We decided to take the train to Colwall, just outside Malvern to visit Picton Gardens and the Old Court Nurseries who hold the national collection of michaelmas daisies. I'll tell you about that in my next post but today I'm going to concentrate on the beautiful Malvern Hills.
Just a short but steep walk from the Gardens, we found ourselves in a village known as The Wyche, a pass through the Malvern Hills on a former Iron Age salt route. Such glorious views, you could see for miles.
Standing on the top of the ridge, one way you could see Herefordshire and the other Worcestershire.
The ancient, at least 650 million years old, Hills rise dramatically and run for about 9 miles. The highest point being the Worcestershire beacon at 425m. There are many footpaths for people to enjoy. As we descended, I kept looking back to see where we had been.
Eventually, and ready for a coffee, we arrived at Great Malvern.
Malvern Priory and the Museum arch looked very grand, although the huge window was not as colourful as we had hoped.
Malvern is famous for it's spring water, which also trickles from the sculpture Mahlvina by Rose Garrard in the town centre. The water is constantly tested for impurities. The spa and clinics were very popular in the 1800s and many hotels were built for the visitors interested in the curative waters. All sorts of famous people came, including Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale and Lord Tennyson but by the end of the 19th Century the popularity had waned.
However, authors C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein frequented the town often and there is a legend that C.S.Lewis got the idea for the lamp post in the snowy landscape of Narnia in his book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when he saw the gas lamps in the town one snowy evening.
We didn't have time to visit St. Ann's Well but enjoyed the rosebank gardens up on the hill, it's all hills in Malvern! These buzzards were made by Walenty Pytel to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Great Malvern station looks rather smart with it's red paint and snazzy pillars,
and here's one of those famous gas lamps. Wait a minute, is that Mr. Tumnus hiding in the hedge?
Definitely time for a spot of lunch.
See you soon.