Desperate to make the most of the weekends at this time of year means taking those shorter day hikes instead of the marathon treks or long distance backpacking outings. Luckily modern weather forecasting can sometimes be almost spot on when dealing with the next (or same) days weather.
Jumping all over a last minute dry window of weather on Sunday, I caught the train down to one of the nearest good day walks, the Malvern Hills. This is a regular summer ‘no tent’ camping spot and even though I would like nothing more than to pitch up a tent for a nights winter camping, there are strict rules about using them on the Malvern’s (and rightly so).
This lack of camping does leave the place pretty tidy when compared to those beauty spots that are heavily camped throughout the summer. Add to that the percentage of the hills that are turned over to wildlife (of various forms) and the camping ban makes even more sense.
Finding not only a good weather day for the actual hike and a dry spell for at least the day before isn’t a major problem with the Malvern’s, as along with the many good paths, the ground has a solid layer of rock to walk on.
Kit was a little different then the usual ‘no tent’ camping trip, with much more emphasis on warm clothing to keep out the light (but very cold) wind that was blowing across the top of the hills. Overall pack weight was really reduced though because there was no need to bring overnight gear and all the food/water that goes with it and I managed to get everything needed crammed into my new day pack instead of having to bring ‘the beast’ that gets used when wild camping 🙂
Break from the Usual Routine
The weirdest thing was taking a stroll over the hills without worrying about how much sunlight I had left and judging how far it was the the place I could make camp. This time restraint more often than not meant rushing about with a full backpack, which sometimes left me so tired when making camp that I had no chance to enjoy that night because of falling straight to sleep.
The added benefit of not having to shoot off to set up camp is a little wander around Great Malvern Town before strolling down to catch the train home.
The Difference a Season Makes
This place seems so different when the weathers turned colder and it looks like the hills have had the color drained from them somehow.
Hoping to get a good bit of snow on the ground at some point before Christmas so I can come and walk these hills for the first time when their all crispy and white 🙂