Touring the Malvern Hills in a brand new Audi A1 hire car, just 17 miles on the clock when I received it. “Two wheels good, four wheels bad” (to misquote Animal Farm), but fun to drive on interesting roads, mostly clear of other traffic and with fine views of the Malvern Hills; the A1 was pretty good for the drive back on the motorways too.
Posing outside Eastnor Castle, then a little hike along a short section of the Three Choirs Way, it’s named after the singing festival based around the cathedral choirs of Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester below in the valleys below. My postcard also shows the fine priory church of St Michael and St Mary in Great Malvern.
The Malvern Hills are formed of particularly old rock (pre-Cambrian) and owe their height to having resisted erosion better than the surrounding rocks. I hiked up Herefordshire Beacon (338 m.) for views over the Severn Valley to the east and the Wye valley to the west, and the other peaks of the Malvern Hills, the names each telling their own story: Hangmans Hill, Millenium Hill, Jubilee Hill, Pinnacle Hill, Worcestershire Beacon (425 m.) and North Beacon (397 m.).
There’s also a path named after the composer Edward Elgar, who enjoyed walking and cycling in the Malvern Hills.
And a sunset seen from the village of Staunton, many of the land plots here were acquired in the 1840’s by the Chartist Co-operative Land Company, the initiative of the working class political rights movement that focussed the 1842 uprising and the 1848 petition which contributed to provoking electoral reforms in the Reform Act 1867, although it took many years more for universal male suffrage (1918) and even longer for females (1928).