One of the more prosperous parts of the West Midlands, The Malverns is the generic name for a string of towns and villages stretched along the eastern lower slopes of the Malvern Hills, which rise spectacularly out of the flatlands a few miles to the southwest of Worcester. About nine miles from north to south – between the A44 and the M50 – and never more than five miles wide, the hills straddle the Worcestershire–Herefordshire boundary. Of ancient granite rock, they are punctuated by over twenty summits, mostly around 1000ft high, and in between lie innumerable dips and hollows. It’s easy, if energetic, walking country, with great views, and there’s an excellent network of hiking trails, most of which can be completed in a day or half-day with Great Malvern being the obvious base.

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