The Geopark Way from Alfrick to Eastnor
Special Selection Hotels
3rd Oct 2021 – 8th Oct 2021
- See website for other dates
Tour code: 77805
Last Modified: 27th September 2021
See what's planned
Walk the undulating Malvern Hills and you’re exploring geological history. These ancient landscapes beckon you on to uncover how their scenic splendour was created.
The Geopark Way meanders for 109 miles from Bridgnorth to Gloucester through landscapes 700 million years in the making. We walk south, covering around 36 miles of the trail in four nine-mile sections of spectacular countryside through the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark from Alfrick to Eastnor. We encounter sites of geological importance that illustrate the forces that have shaped our world.
The rocks on the Malvern Hills are aged between the Silurian and Precambrian periods. The hills themselves rise from the Severn Valley plain and were formed during the Silurian period (420 million years ago). The Precambrian granite rocks are the oldest to be found in England. Towards the end of our route in the Leadon Valley, solid rock disappears from view; the huge glaciers melting at the end of the Ice Age released immense volumes of water which softened the lines of the landscape.
The trail offers varied walking alongside rivers, through forests, along ridges and across valley floors with impressive views along the way. Passing through an assortment of habitats you may encounter a wide variety of wildlife. Quaint villages and towns along the route add further interest.
These holidays are not intended as a geological field course, but an opportunity to explore the landscape with good walks visiting interesting sites.
What's not included?
This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 5½ hours and could involve as much as 500m of cumulative ascent and descent across undulating terrain and daily mileage between 8 and 11.5 miles. The highest point reached is about 425m.
Our bottom line is happy travellers, and to that end we trust our tour leaders to use the itinerary below as a basis for providing you with a great holiday. We expect our leaders to make adjustments to the itinerary if the weather, group ability or other local conditions make that necessary. There are normally more options available to our leaders than those listed below and one or more of these options may well be chosen. All distances, heights & timings are approximate.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
The Abbey Hotel
Independent travel to The Abbey Hotel in Great Malvern. Check in at the hotel is from 3pm. Meet your tour leader and your walking companions at approximately 7pm in the hotel bar area before your evening meal.
Dinner each evening is in the hotel restaurant.
Alfrick to Malvern
Breakfast & Dinner
The Abbey Hotel
From the village of Alfrick in the Teme Valley we walk across the Suckley Hills towards the Malvern Hills. The hills offer some excellent wildlife spotting opportunities and plenty of interest for the amateur geologist. The walk has numerous stiles but there are no long, steep climbs. We regularly gain different and interesting sights of the hills as they get nearer before arriving back at the hotel.
The Malvern Hills
Breakfast & Dinner
The Abbey Hotel
The classic walk of the holiday, we will walk along the ridge of the hills over some of the oldest rocks in Britain enjoying superb views over the Severn Valley and surrounding countryside.
We walk up onto the hills via St Ann’s Well, a popular meeting place since the construction of the building here in 1813. We climb onto the Worcestershire Beacon (425m) and then walk along the ridge before crossing the Wyche Cutting, a pass through the hills which was once part of an Iron Age salt route. We continue to the foot of British Camp, an Iron Age hillfort whose summit is 338m. A climb to the summit is optional before we return to Great Malvern via St Wulstan’s Church, where Sir Edward Elgar and his wife are buried, and then the eastern slopes of the hills stopping to visit Holy Well.
Upper Wyche to Ledbury
Breakfast & Dinner
The Abbey Hotel
South from the Malvern ridge we stroll through the ridges and vales of a quintessentially English landscape. For the geologically minded, underfoot we have Silurian limestones and shales, for the hedonistic, rural Britain at its best.
We travel by coach to the Wyche Cutting. We then walk along the western slopes of the hills to the village of Colwall. We’ll visit its church and view the exterior of the 16th Century ale house built in its grounds. From there we walk via Hope End (where Elizabeth Barrett Browning grew up) and Wellington Heath to the market town of Ledbury. We should arrive in Ledbury by 3.30pm.
Its main attractions are to be found in the much photographed Church Lane - St Michaels Church which dates from the Norman period, The Grammar School - it was the town’s school from late 15th Century through to 1830s and now houses the Ledbury Heritage Centre which explains the story of the town’s past (free entry), Butcher Row House - this house formerly stood in High Street but was moved in 1830, and now houses a small museum displaying aspects of Victorian life (free entry), The Prince of Wales PH which dates from 16th Century, 16th Century Painted Room - Paintings were discovered in one of the oldest timber-framed buildings in the town and The Market House - This house, erected on wooden stilts, was built in 1655 and the ground floor is still used as an open market.
