Malvern Hills

Blow away the cobwebs on an invigorating walk to the highest point of the Malvern Hills

They may be only 8 miles long, but what the Malvern Hills lack in scale they make up for in drama. These steep-sided hills are an awe-inspiring sight, looming large over the spa town of Great Malvern. Pure spring water flows from the hills and the various springs and wells that line the hillsides are fascinating to explore. 
From the tourist information centre, climb steps past a statue of composer Edward Elgar to Belle Vue Island, a terrace of shops. Just below the last few steps look out for Malvhina, a decorated public spring where you can fill up your water bottles for the climb ahead. It was designed in 1998 by sculptor Rose Garrard to represent the three most important periods in Great Malvern’s history: its Celtic origins, the coming of Christianity and the growth of the town in Victorian times.
Turn left past shops, then right into Rose Bank Gardens. Climb the so-called 99 Steps (there’s 95), following a Worcestershire Way sign. Cross a road and bear left on a public footpath to St Ann’s Well. The path zigzags steeply uphill and arrives at St Ann’s Well and café, where Malvern spring water overspills from a marble font. From 1842 patients taking the famous Malvern Water Cure were sent up this steep lane before breakfast for their morning drink.
Follow a path that loops behind the well, then turn left after 50m where the path splits. Head up the track, ignoring a left turn. Where the tracks meet, take a left, signposted to the Beacon, up to the ridge. Behind you there are magnificent views over Great Malvern. 

At the round stone marker, follow the arrow, marked The Dingle, which heads downhill and skirts to the right of the Worcestershire Beacon. Follow the path into woodland, bear left as the trees thin out and pass by the back of a house, then a car park on your right. Continue on a track, then at a small lay-by bear left on a path. After a quarry, take either of the small paths to a flat grass plateau, from which there are excellent views towards British Camp, an Iron Age hill fort where folklore has it that British chieftain Caratacus made his last stand against the Romans. Continue on the path, through trees, then bear uphill, keeping left. 
2.75 MILES
At a stone marker, turn left and follow the concrete path to the summit of Worcestershire Beacon, the highest point of the Malverns. The views are extensive and there’s a toposcope to help you pick out landmarks such as the Wrekin in Shropshire and the Severn Estuary. 
3.25 MILES
Follow a path down to the circular stone marker. Take the path signed Sugarloaf and climb to the summit of the hill. Keep to the lower path and walk to a crossing of paths. Take the first left downhill, which skirts around the base of Table Hill (ignore the path going straight downhill). When you reach another junction, take the right, higher path around the back of the hill. Bear right then continue around the back of North Hill. Turn right where the path splits, then follow Lady Howard Walden Drive. When you reach a plaque signed to Sugarloaf, turn left downhill. Turn right then retrace your steps back to the town centre.

Terrain: Steep, well marked stony paths. The hills are crisscrossed with paths.
Car: Great Malvern is
8 miles southwest of Worcester and an hour’s drive from Birmingham. From the north leave the M5 at J7 and take the A44 towards Worcester, before turning left on to the A4440 then left again on the A449. Turn left on the B4208 to Great Malvern, from where several car parks are signed.
Public Transport: The Hills Hopper Bus Service runs at weekends and Bank Holidays in the summer.
Refreshments: Bluebird Tearooms
9 Church Street, Great Malvern WR14 2AA, 01684 561166 St Ann’s Well Café
St Ann’s Road, Great Malvern WR14 4RF, 01684 560285
More info: Malvern Hills AONB, 01684 560616 Visit Worcestershire Malvern Tourist
Information Centre
21 Church Street,
Great Malvern WR14 2AA, 01684 892289
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