The Malvern Hills are on our doorstep but surprisingly I have never walked over them. As our family holiday will be based in Loch Lomond, Scotland for a week in August, it was time to get some practice hiking done. In preparation for the walk, I purchased some new hiking boots and I wanted to break them in for a few climbs in Scotland. My daughter, Sian suggested the Malvern Hills and so together with Jim her husband we picked a Saturday morning in July. The spell of hot weather had broken but the forecast for the chosen weekend was rain and thunderstorms which was a worry. Fortunately such weather conditions never materialised bar a few occasional drops of rain.
Our plan was to get up early and head for British Camp which is in the southern stretch of the Malvern Hill chain. The car park was empty when we arrived and even the Malvern hills Hotel over the road was very quiet. I was advised to start with this area of the Malvern Hill as some consider it to be the most interesting hill because of the large iron age hill Fort carved into the area. It is a quick hill to climb and once on the summit you have a commanding view of the surrounding geography. Looking North you see the hills in the following order, Black Hill, Pinnacle Hill, Jubilee Hill and Perseverance Hill. In the distance you can make out the highest of all the hills which is the Worcestershire Beacon. British Camp provides a super view, and my camera captured the scene well.
My camera for this adventure was the Fujifilm x100v. It is weather proofed, and ideal for the conditions on the hills over the weekend with the occasional drops of rain. The camera as you will have discovered is very versatile and produces excellent pictures as you will see from this blog. I had looked through many pictures of the hills and I had seen many postcard views. Also I knew that I would have difficulty matching any of the drone fly throughs or pictures that have been published. As always, I use my pictures to tell a story. The main story was the hiking over the hills and therefore some classic “here we are” people pictures are used in the story telling.
With the Malvern Hills having been photographed many times before, I was interested in seeking out different views i.e. low down or interesting close ups. Any landscape pictures taken including points of interest in both the foreground and the background. The camera was set on Aperture priority and swapped between f/4 for closeups to f/11 for the landscape views. The sky was a touch gloomy but there was the occasional sun that broke through. Furthermore once you are up on the hills then you can see for miles and miles. The Fujifilm camera is ideal for this story telling as it allows quick pictures of the scene to be taken. It is not ideally suited for landscape photography but you can see if used within its strengths then you can get a good view.
Back to the walk, leaving British Camp we hiked up Black Hill with its steep incline and then onto the other peaks. The Malvern hills offer wonderful vistas of the surrounding countryside and on this walk, the air was clear, and you could see well into the distance. It was good hiking over the hills, but I was not fully fit for this type of activity. By the time we got to Perseverance Hill we were very tired, and we could see the Worcestershire beacon in front of us. We made the decision to turn back and the beacon would have to wait for another weekend. Coming back I took several pictures of the wild flowers and the views over the different counties on either side of us.
Back at the car it was a relief to sit down pull the boots off and get ready for the journey home. The Malvern hills are a must as they have everything you need for a good hike. Luckily the weather was just right and we did not get too hot walking over them. We will be back not only to scale the Worcestershire Beacon but to visit the pretty town of Malvern on the side of the hill. Enjoy the pictures and would love to hear about your experiences of hiking over the Malvern Hills
If you are interested in the shoes that I had brought then I recommend the new Inov8 Roclite 345 Gore-Tex Walking Boots which I got at a great price from sportsshoes.com. I like these shoes as they are light and have great grip.
For up-to-date details of the Malvern Hills are covered by several good websites but I found this one to be the best.