Ledbury via Bromsberrow Church to Eastnor (or Birtsmorton)
Breakfast & Dinner
The Abbey Hotel
We travel by coach to Ledbury. From there we walk via the village of Eastnor to the summit of Midsummer Hill (284m and the second Iron Age hillfort on the Malverns). We walk around the slopes of Ragged Stone Hill to the hamlet of White Leaved Oak (stopping to view the oak after which the hamlet is named). From there we walk on the slopes of the Chase End Hill then through the meadows and parkland of Bromsberrow Place, continue on the Geopark Way to the Parish Church, then continue to Eastnor Church where we will be collected by coach and return to our hotel. An alternative finishing location is a pub in Birtsmorton, depending on opening times and expected arrival times.
Independent departure from The Abbey Hotel after breakfast. Check out is by 11am. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.
Walks & Excursions
Meandering its way through the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark, the Geopark Way is a spectacular 109 mile, long-distance footpath, situated between Bridgnorth and Gloucester. It runs through stunning countryside and landscapes dating back to over 700 million years. Because of this, you can expect to see impressive and varied rock formations, which illustrate some of the most significant geological events to shape our planet.
We will enjoy a series of walks heading south. Over our four days, we will take on four sections of the Geopark Way, walking approximately 10 miles a day. We will be walking the route from Knightwick to Bromsberrow. The trail will offer varied walking alongside rivers, through forests, along ridges and across valley floors, with remarkable views along the way. We will roam through quaint and undisturbed villages and towns, just as interesting as the rock displays, adding further interest to our rambles.
To help enhance your learning of the fantastic geology you will see on the way, you can purchase the well-recommended guide book ‘The Geopark Way Trail Guide’ which provides an interpretation of the geology and landscapes along the trail.
Generally, we will be walking on good paths but the terrain may be rocky underfoot. Each day, 8-11.5 miles of walking are covered with ascents of a maximum of approximately 500m.
Please note that this holiday is not intended as a geological field course, but more an opportunity to explore the landscape by combining good walks with visiting interesting sites.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Tour Leaders & Local Guides
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Your Travel Details
To reach the hotel…
by car: M5 from The South.
Exit Junction 8 and take M50 to Junction 1. Take A38 for 3 miles and turn left onto the A4104. At Upton-upon-Severn, turn right at the mini roundabout towards Great Malvern and after about 2 miles turn left onto the B4211, marked Great Malvern. Once through Barnards Green, take the third exit at the roundabout up the hill into Barnards Green Road. Turn left at the next traffic lights and then as the road bends sharply to the left, turn right into Abbey Road.
M5 from the North. Exit Junction 7 and follow the signs for the A449 marked Malvern. After approx 8 miles you will pass the Malvern Link Common on your left, you need to turn left at the traffic lights into Graham Road marked Malvern Theatres. Go straight over two sets of traffic lights, pass Malvern Theatres on your left, then as the road bends sharply to the left, and turn right into Abbey Road
by rail: Great Malvern Station is situated on the Intercity Rail Network between Paddington and Hereford. The station is situated less than one mile from the Abbey Hotel.
Taxis from Great Malvern station. With Malvern Taxis (Tel: 07775 060704), will cost approximately £3.50-£4.00. It is only a two minute taxi ride to the hotel.
The Abbey Hotel is right in the centre of the small town and is situated next to the Priory Church and Theatre.
You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the accommodation: www.rome2rio.com
Please check the time of dinner on arrival at the hotel, and aim to be in the hotel bar half an hour before dinner (approximately 7pm) for an introduction to your Ramblers Walking Holidays tour leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your walking companions.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Where are we going to stay?
The Abbey Hotel
Abbey Road, Great Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3ET
The four-star Abbey Hotel in Great Malvern lies in the heart of traditional English countryside, at the foot of the ancient Malvern Hills, making it an excellent base for our explorations along the Geopark Way.
Unique rooms with high-speed Wi-Fi have everything you need to unwind, including coffee and tea-making facilities, satellite TV channels and room service. Enjoy seasonal British and Mediterranean cuisine in the refurbished Priory View restaurant, with views over the Vale of Evesham, or take a drink at the bar. As part of half board, breakfasts and dinners are included but picnic lunches are not, however there are shops nearby where you can purchase picnic supplies.
Guests also have access to the local leisure centre, a two minute walk away, with a swimming pool, gym, sauna and steam room.
Footwear & Kit List
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Holiday Specific Kit
In addition, we recommend that you bring a flask with you on your walks each day. Due to the time of year, it is sensible to bring a hot drink out with you to help keep warm.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information
Maps, Guidebooks & More
The walks mentioned in this document are covered by:
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
Staying Healthy On Holiday
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for United Kingdom
No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.
Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Staying In Touch
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for the future. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your attention to any significant change.
You may wish to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.
Our office is open and our Sales & Reservations team are available to speak to you from:
Please quote your Booking Reference number and Tour Code whenever contacting us.
We wish you an enjoyable holiday!
Our holiday walking grades
Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.
The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.
Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.