The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Walton Hill (Worcestershire)

I was almost at my chosen start point for this morning’s walk when it struck me that the number of brown ‘Country Park’ and ‘Visitor Centre’ signs meant that it wouldn’t be a free car park. That was a bit of a problem, and on this occasion it wasn’t entirely due to my severe aversion to paying for parking that made me rethink my start point; it was the fact that the entirety of the cash I had with me was 2p. Even if this was a cheap car park, it wasn’t going to be that cheap!

A quick re-plan and I headed off to park at the foot of my hill, which wasn’t my ideal choice. Parking further away makes sure that I don’t get overcome by laziness and call it a day after just nipping up the hill and back. Happily, not far from the Country Park I came across a large (and empty) layby, which served my purposes perfectly.

After a few crop fields, a lane (which I walked in both directions without meeting a single car) took me through extensive attractive woodland whilst taking me down, down and down some more. Why was it taking me downhill? So that I could climb back up, of course!

The climb back up gave me pleasing views:


With lovely autumn colours in some directions:


Then a gently rising path, initially through more woodland, took me to the top of Walton Hill, where I did take a selfie but it’s so awful (far more so than yesterday’s!) that I’ll keep it to myself and just share a piccie of the trig point itself:


So much was I enjoying myself, that I opted to walk on further, dropping the north side of the hill to venture into the Country Park that lay in that direction (a different Country Park to the one I didn’t park in – this little area doesn’t seem to be short of Country Parks). There was a view point marked on the map there and I reckoned that I would reach it just about lunchtime. Lunch was thus taken admiring the view from a bench by the ‘Four Stones’. A fine view it was too. I could only imagine what it would be like on a clear day.


The topograph nearby proved difficult to read, but it has stood there since 1929, and it must be a popular place (i.e. lots of fingertips rubbing over the names), so it’s not surprising it’s a bit on the worn side:


A perusal of the map over lunch gave me a route for my return (it’s such a nice area that I wanted to see more of it, rather than retracing), and off I set in the direction of Clent. Some of the paths were horribly muddy…


…although in the case of the one shown above, I shouldn’t have even been there. I got my compass out to check my direction before I took this path, and have no idea (having now looked at the GPS track) how I came to the conclusion that this was the right way. I hadn’t gone too far before realising my error, but to put myself right, I had to wade right back through it again.

Back on track, more fine colours were around me:


It was a lollipop shaped walk, and as I re-joined my outward route I passed this view again…


That’s the same as the first photo above, but with slightly better weather

… before I had to go up, up and up some more on that little lane I had descended along earlier.

It was a most enjoyable little outing, measuring exactly 8 miles in distance with 1600’ of ascent.


(For anyone wondering what led to these last couple of walks, it was all down to those hill-list gpx files that I downloaded last week. Both Bardon Hill and Walton Hill are Marilyns, and having visited them I’m now left with just one more Marilyn within sensible day-trip driving distance of home.)


  1. as predicted: doomed
    but a good way to go (multiply)

    1. Should I confess that I ordered a copy of The Relative Hills of Britain a few days ago and am now eagerly awaiting its arrival?

  2. Oh dear! I knew I was onto something.

    1. Ah, but were you onto something, or did you put the idea into my head?!

  3. The bacon sandwiches and cheese on toast from the Nimmings (Clent) visitor centre are things of great beauty.

    1. I shall bear that in mind, as I'd like to think that I'll be back - hopefully with Mick next time.

    2. High spring (Mid May or thereabouts) is a good time; when the bluebells are in full bloom. These are my local hills and my very first (and second) blog posts were about them.

      The post reads a bit dated now, but there's a picture of the bluebells to give you an idea.

      If you happen to be NT members, the visitor centre car park is free.

    3. That is a stunning display of bluebells in your post there!

      We won't be seeing them at their peak next year due to an appointment in Scotland in May, but from what you say about the views I will make sure that it's a clear day next time.

      (Incidentally, I don't know how I've never come across your blog before, but I've now belatedly added you to my reader feed.)