Malverns - February 2002

Worcestershire Beacon

In late February, our friends Minna and Joe came over from the Netherlands. When we asked them where they wanted to go walking on the Saturday afternoon, they chorused "To the Hills!". So we headed north-west to Great Malvern to climb the Worcestershire Beacon. As we left the town it started to snow - first very lightly, then much more heavily. We headed towards the cafe at St Anne's Well, hoping it would be open - and indeed it was. We sheltered from the snow with many others, drinking herbal teas. I was a little disappointed as I'd wanted to show our friends the view from the top. Then, as suddenly as it had started, the snow stopped, the sky cleared and the sun came out. We could continue!

We climbed in the snow, ever upward until we reached the summit ridge. The wind was incredible - as strong as on top of Snowdon the week before - three times higher. We all admired the wonderful views in all directions, bracing ourselves against the wind, before heading north along the ridge. Off the ridge it was sheltered and quiet. We meandered our way down along well-trodden paths through the woods back down to the town.

Back in the pub at the bottom, the landlord waxed lyrical about the hills. He'd just been up there in the snow with his dog. "Wasn't it wonderful?", he beamed. We had a few snacks before heading off back to Oxford for one of Joe's favourites - an Indian meal down Cowley Road.