Sun. 14th July.
Because I was in a private house B&B I managed to arrange an early breakfast at last, and a good one it turned out to be with lots of fresh fruits. Who needs a hotel? Striding down the main street I was surprised to see lots of ‘scarecrow’ figures in the front gardens. Apparently it was the annual Scarecrow Day and there was a good turn out, it’s good to see local community events happening.
Duly scared I was soon running out of the village through fields towards Colwall Church. This is a considerate farmer, well done —
The church is another 13th century construction of sandstone and in the grounds is 16th century half timbered hall. This was used as an ale house after the service raising money for the parish. Now there’s a good idea.
Met a man out with his dog and no map, hoping to walk to Wellington Heath. I suggested he follow The Geopark Way waymarks. The route was more complicated than that as I found out – I never saw him again – sorry.
Wandered through fields of barley and then orchards as I climbed over limestone ridges. Always good views back to the Malverns.
Climbed steeply up onto Oyster Hill with views to the Black mountains. Interesting summit with the trig point well below the highest point. [checked with my altimeter – 3m lower]
Not much was happening in Wellington Heath when I arrived, the pub [The Farmer’s Arms] had closed so I hurried on through the woods to Ledbury. The place was packed with day trippers to the market and those attending the Poetry Week. Dived into the first pub I came to in a narrow cobbled lane. Cool inside and a welcome ploughman’s lunch and beer.
After the worst of the heat I ventured out again, looked around the interesting but busy town.
I then climbed over two wooded ridges to reach the estate of Eastnor and what I thought was an easy walk to Hollybush. The 19th century mock sandstone castle was passed and I entered the deer park.
I had to climb another limestone ridge before dropping down to fishing lakes in the camping park area. As I approached, a fisherman was just reeling in a catch. After quite a struggle he landed a massive carp [about 15lb] – his first catch of the day – he seemed fairly pleased. I was just amazed.
I could plainly see my next climb up to an obelisk and it still was oppressively hot.
The obelisk was erected in 1812 in memory of an Edward Somers, it stands 90 ft high. Continuing on I rejoined the southern end of The Malvern ridge and walked down to the road at Hollybush. Tonight I was booked into a bunk house, Berrow House, and I arrived to find the place deserted but a note and key for me. I was allocated ‘The Fold’ fortunately being a Sunday the usual youth groups were absent. Made myself comfortable with some brews and sat and watched Peregrine Falcons coming and going in the quarry across the road.
The owners returned later, the southern Irish lady engaged me in conversation forever, she had mastered the art of the ‘Non sequitur’. Staggered to bed weary and slept like a log. The facilities were basic but comfortable.
Yet another day full of interest.