Sunday, 2 January 2011

A Boxing Day hill walk

With all the hustle and bustle of cooking Christmas dinner over, I decided that early boxing day morning was going to be set aside for a walk over the Malvern Hills. The weather on my phone looked promising, with a clear sky all night predicted and a cold, dry morning. The Midlands were still steeped in several inches of snow and I'd checked the moon tables and knew there would be a half moon still in sky at sun rise.

For Christmas and new year I stayed with my family in Worcester, it's only a few miles drive from Malvern, and I left well before first light.   I did wonder how far I would be able to take my car before being stopped by snow as the smaller roads on the hills had not been gritted. My car crawled round a sharp right turn and up the steep, ice covered road leading to the Clock Tower car park in north Malvern.  I couldn't get into the car park because of snow so parked in the street.

I began climbing the hills and night turned into dawn.  Looking west towards south Wales, the landscape was a wonderful patchwork quilt of snow and hedges.

Fog quickly covered the flood plains, towns and villages below, drifting like cotton wool sheets above the landscape and softening the light, distant hill tops pocked through the clouds.  The colours were so soft and subtle with light reflecting off the white snow and fog covering the rising sun.

 The Malvern Hills are an eight mile ridge of rounded summits that contain some of the oldest rocks in Britain, wooded on some slopes, grassy on others, the ridge runs from north to south. The highest point being Worcestershire Beacon at 1400ft aprox (425m). To the west lies the County of Hereford and to the east lies the flood plain of the River Severn.

From the top of the highest hill, Worcestershire Beacon, looking towards south Wales.

Looking East at the fog layer above the flood plains

Descending the north side of Worcestershire Beacon on the way back to the car, the fog began to lift and the gathering clouds threatened rain.

Between Table Hill and North Hill

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