Worcestershire Beacon

Area:West Gloucestershire, Hereford & Worcester
County:Worcestershire
Country:England
Classification:Marilyn and HuMP
(also Clem, County Top - Historic, County Top - Current County and Unitary Authority, and Tump)
Height:425m (with a drop of 337m)
Maps:190 Explorer or 150 Landranger
Grid Ref:SO768452         Hills nearby: 5km 10km 20km
Summit:Lies between a toposcope (or topograph) and a trig point
Notes:rock is 0.6m higher than trig point 14m S at (SO 76884 45224) and 1m higher than topograph 10m N at (SO 76881 45248)
Daylight:dawn 04:00, sunrise 04:49, sunset 21:34, dusk 22:23

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Worcestershire Beacon from North Hill
Worcestershire Beacon from North Hill


Worcestershire Beacon, also popularly known as Worcester Beacon, or locally simply as The Beacon, is a hill whose summit at 425 m (1,395 ft) is the highest point of the range of Malvern Hills that runs approximately 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north-south along the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border, although Worcestershire Beacon itself lies entirely within Worcestershire.

The steep eastern flank of the hill begins immediately behind Bellevue Terrace, one of the two main shopping streets in the town centre of Malvern from where its summit is a brisk 15-20 minutes steep walk via St Ann's Well or Happy Valley. It can also be accessed by a short, steep, un-pathed climb from Jubilee Drive on the western side, or reached by a more leisurely stroll along the crest of the ridge from a car park near the Wyche Cutting, a mile or so to the south of the town centre.

The Beacon affords an extensive panoramic view that includes the Lickey Hills near Redditch, The Wrekin and past Birmingham to Cannock Chase, as well as much of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, the Welsh border mountains, the Shropshire Hills and across the valleys of the Severn and Avon to the Cotswold Hills. Parts of thirteen counties, the Bristol Channel, and the cathedrals of Worcester, Gloucester and Hereford can be seen.

The hill itself appears to mark the northern terminal of the ancient shire ditch and was used for at least two Bronze Age burials. The 'ditch' seems to have linked Midsummer Hillfort via the Herefordshire Beacon. On the summit is a viewfinder or toposcope, identifying the hills to be seen on a clear day; it was erected in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.

The name Beacon comes from the use of the hill as a signalling beacon. During World War II the Beacon was used as a fire lookout point for air raids on Birmingham and Coventry, and in the latter latter half of the 20th century it was used regularly as a location for a BBC transmitter relay van for covering horse racing and sports events in Worcester. In recent years it has been used as a beacon for special occasions such as the millennium night of 31st December 1999 when a large fire was lit as part of a nationwide network of hill top beacons to celebrate the event. A café that had existed on the summit for many decades was destroyed by fire in 1989 and has not been replaced.

If you've walked up this hill already why not log on or register and record your walk?

Other walkers registered on our site who have already walked up this hill include: dsutton101, Graywoodhouse, Kingskerswell, McLeish, NickiG, racheljanemchugh, Samndigger, Steve18566, StevetheRover, TallPaul, and wrowlands3.

Photo by Bob Embleton and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) licence. For more information about this photo, including on copyright, see the photo's home page.

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