The weather forecast for the weekend was dire but, undeterred nine courageous members of Pang Valley left Reading Station at 10.42 on Friday 18 October bound for Great Malvern. 2.30pm found them, along with nine more members of Pang Valley Group, on the doorstep of our hotel prepared to tackle the hills and the elements.
The weekend break had been organised through Secret Hills who supplied three walk leaders to cover two walks of different grades on Friday afternoon, and two walks on Saturday and Sunday.
All the walks started en masse and after a mile or so split into two groups. The more energetic (or foolhardy – depending on your point of view) spent their time walking the length of the Malvern ridge while the rest of the group were treated to a gentler but very informative introduction to the area.
We visited Sir Edward Elgar’s statue, a guided tour of a small independent Malvern Water bottling plant, the hill fort of British Camp, were treated to excellent pub lunches and found some excellent cafes for afternoon tea and scones.
This is the third weekend trip Pang Valley has arranged through Secret Hills. The organisation was good, the choice of walks was well planned and the leaders (particularly the local guy) were well informed. However, the hotel was not the best Pang Vallley has used. Just about every one had some horror story to tell but, on the positive side, no one went without a bed or went hungry, no one was injured and no one died! And we were provided with a surfeit of material for after dinner conversation!
All in all, it was a most enjoyable weekend; even the weather was reasonable considering the forecast, with only two short spells of rain and plenty of warm sunshine.
The Malvern Hills is an excellent area for walking. The views are breathtaking and there are innumerable paths to suit a variety of walking grades. It is highly recommended.