England 2006

July 19, 2006 – Day 6

Hiking the Malverns

Here are all of today’s photos

Day 6: Hiking the Malverns

Yesterday took a lot out of all of us, but we had a *great* time in Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle!

Unfortunately, it really hit Sam (Julian and Jenny’s 2-year-old son) hard… he was really feeling puny.

So, we decided that today would be the day that Jenny and Sam stayed home to rest, while Julian took the four of us on a long hike up into the nearby Malvern Hills. This range of hills splits the two valleys of Herefordshire and Worcestershire and is supposed to provide some of the best unobstructed views of rolling English countryside! We’re all looking forward to this, so after a nice light lunch (ham sandwiches with Branson Pickle… yum!!!), we pack up water bottles, make sure we’re all dressed properly, grab the camera (duh!), and go!

As we drive up the slopes towards the start of the well-laid-out hiking point, we comment (again) on how fantastic the weather has been. Our car park location is at a spot at the Southern end of the Malverns chain. At the top is an old Roman fort location, where you can still see the earthen walls built up for defense. I’ll have a picture of that later.

So… we set out from British Camp!

British Camp - our starting pointStarting the hike

The trees and flowers are in full-bloom along the route and provide (shock!) some nice photo ops for me… I really like this thistle shot:

There are some sheep along the way… we can hear them before we actually see them, between their “baaaaa-ing” and the bells around their necks.

Heading up the hill
As we break out of the tree-line, the first in the chain of steep hill climbs shows itself to us:

Looking back at our starting point
Looking back, here’s a good shot of the Roman earthen fort above British Camp:

Malvern views
Here’s the first (of many) shots of the Worcestershire valley on our climb (don’t worry… I’m not going to post them all here — go here, though, if you want to see more):

Malvern views
Topping the first hill shows the next hill in the chain… but wait!

What is that off to the right of the hill?

There are people *parasailing* above the hills… apparently, they’re using the hills as their launching point and floating to the valley below. It is *quite* breezy today, which helps alot as there’s no other protection from the Sun!

Parasailing over the MalvernsParasailing over the Malverns

Parasailing over the Malverns
I got a particularly good shot of one that flew by at (our) eye level, as we climbed towards the summit!!!!

More climbing
Continuing the climb…

… and a few more nice shots from the peaks:

Malvern viewsMalvern views

The Balettie Bunch high atop the Malvern Hills
At the peak point, we take another family portrait!

Roger and Julian atop the Malverns
… and here’s a shot of me with my buddy, Julian:

Heading back down, we get back into the much-welcomed shade!

… and some really nice wildflower shots:


The Wyche Inn
At the north end of the Malvern hills, we stop at “The Wyche Inn” (pronounced “witch”… it’s the “olde English” spelling!!!) for refreshments! YAY! PUB ALE!!!

We all enjoy the break in the shade before we head back:
Kathy enjoys the shade
Andrew at The Wyche Inn
Melanie gets a drink

Roadside hiking
On the way back, we take some lower, shadier routes:

Sweet cold natural Malvern spring water!
… and stop to fill up our bottles at one of the natural springs that provides England with some of the best, coolest, freshest water!!!

There is a company that produces bottled water directly from these springs… we got it for free!!!

That night, we went grocery shopping (at Tesco’s)… we got lots of yummy stuff and called it a great (but very tiring!!) day.

More fun to come tomorrow!!!!