South Malvern hills

South Malvern Hills Herefordshire

Sunday morning was going to be nice a sunny and decided to make a return to the Malvern hills.  Rather than walking north across the Herefordshire and Worcestershire beacons, this time I would head south over Midsummer Hill.

I got the idea for a walk and some landscape photography over the South Malvern hills via studying this area of Herefordshire on the online Ordnance survey maps.

south malvern hills map
south malvern hills map

Footpaths were clearly shown and I estimated it would be around a 5 mile walk across the South Malvern hills which includes Midsummer, Ragged stone and Chase End hills.

Sleepy Head

I really wish I could get out of bed early!  It was a beautiful day but I not arrive in the swinebrook carpark until after 8am.   Wish I could have arrived 6am at the latest.  They have now fixed the meter at the carpark and costs £4 for the day.  Initially could not get an internet signal on my mobile with Vodafone to view the Ordnance survey map for the South Malverns, even so, the footpaths should be relatively easy to follow I only needed to walk south.  Worse I had forgotten my water bottle on a bright warm day!   May have to cut the walk across the South Malvern hills short if get to thirsty.   It really pays to compile a checklist before leaving, I always forget something water, tripod, filters etc.

Gullet Quarry

From the carpark headed east towards Eastnor passing the impressive Gullet wood Quarry.  The water looks beautiful but a few people have died swimming in Gullet Quarry as is very cold and deep.

Gullet quarry Malverns
Gullet quarry Malverns 1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 125, 18mm

Out of Gullet woods and the South Malvern hills come clearly into view from Midsummer to Chase End.

Midsummer Hill

The plan was to walk to walk over the peaks of all three hills take some landscape photos and head back.

south malvern hills
south malverns herefordshire 1/60 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 24mm

Climbing midsummer hill and you could not but help notice all the beautiful blankets of bluebells in full bloom up the hillside.

obelisk south malverns bluebells
obelisk south malverns bluebells 1/15 sec, f/13, ISO 100, 20mm

What was a complete surprise to me was the Obelisk in eastnor park.  Looking at the map and I thought Obelisk was a place!  But no it is a monument to various members of the family who once owned the estate with Eastnor castle not far away.

At the top of Midsummer hill the summit of the South Malverns are fantastic views north where British camp, Herefordshire and Worcestershire beacons are clearly visible.

malvern hills beacons
bluebells malvern hills beacons 1/15 sec, f/13, ISO 100, 24mm

At the top of Midsummer hill like British camp there was once an iron age fort and settlement.  The one on top of Midsummer hill was bigger than the one at British camp.  Alot less visitors though to the South Malvern stretch of the hills with most tourists heading north across the beacons.  Both camps were apparently destroyed by the Romans around AD 50.

Ragged Stone Hill

Descending Midsummer hill you reach the A438 and the small village of Hollybush. You have to walk along the side of the road about 20 meters to join the steep footpath up Ragged stone hill.

ragged stone hill malverns
ragged stone hill 1/13 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18mm

Great views south from the top of Ragged Stone Hill of the last hill of the South Malverns being Chase End.  I like the focus I have achieved with this landscape pic with the Ragged stones being the focal point.  But one mistake I realise I am now making is not pulling the graduated filter down far enough.  The filter not always has to line up with only the sky, I should have lined it up with the peak of Chase end Hill to darken a bit more the distant landscape.

bluebells south malverns
midsummer hill bluebells malverns 1/80 sec, f/13, ISO 100, 18mm

I decided without water not want to continue to Chase end hill so turned back at this point.  Back at the car using my pedometer I had walked over 5 miles along the South Malverns around 11000 steps and burnt a 1000 calories and lots of Vitamin D from the morning sunshine.  You can never fail to be impressed with the views visible from atop the Malverns Hills, breathtaking.

South Malvern Hills Herefordshire