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This is a beautiful 5-mile ramble through woodland and valleys, with a particularly breathtaking panorama. Not to mention a refreshment stop at Bistro Scene - a popular teashop set in the delightful Malvern theatre complex.

A billy walk with magnificent views from the Malvern Hills. After an initial ascent to St Ann's Well the route takes you through the beautiful woodland as you go up to the Goldmine and onto the famous Shire Ditch.

If you are ready for a short rest you could indulge yourself in a cup of tea and a cake in the St Ann's Well Café. St Ann was well known in the Middle Ages as a patroness of wells and springs and is commemorated in the Priory church

From the Ditch there is a superb view all around and this reaches its best at the top of the Worcestershire Beacon where you can experience a breath taking panorama. There is a short but fairly steep descent towards the Dingle and this is followed by a long gentle descent around Table Hill for a fine view over West Malvern.

As you progress around the north of the hill the fine view extends to embrace North Malvern and then Great Malvern - a spectacular stretch of walking. You continue down through Green Valley and within sight of St Ann's Well again before you descend on final time to enjoy refreshments in the delightful Malvern theatre.

Bistro Scene is a popular teashop and restaurant set within the renovated Malvern Theatre complex, which is passed at the end of the splendid walk. It is open from 10am to 8pm during the week (from 11am to 6pm on Sundays) when you can enjoy a cuppa in most pleasant surroundings - on a sunny day the outside gardens are a delight. Bistro Scene offers a coffee shop menu during the day and is popular at lunchtime with local people who enjoy the quality home-made food. During show evenings, of course, the restaurant can become very busy. Telephone 01684 587751.

DISTANCE: 5 miles

A bit of History..

The Malvern Hills, a miniature mountain range set high above the Severn Vale, are designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). They stretch for a distance of 9 miles from north to south and were formed from 600 million year old Pre-Cambrian granite - the oldest in England. The landmark spine of hills dominates the whole area and can be seen for many miles in all directions.

This is wonderful walking country and there are magnificent panoramic views in all directions. Most of the hills along the main spine are known by their historic local names, for example Hangman's Hill, Midsummer Hill and Sugar Loaf Hill.


Start on the Priory Road pay and display car park (GR 779459)


Great Malvern is 10 miles south-west of Worcester. Approach on the A449 Worcester-Ledbury road and turn eastward onto the B4211 Church Road into the centre of Great Malvern to find Priory Road on the right

The Walk

1. From the car cross over Priory Road and walk along the footpath to the right of the swimming pool to arrive in Priory Park near to a small lake. Walk to the left of the lake and leave the park going north towards the hills.

The path takes you around the left edge of the park and by the road wall bear right past a bowling green to reach a lane. Here, go left and ascend steps to Abbey Road (via Grange Road) and you will arrive at the A449 Worcester Road. Cross over Foley Terrace and ascend into the garden area above the terrace, then follow the waymark signs to walk up the twisty lane to St Ann's Well.


St Ann's Well offers a pure spring water which runs from the hillside. St Ann was well known in the Middle Ages as a patroness of wells and springs and is commemorated in the Priory church.

The well was recognised over 200 years ago and has become a regular meeting place for walkers over the years. Originally built about 1815 the Malvern stone building has outside seats with unusual cast iron designs and there are modern wrought iron gates to the pump room. It was very popular in the 1850s and a German band often played at the well. If you are ready for a short rest you could indulge yourself in a cup of tea and a cake in the St Ann's Well Café. Telephone: 01684 560285.

2. From St Ann's Well go left on a good track into the trees. Descend this track for about ½ a mile, enjoying a fine view to your left over Great Malvern. Soon you meet Wyche Road but do not go onto the road. Instead continue ahead along the clear footpath that ascends back into trees. The fine path arcs right until you arrive near to Earnslaw Quarry.

After going up the steps to see the quarry full of water descend back to the main path and now take the immediate right turn to continue the ascent on a clear footpath that soon emerges near the top of the hill by the Goldmine.

Goldmine is the name given to this spot to identify the location of an old mine. According to the Malvern Field Club Journal there is gold her and the first charter for mining on the site was given during the reign of Elizabeth I. However, very little gold has ever been mined and the mine has been filled in.

3. Go right and walk up the paths/road alongside Shire Ditch. There are fine views on this part of the route but do not spare time to look behind you for a superb view over the Herefordshire Beacon and the southerly hill in the Malvern Range. The ascent can be quite steep in part but the reward is a truly magnificent panorama from the top of the Worcestershire Beacon.

The Worcestershire Beacon at 1,395 ft. is the highest point on the Malverns where a toposcope was erected to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee year - the view from the top is breathtaking. Shire Ditch is the historic backbone of the Malverns and the Malvern Hills Conservators are rightly keen that walkers avoid walking on the rocky path to protect it from erosion.

4. When you have had your fill of the fine view descend north-west towards the Dingle (Sugarloaf Hill is beyond this) - you can select from a number of paths for the descent and at the bottom pause by the circular stone for a north-east view over Great Malvern between the hills. From the stone marker take the good track to the left of Sugarloaf Hill.

This arcs around the hill and gently descends towards West Malvern. To your left you should be able to make out the contour fort markings on the Hertfordshire Beacon at the southern end of the Malverns. On the track above West Malvern there is a fine view over the town.

Soon the track begins to ascend once again and you will pass a cottage as you progress to the right of End Hill. Take the contour path to avoid a steep up and down and you will soon be walking on a wide stone track known as De Walden Drive.

5. Continue on this superb track and enjoy the excellent view over Link Top and Great Malvern as you progress. The route takes you back towards the Worcester Beacon but you will descend left into Green Valley. The path will lead you towards St Ann's Well - the octagonal roof of which will be visible as soon as you reach the clearing of St Ann's Knoll.

Proceed right to pass in from of St Ann's Well and continue on a footpath that arcs left past a couple of cottages before you reach a lane via a green path. Go right and descend Happy Valley and you will soon arrive in St Ann's Road and reach the main Worcester Road in Great Malvern.

Go right and then left to walk down into Church Street. Go right again to enter the churchyard and walk to the left of the church, strolling along a path down to the entrance of the Malvern Theatre where you can enjoy well earned refreshments in the Vineyard.

Walk through Priory Park and go across the attractive footbridge over the small lake the retrace your steps back to the car park. 

The walk is courtesy of Worcestershire Teashop Walks, a book by Roger Noyce


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