I have lived in Bromsgrove for just over three years and one thing I love about the Worcestershire area is the proximity of a number of hilly areas. We are moving further into the West Midlands soon and I fully intend on making the most of my local hills. Here are my favourites and why.
Waseley Hills Country Park
Ah the Waseleys…this was the first outdoor space that we discovered when we moved to Worcestershire. It is 10 minutes away from our house and always has parking available – at a really reasonable price too. As a fairly small park geographically, it manages to pack in quite a lot. Some rolling hills – some more steep than rolling! A few large ponds, which keeps Nigel happy – he can sit and watch ponds for hours, pointing our pond skaters, nymphs, larvae, tadpoles, frogs, birds – he will always find something in nature to watch, no matter what time of year it is.
With a few miles of pathways, there is a route for many abilities and they are all well signposted and mapped out. I know them very well, I spent many evenings running along those paths, and up and down the hills with a rucksack on my back full of books, training for my climb up Mount Elbrus.
The source of the River Rhea can be found in the Waseley Hills Country Park, just near the main car park. which is lso nicely signposted. The park boasts a beautiful thick carpet of bluebells in the summer and gorgeous auburn leaves above you in the autumn. Along with the fact that there is a great play area at the bottom of the hills, a barbeque that can be rented out and of course, a cafe that sells amazing cakes and teas, what more reasons do you need to go and visit?!
Find more information here
The Lickey Hills covers a large green hilly area 10 miles south of Birmingham and has footpaths that cover distances from 1.8 to 5.6 miles. The Park has a sculpture trail that you can follow; since 1991 a sculpture has been commissioned each year. and has been placed on this path. My favourite is the spirit of the woods, sculpted by Graham Jones, representing a hermaphrodite growing out of the ground.
The hills used to be owned by the manor of Bromsgrove before being opened up to the public in 1888. From the three hilltops, there great views over the city of Birmingham. You can see tower blocks, factories, farms and fields. Is that beauty? Call it what you will, but I always find it so peaceful up there looking over a huge city with the feeling of being somewhere far away from it.
Beacon Hill, the larger hill was part of a network of beacons throughout the country which were lit to communicate the need for help or alert to invasions, which, according to Britain explorer.com, inspired J.R.R.Tolkein’s beacons of Gondor in his novels Lord of the Rings. An elaborate toposcope in the form of a miniature castle was built on top of Beacon Hill to commemorate the centenary of the park.
Great to run around, picnic in the summer and enjoy the views even though they may be man-made and of an unconventional beauty