The Malvern Hills have been likened to a miniature mountain range. There is a ridge of eight miles, which consists of some of the oldest rocks in the UK, which have a distinctive craggy outline. They have felt the footsteps of some distinguished explorers and Mallory was one that used the Malvern Hills for Mount Everest practice! There are over 4500 acres of beautiful countryside for gentle walks, some extreme activities, horse riding, climbing, and cycling. There is something for all outdoors lovers.
An Iron Age fort dominates the Herefordshire Beacon that most visitors make a special effort to see. The ramparts, which are 2000 years old, are still clearly visible today. This fort was thought to be a line of defence where people gathered in times of trouble. However, nearby excavations suggest the fort was permanently occupied. If this were the case, then the fort would have been home to 4000 people or thereabouts for up to 500 years.
Hill forts made way for different defences once the Romans arrived. Caractacus the last of the ancient British chieftains made a final stand against the Romans at British Camp in the Malverns. If legend is to be believed, he was captured and imprisoned in Rome but so enamoured was Emperor Claudius with Caractacus, he gave him a villa and a generous pension! The coming of the Romans meant the end of hill forts, but the start of one of the great Malvern legends.
Popular folklore has it that the Ancient British chieftain Caractacus made his last stand at British Camp.
The legend says that he was captured after a heroic fight and transported to Rome, where he so impressed the Emperor Claudius that he was given a villa and a pension.
Unfortunately, this legend is unlikely to be true. The composer Elgar was enchanted by the tale and wrote a cantata in 1898 called Caractacus.
This famous beauty spot has scenic views over Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The Worcestershire Beacon is the highest spot at 425 metres (1395ft) above sea level. There are many natural springs and wells in the area and a spa town evolved at nearby Great Malvern. Malvern water is a famed and highly sought after table water for drinking and one of the first bottled by Schweppes in 1850. A favourite of several generations of royalty, Queen Elizabeth II takes Malvern water with her on all her overseas travels.
There are fun spy trails to follow where you can find clues to solve on a circular driving or cycling tour. The spy pack has been expertly designed so you can test your problem solving skills, learn about the history, and see the most spectacular sights. There are plenty of inns and hostelries along the way for refreshments and plenty of picnic areas. The Malvern Hills are one of our most highly recommended places to visit during your stay at Cooks Green Cottage – happy exploring!