20 of us arrived at the Abbey Hotel on the Sunday afternoon where we met our leader, Veronica, for our holiday in the Malvern Hills. The Abbey is situated in the centre of Malvern close to the shops, abbey and museum. The hotel was excellent with pleasant staff, good food, hot water and nice rooms. Malvern is hilly but the views from the hotel over the plain below were superb.
As the walking was going to be fairly strenuous we agreed that we would keep the mileage to 8 per day which we stuck to apart from the Tuesday. The walks mainly followed the Geopark Way. On the first day, Monday, we were taken by coach to a lovely village with a nice little shop and cafe. We walked back to Malvern through farmland and vineyards. It was on the way back that Gail spotted the Grand Design house, which happened to be on TV that night.
The next day we went out of the hotel and straight up to St Anne’s Well which was a considerable climb then slowly made our way to the Worcester beacon which I think is the highest point on the Malvern Hills. Denise and Roger had decided to take the easier route up, they beat us and were waiting for us at the beacon. After coffee we descended to The Wyche which was the cut off point for those that wanted to do less walking. At this point Denise, Roger, Carol and Bob went to the cafe which was shut so they ended up in the pub. No surprise there! The rest of us continued on to the end of that section of the hills. Penny and Richard continued up to the British Camp, an old iron age fort. The rest of us took it easy, had our lunch and ice cream from the cafe.
On the Wednesday we boarded the coach to The Wyche. It was a reasonably sunny day. The destination was Ledbury, again following the Geopack route through farmland and lovely villages. Having climbed over numerous awful stiles we reached the trig point on the top of the hill where we had lunch. Again the views were spectacular. We eventually reached Ledbury where we had time for coffee and a quick look round the town before the coach picked us up.
Our last day’s walking was again spectacular. The coach dropped us of at Ledbury where Veronica led some of us on an historic walk round the old town. We then had time for coffee before setting of on our walk. Although the distance was 7.5 miles it was quite a strenuous walk. It was a substantial climb out of Ledbury but once we got to the top the route down to Eastnor was fairly easy. We did not have time to see the privately owned castle but continued into the park where we had lunch by the pond. Unfortunately it decided to rain and we were eating our sandwiches under the trees trying to keep dry. Eventually the rain stopped, we commenced the long climb through the park up to the monument. What views, every day fantastic views. After a photo stop we set off in the sun but we could see the rain clouds gathering. It was rain gear on, rain gear off. We made our way towards Chace End Hill, our last hill of the holiday, which we could see in the distance. We passed through a lovely little village with” stocks” set into the ground. We then commenced a long climb up the hill. It didn’t seem too bad until the last 50 feet or so. We needed crampons but we all made it and wow was it worth it. The views were amazing. We spent some time taking photos, resting, looking at the views then gently made our way down. We continued along the lane to the village church to await the coach.
It was a wonderful holiday, everyone seemed to enjoy it, it’s just a gorgeous area for walking.