One of the best things about the location of our head office is that we can see the hills every day as we arrive at work as they define the skyline behind the building. To my absolute shame, despite working here for almost 18 months, I was yet to make it up to the hills for a walk. I live quite far away from Malvern but that really is a poor excuse, so when Alison Findlay invited Malvern employees to take part in this sponsored walk, I knew it was time to correct this!
Our group was small but enthusiastic, consisting of Alison from the HR team, Rachel Lewis from the Finance Team, Nicolas Rinaldo from the Help Desk, and myself representing Marketing. Plus we were joined by Alison’s 9 year-old daughter Leah, and her two gorgeous dogs, Indi and Pip. Nicolas is a gifted photographer and you can see his visual record of the day throughout this post.
It was a hard slog dragging myself out of bed at 6.30 a.m. on a Saturday, but luckily we were blessed with a bright, sunny day. In typical British fashion, Rachel & I took advantage of the rare opportunity to soak up the sun’s rays, while our French friend Nicolas complained that it was cold and kept his gloves and scarf on for the duration!
We parked up at North Quarry Car Park and hopped on a coach to the start of the walk. As the coach trundled on for more than 15 minutes, the walk back suddenly seemed like quite a daunting prospect!
There were some steep climbs at the beginning of the route, which had us groaning and stopping frequently, but the stunning views that rewarded us at the top of each hill made the effort worth it.
On top of some of the hills, the wind picked up and we could pretend that we were flying!
The bluebells were in full bloom, which was an unexpected delight. I have never seen so many of the wildflowers in one place, as they carpeted the hillside.
In some places, we had the option of taking an easier route around the side of the hill, or heading up and over. But we walked according to Rachel’s motto – if in doubt, go up!
Our canine companions found the whole walk a breeze.
18 month-old puppy, Pip even had the energy for some acrobatics along the 11 mile route.
Reaching the top of The Beacon – the highest point in Worcestershire – felt like a real achievement. We had climbed our final hill on the route! Time for a group photo…
We still had a few miles to go before reaching the end, but the final leg was far less punishing. By time time we arrived back at the car park, I already knew I would have a few aches the next day. But it was worth it for the extraordinary views. the grand company, and the satisfaction of raising funds for a great local cause.
If you wish, you can still donate to the hospice via my Just Giving page, here.
Thanks again to Nicolas for the beautiful photos.