Winnies Walk 4 – British Camp, Malvern Hills

A wintery Spring walk in the beautiful Malvern Hills.   

Todays walk is a steep but short climb to the top of the Herefordshire Beacon, also known as British camp, situated in the AONB of the Malvern Hills. Climbing to a height of 338m along well maintained wide paths, you have the opportunity to take in extensive views of the surrounding countryside as well as exploring the mounds and gullies of the ancient monument that is the British Camp.

Winnie

Is a Jack Russell cross Poodle who loves nothing more than putting on her harness and heading off to pastures new to explore with her pal Boo.

The Walks

Winnies Walks are a series of short walks for little legs on varied terrain – from beach strolls to mountain scrambles. We will talk you through each walk from a dogs eye view. (Winnies comments appear in italic type and are useful considerations for your pooch) Sometimes accompanied by photos or video footage, we will concentrate on describing terrain and points of interest, as well as they all important pit stops for drinks and biscuits!

‘Twelve fair counties saw the blaze on Malvern’s lonely height’

You can see – Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Monmouthshire, Brecknock, Radnor, Montgomery, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Somerset and Oxfordshire. Actually, we could have a bit of an argument about a few, but they are there in the distance!

Ancient man set about fortifying the second-highest summit of the range some time in the second century BC. It just about qualifies as a mountain it stands only 15ft over the traditional 1,000ft (304m) qualification – and it would have been beautiful as a natural, grassy pyramid, but its complex earthworks make it a real source of interest.

 

1. The walk starts from the British Camp car park just off the A449 at the junction with B4232 (Grid Reference SO762403 for avid map readers)

The post code WR13 6DW gets you close.

(Winnie: The road is very busy so best to keep us dogs on leads.)

 

2. The route starts from the car park taking the path uphill through the large gate. You pass by the commemorative stone placed here by the Malvern Hills Conservators, who are ‘entrusted to protect and manage the Hills and Commons on behalf of the nation’

Engraved you will find a brief history of the area and its links to some literary folk.

3. The path is wide but steep and meanders along the hillside through a wooded area before opening out on to pasture.

Sheep are found on the hills here – their purpose being to graze the scrub which helps maintain the grassy slopes. At this time of year, the ewes are pregnant and there are signs asking to keep dogs under close control.

(Winnie: Boo looking very smart in his coat – definitely needed today as the temperature is only a few degrees above freezing!)

4. The climb is steep but as soon as you pass the woodland area it opens out to rolling hillside with a choice of paths. The main path is easy to pick out today with the dusting of snow.

(Winnie: The gravel is a bit sharp for little paws so I’m sticking to trotting along on the grassy verges.)

5. We choose to turn right at a ‘Y’ junction and take the main path across more pasture.

 

(Winnie: No sheep to see today – but there are lots of droppings so good to keep a look out as they may be close)

6. Continue climbing towards the summit but take time to pause before you get to the top to turn around and look back at the view behind you.

The Herefordshire Beacon that we are climbing today is not the highest, that honour goes to the Worcestershire Beacon seen at the furthest end of whale like humps that form the ridge that is the Malvern Hills.

7. We continue upward towards the summit, clambering up one of the many flights of man-made steps built to encourage walkers to stick to the main path and to help prevent erosion of the hills from the thousands of visitors each year.

We reach the top and would have 360 degree panoramic views of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and other Midland counties as well as the towns of Great Malvern, Little Malvern and Malvern Wells.

8. After a very quick coffee break at the top and taking some time to admire the engineers of yesteryear, we make our way down to the lower slopes to join the main path that now takes us past the reservoir and takes us directly back to the car park

The reservoir was built to serve Malvern but has not been in use for many years but still cuts a striking feature in the hillside. 

(Winnie: There is a distinct lack of streams up here, so you might ask your human to bring water for you)

9. Back at the car park, the little café kiosk across the road provides a good range of refreshments and some excellent cakes.

However, if you would like to sit inside and eat something more substantial, the dog friendly Malvern Hills Hotel might just be the ticket.

 (Winnie: Oh and they sell dog biscuits in case you human forgets your treats)

There are hundreds of paths that criss-cross the Hills and you can find detailed information about the walks on the website www.malvernhills.org.uk.  Or on the Facebook page ‘Malvern Hills Trust” There is also a very useful app for Apple and Android users – Malvern Hills District Walking App – to help you find your way.

Download a printable copy of Winnie’s walk 4 – Malvern Hills click here

Mobile Walking App

If you have a reactive dog, posts about the grazing areas for stock – called Stockwatch – can also be found on the website