Geopark Way 2009
Geopark waymark

May 22nd to 31st 2009: Our major walk this year was Britain's newest long-distance path, The Geopark Way – a 109-mile trail which runs from Bridgnorth in Shropshire to Gloucester Cathedral, taking us through the Severn Valley Country Park and over the Malverns and the Worcestershire Beacon.  A rich variety of terrain and landscapes, excellent weather, and good cider along the way!  The emphasis of the walk is supposed to be on its geological features, but due to our tight schedule (having to complete the route in 9 days instead of the recommended 17 days) and tough challenging sections (a missing footbridge, dense areas of nettles, and not least struggling with the buggy up huge flights of steps…) some of the features did rather pass us by, although we did see some impressive fossils along the way which we wouldn't have discovered without the excellent guidebook.

Below is a selection of pictures from the trek.  There are also lots more photos, plus a day-by-day report of the walk, on Shaun's website.

More background information on the Geopark Way is available on the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust website.  There's also a blog of the route on the BBC site, but they seemed to avoid the "missing footbridge" section near Bewdley – maybe they knew something we didn't.

Halfway House campsite factor 75

The Halfway House campsite at Bridgnorth

Steve and Martin, applying Factor 75

   
Bridgnorth Castle Alongside the River Severn

The leaning castle of Bridgnorth – start of the route

Alongside the River Severn

   
St Bernard's Lily Severn Valley Country Park

A St Bernard's Lily, which kept the botanists happy

Severn Valley Country Park: revisiting a BCV project from three years ago

   
Highley Station Crossing a field

Highley Station: boarding the Severn Valley train back to Bridgnorth

Crossing a field

   
Redstone Rock hermitage cave Flight of steps

The impressive Redstone Rock hermitage caves

Negotiating the buggy up a flight of steps
   
Elizabeth on a rope swing Cream tea, Martley

Elizabeth – the queen of the swingers

Cream tea and/or a pint at Martley

   
The talbot at Knightwick Worcestershire Beacon

The legendary Talbot at Knightwick

Highest point of the walk: The Worcestershire Beacon on the Malvern ridge

   
Donkey Limestone fossils

Our group seems to have gained a member

Limestone fossils
   
The hill up to the obelisk Overgrown path

The never-ending hill up to the obelisk

Overgrown path: we need Vic the Stick!

   
Campsite breakfast View back to the Malvern Hills
Campsite breakfast at Greenway Farm

View back to the Malvern Hills

   
The top of May Hill Group picture on May Hill

Top of May Hill

Group picture on May Hill

   
Shaun with horses Group picture outside Gloucester Cathedral

Shaun has some new friends

Gloucester Cathedral: the end of the walk

   
Celebratory pints Celebratory custard

Celebratory pints for the ladies

Celebratory custard for Martin – cheers!

   
Poor Victor looks exhausted  

Poor Victor looks exhausted