175 km / 109 miles
A route devised to highlight geology, landscape and associated heritage by linking geological sites in the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark, it makes a sinuous north-south traverse from the Severn in Shropshire through Wyre Forest coalfield to the windblown sands of Hartlebury Common near Stourport, crossing to the Abberley Hills and then along the crests of the ancient Malvern Hills. In Gloucestershire it traverses the Leadon valley and visits May Hill and Huntley Quarry Geological Reserve before crossing the Vale of Gloucester and Severn as the Cotswold Hills come into full view.
It offers varied walking alongside rivers, through forests, along ridge-tops and across valley floors. Passing through an assortment of habitats, there is a plethora of wildlife adding to the occasion with stately views to match. Quaint villages and towns dot the route bringing further elements of exploration and enchantment.
The rocks along the Geopark Way tell amazing stories of continental collision, of tropical seas, hot deserts, equatorial swamps and coastal lagoons and of vast ice sheets and polar deserts. But just as interesting are the building stones of churches, bridges, town halls, cottages and even a cathedral. These stories can be followed in the guidebook, across different parts of the four counties that make up the Geopark and they deliver a totally new perspective on long distance walking.
Starting in the town of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, on the banks of the River the Severn the Geopark Way heads south passing through the Wyre Forest before reaching wind swept sands of Hartlebury common. From the Common the trail heads to the Abberley Hills. Following the sinuous crest of the Hills southwards the trail eventually reaches the Malvern Hills. Famed for their impressive geological age, around 700 million years old, the Malvern Hills offer dramatic views across the surrounding landscape.
Leaving the Malvern Hills the horizon changes as the Cotswold Hills come into full view. Into Gloucestershire the trail passes over May Hill with its distinctive crown of Jubilee (Queen Victoria) trees, before entering into Huntley Quarry Geological Reserve.
The final leg of the trail leads you over relatively flat plains before arriving at its final destination of Gloucester cathedral.
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