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Walk 1 - North Malvern to West Malvern

A Pictorial Guide to the Malvern Hills


By Carl Flint FRSA

The Clock Tower North Malvern to West Malvern via Table Hill and End Hill.


This delightful if somewhat strenuous 2.3 mile walk starts from either the North Hill or Tank Quarry car parks on the North Malvern Road, map reference SO 7705 4700. The path up to Table Hill is very steep and therefore not suitable for buggies or for very young children. There are far-reaching views across Herefordshire to the west, Shropshire to the far north-west with the Severn Valley and Worcestershire to the east. The return journey is via West Malvern. Allow 1 hour 45 minutes without refreshment breaks. North Hill 397 metres, (1303 feet), Table Hill 372 metres and End Hill 329 metres.

From Great Malvern, head towards Worcester; after approximately half a mile take the left turning into the North Malvern Road, signposted West Malvern and Bromyard. A short distance on the left are the old stocks and whipping post. Note the small MHC (Malvern Hills Conservators) plaque on a wooden post indicating the site of Kendalls Common, map reference SO 7746 4684.

Continue for a short distance, the North Hill car park will be on the left with the Tank Quarry car park a little further on, this has the benefit of a lush, grassy area to picnic upon.  To start this walk head back onto the road and to the unusual Clock Tower (map reference SO 7695 4707).

Both car parks were built in the area occupied by the North Malvern Quarries. A battle raged for 140 years between the Conservators and the companies quarrying the heart out of the Malvern Hills. The local’s petitioned the House of Lords in 1924, and fortunately for those of us who enjoy the amazing splendour of the Hills, the Third Malvern Hills Act was passed and the quarrying ceased forever

The North Malvern Clock Tower was built in 1843. The tower was extended in 1901 with the permission of Mr Dyson Perrins (of Lee and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce fame). Above the attractive wrought iron gates the inscription reads:-

‘The inhabitants of North Malvern place this stone here to record that these tanks were erected at the sole expense of Charles Morris Jn Esq. of Portman Sq London in 1835 and 1836. The young and aged, poor pray that the blessing of God be beneficially poured on him who has here poured abundant blessing upon you.’

Take the steps immediately to the right of the Tower, passing the original spout. The twisting path climbs up steps laid down in the last century; ignore the impressive staircase heading up to a grassy plateau above the reservoir tanks, ideal for picnics. Continue up the rugged steps with the occasional railing for support. This leads to a bracken and gorse-edged path which climbs up the nape of the valley towards the open expanse of the Hills, ahead in the distance the remains of an ash tree acts as the focal point to a number of paths, grid reference SO 7680 4668.

The walk heads straight uphill along the narrow clearly defined path, with bramble bushes either side up onto the Lady Howard De Walden Drive. To the left is North Hill, ahead is Table Hill, to the right is End Hill. Continuing the ascent, the path now joins the broad ‘Drive’ and a much needed wooden bench. Map reference SO 7680 4649.

Continue up the broad grassy slope of Table Hill to the saddle between the two hills, either head north to End Hill, which is to the right, or left, to the slightly higher North Hill. After enjoying the achievement of reaching either summit, take time to study the panorama across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.

Now head downhill in a westerly direction, traverse the Herefordshire side of Table Hill, keeping to the path cut into the grassy hillside and onto a relatively flat area where a number of paths intersect, aim for the wrought iron post and a little further on overlooking the rolling Herefordshire countryside, a small wooden bench. Continue past the bench and onto the wide path bearing in a northerly direction past a substantial wooden seat at map reference SO 7661 4620.

West Malvern comes into view with the Tower of St James’s church and the impressive Victorian stately home, until recently St James’s School and the former residence of the De Walden family. The wide descending track skirts Table Hill and loses height, meeting a rising stony path running along the edge of the fields. Turning left, downhill past a large wooden five-bar gate set into the stone wall and a few paces further down a small plaque depicting Joyner’s Meadow.

Continue down the path past one of Malvern’s famous gas lamps, towards an unusual cast-iron weather vane which appears to be made out of bits and pieces left over from the Industrial Revolution, but is in fact an ex-sewer ventilation pipe designed to be more attractive as a weather vane! A little further on is the Westminster Spout, map reference SO7647 4617. Thus far the distance from the Clock Tower is 0.7 miles. Continue down the steep metalled single track of Westminster Bank towards the buildings of the former school and onto the West Malvern Road.

Turn left and head towards St James’s Church. Map reference SO 7636 4611. Enter the churchyard, past the small spring to the war memorial. Peter Roget and his daughter Catherine’s large horizontal headstone lies just 10 or so paces into this pretty graveyard. Dr. Peter Roget was famous for writing the ‘Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases’ published in 1852. He died at the age of 90 during one of his regular holidays to Malvern.

The West Malvern community opens its doors, or more accurately the playing field in July to circa 5,000 people enjoying the live music, local arts and crafts of the ‘West Fest’.

Return to the West Malvern Road: ahead is the impressive Victorian stately home, now the Theological Elim Centre. To this day, the swimming pool is supplied by fresh Malvern spring water from the Westminster Spout.

Head back along the West Malvern Road and continue downhill past the West Malvern Social Club, Village Hall, the Lamb Pub and the Malvern Hills Brewery. Continuing downhill, turn right following the signposted ‘Worcestershire Way’ as it heads into the interesting Geographical Trail and onto the Tank Quarry car park. Thus, returning to the starting point of this short circular walk. Although the walk is just over two miles in total, the diversity of the scenery has made it a pleasurable couple of hours, enjoying the attractive North Malvern Hills.

This is an abridged version of walk 1 from North Malvern to West Malvern taken from the Pictorial Guide to the Malvern Hills. ISBN 978 0956629500, published by Malvern Walks £7.95.  Available in local bookshops like the Malvern Book Co-operative (2 St Anne's Road, Malvern) and Tourist Information Centres in Malvern, Upton Upon Severn, Ledbury, Worcester.

For further information, updates and comments, please contact Carl at