and partly because we were immediately climbing. After a small climb we joined the main path that crosses the Malverns at a mock capped mineshaft labelled the ‘Gold Mine’, apparently gold was discovered here – but in ridiculously small quantities. We headed north as the path rose gently towards the beacon.

North Hill (from the Worcestershire Beacon)

Shortly after the path began to rise more steeply, and it was with some relief that I realised that Mat was almost as out of shape as me! Near the top we had a bit of a rest and then after that a slow but steady trudge to the top was possible. The view here was excellent, particularly towards Hereford and the Black Mountains, the only downside to which was that we could see heavy rain in the distance, headed our way.

We drop down from the Beacon and head across to North Hill. As we reach the steep ascent Mat and I are a bit cleverer than we had been on the previous hill, there’s no point trying to keep up with Matt & Ruth – so we go at our own pace and manage to get to the top without stopping. We don’t have time to enjoy the view as the wind has picked up and the sky darkens ominously, we descend quickly down the easter side of the hill, finding a rough path that eventually wends through the bracken onto one of the main paths – at which point the heavens open. My waterproof jacket helps a little, but it’s so warm that I’m quickly just as wet with sweat as I would have been with rain (apologies for the lovely image!)

Rainbow over Great Malvern

We walk back across the shoulder of the Beacon to avoid another climb and retrace our steps back to the ‘Gold Mine’. Along the way we see a half-rainbow over Great Malvern. We accidentally take a different route back down to the carpark via a steep path with some handy wooden and stone steps. Back at the car I remove the waterproof jacket and am informed that I am literally steaming!

All in all a good walk – but would have been so much better had it been dryer, and had I been a little fitter.



One response

21 08 2010
Matt Arnold

In your first photo, you can see the rain hitting the ground as it comes in ;D

A great walk – and a great write up.


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