I love the Malvern Hills, particularly the walk from British Camp south towards Midsummer Hill. The huge skies, far-reaching views and complete serenity, particularly early on a Sunday morning are the things that make my heart sing and recharge me.
Over a year ago my eldest set me the challenge to walk to the top of all the individual peaks. I have done the majority and I think the only real summit left outstanding is Midsummer Hill. I have stopped deliberately checking the hills off as the challenge has had the wonderful effect of making the hills familiar to me and giving me a new way to de-stress. I nearly got lost today as I was day dreaming so much that I came to the edge of a hill and realised that there was no path to take me forward. I had strayed to the side much to the entertainment of a chap feeding his dog blackberries (!) who pointed out the path to me – we agreed that the reason we were on the top of the hills was to forget everything.
I have found this last year or so that gardening is no longer the thing that I turn to to relax. I suspect that it has become a victim of over blogging. When you are conscious that you writing about something on a regular basis you start to feel a pressure to have something interesting to write about and then you lose your enjoyment, as my son said today the garden and blogging had become a job not relaxation. So of course writing about my walks could be a dangerous thing as I don’t want the same thing to happen. However, I did write about gardening on the blog for some 9 years at least 3 times a week so I think I have a way to go before there is a problem.
This morning the grass was thick with dew which in the early morning light looked like jewels. In fact the grass in the photo above looked like some unusual flower from a distance and it wasn’t until I got close that I realised the ‘flowers’ were in fact dew drops. Walking first thing or in the evening means that I often feel like I have the hills to myself and the wildlife is around before it goes quite in the heat of the day. Today, I enjoyed watching stonechats and at the furthest point of my walk I sat on the top of the hill while house martins swooped around me feeding before they migrate south.
You can see how strong the sun was even first thing; wonderful after the grey and wet day yesterday. I think, from the lack of buildings, that this view is looking out towards Herefordshire. I love the feeling of being on top of the world you get when you can see so far into the distant.
The view back from where I started – my car is just over the hill in the distance and part way down the other side. One of the things that are great about the Malverns is that you have areas which are open and grazed and other parts that are very wooded, so lots of variety of habitat. To get from British Camp, that you can see in the distance, to this point, you dip down and walk through a wooded valley before climbing up again on a very rocky path
And this is the view from lower down British Camp towards the point of the photo above (they should really be the other way round). If you look very carefully at the wooded hill in the distance (Midsummer Hill) you can see a brown mark and that is the summit that I walked to today – it doesn’t have a name. Midsummer Hill is the last one I really want to climb and my eldest is going to do that one with me as he says it is quite steep and the paths aren’t that clear.
However, I’m not in a hurry as I have found my favourite walks depending on my mood and how far I want to walk. I can’t believe how lucky I am to live within minutes of these beautiful hills.