The Malvern Walking Festival

The Malvern Walking Festival

Malvern Walking Festival around The Malvern HillsThe Malvern Walking Festival has been an annual event for the past 13 years and offers walks of varying length and difficulty.

This post covers the 2016 Malvern Walking Festival that started on Saturday 28th May and finished on Sunday 5th June with walks ranging from a 1-mile heritage walk around Malvern to an energetic 31-mile walk along the Worcester Way, from Bewdley back to Malvern. The ever popular Discovery Walk for 2016 was a 6-day event from Tintern in the Wye Valley, the Forest of Dean and Offa’s Dyke and then back to Malvern.

You can book for the Malvern Walking Festival, held in May on their website

Here is a list of walks that were on offer in the 2016 Malvern Walking Festival

  • Discovery Trail – 6 days covering approx 70 Miles

This is listed as a ‘Hard’ walk exploring much of the southern Offa’s Dyke trail, walking back to Malvern this walk offers a varied scenic route with lots of historic interest and visiting some of the best-preserved parts of the dyke. You will enjoy parts of the Forest of Dean, the Wye Valley, the border Marcher country in Herefordshire and Monmouthshire, castles, abbeys; and the fantastic descent into Hay on Wye from Hay Bluff. You will experience some long uphill sections specifically in the Black Mountains but the walks are mainly on excellent paths.

The 6 days provide dedicated coach travel returning to Malvern every day at around 7 pm.

You cannot part book the Discovery Trail – the price is for the whole walk only and the total cost for the walk including transport each day is £110. Book online

First day – Saturday 28th May: Tintern Abbey to Monmouth; 12 miles, 1,600 ft ascentMalvern Walking Festival -Tinern Abbey

Second day –  Sunday 29th May: Monmouth to Llangattock Lingoed; 12 miles, 950 ft ascent

Third day –  Monday 30th May: Llangattock Lingoed to Llantony; 11 miles, 1,900 ft ascent

Tues 31st May: Day of rest

Fourth day – Wednesday 1st June: Longtown to Hay on Wye, 12 miles, 2,000 ft ascent

Fifth day –  Thursday 2nd June: near Hay on Wye to Kington; 13 miles, 1,500 ft ascent

Sixth day – Friday 3rd June: Cradley to Malvern; 10 miles, 1,200 ft ascent

 Saturday 28th May

  • 18 miles – End to End and BACK in A DAY

This walk is for experienced and fit walkers. The walk follows the Malvern Hills ridge from Sugarloaf to Chase End Hill and back with some variations on the return leg. Normally takes around 8 hours and is of course pretty hilly, hard and it’s suggested you don’t take it on lightly. Completing this walk will give you a huge sense of achievement and accomplishment to complete the spine of the Malvern Hills in just one day!

  • 9 Miles – The Magical Mystery Tour on and around the Southern Hills 

This walk explores the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire landscape and the mystic attractions, of a priest’s curse, hidden treasure, pagan rituals and geometric lines connecting the area to other megalithic sites. You will explore the southern Malvern Hills on a very scenic walk visiting the iron age hill fort on Midsummer hill and the remote hamlet of Whiteleaved Oak. The walk includes the grounds of the wonderful Eastnor and Bromesberrow Estates and takes around 5 hours, with some fairly long ascents on good paths.

  • 6 miles – Riverside and Villages around Upton 

This is a pleasant flat walk heading out from Upton along the banks of the river Severn via the Upton Hams. You return over pleasant lanes and pastureland on good paths, with some styles, rising very gently for superb views of the Malvern Hills. Your walk will take you through villages and hamlets, including Longdon Heath and Newbridge and allow a good 4 hours.

  • 6 miles – Charming Colwall, lovely Ledbury and a train ride too!

Start this walk at Ledbury Railway Station and catch the 12.58 train to Colwall (pay on the day). This walk will take you on a gentle climb to the top of Oyster Hill, which affords wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. Pass-Hope End House (former home of Elizabeth Barrett Browning) head on through Frith Wood and over the Ledbury-Malvern train tunnel to return to Ledbury where there will be an opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea at one of Ledbury’s many cafés (pay on the day). This walk will take about 3 hours, and includes some stiles and some short uphill sections.

  • 5 miles – Bluebells and views around Mathon 

Malvern Walking Festival Bluebell in the woodsEnjoy a quiet country walk near the pretty village of Mathon just to the west of the Malvern Hills. Through a wood where it is hoped that there will be a profusion of bluebells. Pass a lime kiln, reach a 17-century farmhouse and, just maybe, encounter an interesting local resident! Allow about 3 hours; some stiles and short uphill sections.

