Sunshine makes us happy and not just psychologically. Natural light triggers changes in the brain, to make us feel more cheerful, and promotes the body’s production of vitamin D – known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ – which is vital for overall health. Summer walks in this awe-inspiring region are in abundance, so we’ve picked out a few for you. Just be sure to stay hydrated, find or make shade, wear light-coloured clothes and drink plenty of water! Take a look at The National Trust’s top tips for summer walking here.
AROUND THE BEACON (3 MILES)
There’s nothing quite like a bright blue sky and the feeling of warm air on the skin to make you want to step out in summer. Reduced cloud-cover, even at height, makes it a great time to scale the summits. Starting from Beacon Road car park, this walk leads you round the western slopes of the majestic Worcestershire Beacon, standing at 425m high (1,394 feet above sea level). There are spectacular views over Herefordshire and beyond to the Black Mountains of Wales, then on to the eastern side with views of Great Malvern and Worcestershire Plain. In summer, the ancient open grassland of the Beacon and its surrounds is awash with sunshine yellow gorse, earthy bracken and masses of native plants like harebells, heath bedstraw and bilberry. It’s also one of the few inland places you’ll spot the extremely rare Grayling butterfly and Britain’s most rare tree, the Black Poplar. Undoubtedly, you’ll share the commanding views with Nature’s wandering raptor, the white-faced Peregrine Falcon or Duck Hawk, which flies at up to 200 miles an hour – the fastest in the world! Find out about walks to the Worcestershire Beacon.
Great Malvern is home to an array of independent tea rooms, restaurants, pubs and hotels where you can enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
St. Ann’s Well Cafe is located on the walk up to the Worcestershire Beacon from Great Malvern.
UPTON HAMS (2 ¼ OR 3 ¾ MILES)
“If you take my advice, there’s nothing so nice, as messin’ about on the river”. So goes the 1966 song by Josh MacRae and when the sun’s high in the sky, where better place to walk than along the banks of a cooling river, enjoying the gentle waterside breeze? Upton-upon-Severn is Worcestershire’s smallest town, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in heart. The Upton Hams (ancient flood meadows) walk is peppered with points of interest; a bustling river-front, the abutment of the town’s old bridge, ‘Fisherman’s Alley’, the remains of a grand old manor house, Ham Court, and even an ancient burial ground which sits above the floodplain. Start at Hanley Road Car Park and meander along the old towpath (now the Severn Way) to Upper Ham, where you can choose one of two routes back to the town, or carry on to Lower Ham, and eventually Buryend. When the Severn bursts its banks, the riverside soil is enriched with silt. It is loved by meadow foxtail grass, crimson great burnet, and pale purple meadow saffron in late summer; a joy to behold. It’s also home to the ‘nationally scarce’ waterdropwort and mousetail and a popular breeding ground for yellow wagtails and calling curlews. Find out more about Upton Hams.
Upton upon Severn is a hidden gem for traditional pubs and cafes serving a selection of home cooked food, real ale and the finest coffee.
MIDSUMMER HILL WALK (3.6 MILES)
No selection of best summer walks would be complete without the delightful Midsummer Hill route which wanders through the picturesque Golden Valley and offers up some attractive picnic spots, framed by unrivalled backdrops along the way. Starting on the Welland to Gloucester Road, this walk, which is strenuous in places, takes you through the area around Castlemorton Common, once part of King James I’s vast Royal hunting grounds of the Malvern Chase, and the set for the World War II film ‘Our Father’. Passing by a lake-sized mill pond, topped up by a small stream, you’ll stumble across the charming All Saints Church before heading towards the Gullet, through the trees and up the eastern side of Midsummer Hill – an Iron Age hillfort and a valley thought to date back to 470 BC. At 284 metres high, the main summit boasts glorious, far-reaching views (up to 50 miles on a good day!) of the Brecon Beacons, the Forest of Dean, the Cotswolds and the Clee Hills. See if you can pick out Eastnor Castle, the Obelisk and fortified British Camp and look out for colonies of ‘Slender Hairs Ears’ more usually found growing in coastal regions. Find out about Midsummer Hill.
GREAT WITLEY – TENBURY (13.75 MILES)
The scenic Teme Valley with its undulating landscapes, red soils, orchards, water meadows, commons and semi-natural woodland is an artist’s dream – and a walkers’ paradise. This route is one of the longer walks in the area, but worth the effort. Great Witley is most famous for Witley Court, old seat of the Earls of Dudley, destroyed by fire in 1938, and now under the watchful eye of English Heritage. The walk starts from The Hundred House Hotel in the village, leading you through Abberley Hall School to meet The Worcestershire Way. Here it crosses over the tranquil, yet fast-flowing River Teme – the second largest tributary of the River Severn, hosting large numbers of brown trout and a slowly-increasing otter population. Points of interest along the way include the Abberley Clock Tower (at 161 feet high), All Saints Church at Hanley William and the wildlife-rich banks alongside Kyre Brook. On the approach to Tenbury you’ll cross another charming brook via a series of stepping stones, entering the town by the Pembroke House Inn. There’s an abundance of plant-life en route including common spotted orchids, mallow, and shell-pink dog roses in July, or buttercup yellow tansy and the tall pink spires of Rosebay Willow Herb in August. The Dipper and The Grey Wagtail birds are common sights. Find out about the Great Witley Teme Valley walk here and here.
You’ll be delighted with the choice of traditional country pubs in the Teme Valley – The Lion Inn, Manor Arms at Abberley, Tally Ho, The Talbot at Knightwick, plus many more! Or if you’re after something a little bit extra special check out The Elms Hotel & Spa.
For all other walks around The Malverns, please visit our Walking section.