I keep wondering if I have forgotten something important for Christmas as I seem to have lots of wonderful luxurious free time this week. After surviving the annual brussel sprout scrum in the supermarket it struck me that there was a beautiful blue sky and the view of the hills from my kitchen window was very enticing. Time to tick off another hill for my Malvern Hills Challenge and maybe work off the mince pies I have already consumed.
I’m not approaching the challenge with any sort of plan. I just set off, park the car in one of the car parks and see where my feet take me. Today, I dug out my new walking boots – well they were new some 4 years ago but today I actually wore them. I parked up at Gardiner’s Quarry and followed the path upwards. I quickly reached the first peak (top photo) and despite the wind blowing a gale and my fingers feeling like ice cubes I decided to see if I could cross off a second summit.
As you can see the second summit wasn’t too far so very doable. This is Pinnacle Hill which is 357m (1171ft) above sea level. It was an easy walk, although I needed my beanie and hood up because of the wind and cold – probably around 5C (41F)
There’s not much to tell you about Pinnacle Hill except there are two possible Bronze age burrows on the summit and breathtaking views in all directions across to the Bredons in East and the Black Hills of Wales to the West.
The summit you can see in the distance is the Beacon which I haven’t ticked off my list yet but it is the one hill that I have been up a number of times over the years. The yellow sticks you can see to the left of the photo are an electric fence which is there to control the sheep. The Malverns have been grazed by livestock, generally sheep and cattle, for centuries with the exception of when foot and mouth was prevalent. This being the case walkers are used to having to negotiate gates and keeping their dogs on leads in prescribed areas.
So having done two summits, why not do another one and in my sights is the lowest of the three hills you can see above. This is Jubilee Hill, beyond is Perseverance Hill and then the Beacon. As you can see the Malverns benefit from well established paths so any one can easily access them.
Jubilee Hill was named in 2002 by the Malvern Conservators to mark the Queens Golden Jubilee, and the plaque was unveiled by the Duke of York. The hill is 327m (1073ft) above sea level.
Having reached the top of Jubilee Hill I pondered continuing to Perseverance Hill but decided that it was probably a little ambitious given this was the first real exercise I had done since October. Hopefully sometime in the next week there will be another dry day and I can tick Perseverance off the list.
On my return home I consulted my map of the hills and was disappointed to discover that the first summit is not one of the named hills so instead of crossing 3 off the list, I have only crossed 2 off. In fact it is the only unnamed hill on the map below and I feel quite cheated! There are 16 named hills plus this one, so I have 10 to complete if I want to complete the challenge my son has made of go to the top of all the hills in a year. The deadline is the 29th May 2016 and if I am really lucky he will take me to try to spot some glow worms that he knows the location of somewhere on the hills.
You can access my other reports here