Thursday, 13 April 2017

A Meander in the Malverns II : Worcestershire Beacon and North Hill

Having glimpsed - but not climbed - the steepest street in England the week before last, we were now confronted with the second steepest - Old Wyche Road beween Lower Wyche and Upper Wyche, en route for the top of the Malvern Hills. We opted to drive to the pub in Upper Wyche instead.

Though the food's bog-standard, and a brick-coloured carpet with burgundy upholstery is always going to be challenging, the Wyche Inn serves Robinsons cider from Tenbury Wells and has amazing views, which make up for its shortcomings. 
With lunch weighing heavily on my digestive system, we headed up through the village, which straddles the border between Worcestershire and Herefordshire ... 

... taking, wherever possible, the road less travelled by, though there were people all over the place. This is no Dartmoor. 

Nor had we cut out all the climbing. Here is Summer Hill. 

Ravens over Herefordshire

Up ahead, Worcestershire Beacon, whence you can see - it is said - thirteen counties, three cathedrals and the Bristol Channel.

When we got there, we had a little sit down ... 

... and a scratch. 

I'd remembered the binoculars for once and the views were superb. 

Looking ahead to Ludlow and Wenlock Edge ... 

... over Great Malvern to Worcester, the magnificently named Lickey Hills and beyond there, somewhere, Birmingham ... 

...  to Bredon Hill and the Cotswolds ... 

... and to the Bristol Channel and Black Mountains of Wales.

In the middle distance our destination - North Hill. Sugar Loaf Hill, in front and to the left, wasn't on the route I'd printed off the internet, but there was a group of adolescent ravens mucking about above it so that was a good enough reason to detour. 

This is the view looking back at Worcestershire Beacon ...
... and ahead the wide col between Table Hill and North Hill. I'm supposed to be making for this, if I can get past the other one.   

On the wide col, I remembered that the purse I'd left in the car because I didn't need money out on the hills also contained my spare camera batteries. But once we'd knocked off both hills, we'd done it - the way back was via the undulating paths around their sides. 

And anyway, I still had my phone.  This is Great Malvern from North Hill. 

By now the sun was beginning to sink in the west, illuminating the trees dressed in their shifts of a thousand different greens. 

'C'mon, Deb, it's time to go home.'

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