Sunday 29th May 2016

  • 7 Miles – The Malvern ‘Munch’ food walk

Enjoy a walk with food and entertainment themed stops along this leisurely scenic route around and on the northern hills, passing through sites of cultural and historical interest. Stop at various points where locally produced food and drink will be on offer sampling a varied menu of savoury and sweet snacks, accompanied by an alcoholic or soft drink and also a little relaxing music and a few surprises!

  • 8 Miles –  The Civil War route

This interesting figure of eight walk offers varied scenery of Powick parish and includes the sites of the first and last Civil War battles. You’ll see the memorial stone at Powick Mill old bridge over the river Teme, Colletts Green, Powick Hams and the pretty Carey’s Brook valley. This walk is about 5 hours over fairly flat land with several styles.

  • 3 Miles – Natural History walk 

This gentle walk has a guide with the huge local knowledge to explain the topography and the natural and local history of the area. In the reserve, you should see Orchids and the last section of the walk is along Leigh Brook, where the odd kingfisher might be spotted.

  • 5 Miles – Spirit of Malvern 

Learn more about the cultural history of Malvern from another local artistic director Peter Smith. This 3-hour scenic walk will take you to key sites of Malvern’s cultural history. A circular walk starting from the Elgar Statue at Belle Vue Terrace Great Malvern, via Rosebank Gardens to the lower slopes of the hills, and returning over Malvern Common.

  • 5 Miles – The Spectacular Setting Sun over Herefordshire in the lee of the Malvern Hills

On this walk you will enjoy the beautiful undulating countryside, culminating in wonderful views across Herefordshire to the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, with the hope to view the evening sun setting from Cockshot Hill. This walk goes through the Mathon Court Estate with the opportunity to view an interesting gravestone in the West Malvern Churchyard. Visit many places of interest and enjoy optional country pub refreshments at the end of the walk.

Below is a summary of the Malvern Walking Festival walks throughout the week but you’ll find more detailed information on the Malvern Walking Festival website

Monday 30th May 2016

  • 32 Miles – Worcestershire Way in ONE DAY
  • 10-11 Miles – Say Hello to Hallow, Grimley and Holt
  • 6 Miles – Meandering beneath the magnificent middle Malverns
  • 3 Miles – Understanding the geology of the Malvern Hills with a local expert
  • 2 Miles – Commemorative plaques of Great Malvern

Tuesday 31st May 2016

  • 15 Miles – In the footsteps of Perambulating Poets
  • 5½ Miles – Eastnor estate from the lesser known side –
  • 2 Miles – Hidden Surprises of the Malvern Hills
  • The History and Heritage of Malvern in a short, town walk

Wednesday 1st June 2016

  • 8 Miles – The Delights of Croome Park: history, villages and riverside charms
  • 5 Miles – Into Gloucestershire with a Historic Flavour
  • 4 Miles – Mathon: a walk with a geological flavour and, maybe, a pub lunch
  • 3 Miles – The Historic Madresfield Estate

Thursday 02nd June 2016

  • 11 Miles – Explore the wonderful Malvern Verandas

Thursday 2nd June 2016

  • 5 Miles – Herefordshire Perspectives of the Malvern Hills from Cradley
  • 5 Miles – A Pilgrim Father and the King of Salt
  • A Water Cure Walk

Friday 3rd June 2016

  • 10 Miles – Beautiful Bromyard Downs, historic Brockhampton and peaceful parishes
  • 6 Miles – Fascinating history beside the river Teme
  • 7½ miles – The delights of the Southern Hills
  • 5 Miles – A scenic stroll around Hanley Swan

Saturday 4th June 2016

  • 10 Miles – North by Northwest in the footsteps of Elgar – 10 miles
  • 9 Miles – All the Malvern Hills, from end to end – 9 miles
  • 5 Miles – Tropical seas, Deserts and Ice Age: Geology of Crews Hill and Knapp and Paper Mill area
  • 4½ miles – Drink up Three Cider: an Evening Walk through Apple Orchards and Cowleigh Woods

Sunday 5th June 2016

  • Caractacus’s Last Stand and more
  • 10 mile – A 5-hour walk that takes us north through ancient woodland on the west side of the hills to pass Evendine, Perrycroft and the Chase.
  • 4 Miles – Swanning around at Hanley
  • 6 Miles – Saunter over the best of Powick

This is a brilliant week of interesting walks around the Malvern Hills and surrounding countryside and Orchard Side Bed and Breakfast is perfectly located in the pretty village of Hanley Swan to provide the ideal base for the Malvern Walking Festival.

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