After spending an enjoyable (if wet) afternoon in Great Malvern (Valentine treat!) it was time to head home but not before (of course) taking the opportunity of visiting a prehistoric site.
On this occasion it was time to visit the famous British Camp – last stand (possibly) of the even more famous Caradoc / Caractacus.
There is a handy car park (Pay and Display with information boards) on the A4104 and concrete paths running right up to the top of the Hillfort. The steeper sections are stepped.
The site is sign posted.
I made my way up alone as Karen has decided it was much more sensible to stay in the car. Luckily the rain had stopped although it was still quite windy. Despite the less than ideal weather you could still see for miles. On a good day the views must be fantastic. Flooded fields were easily seen in the distance. On a day like today it was not surprising to find that we were the only car parked in the car park and I was the only one visiting the Hillfort.
I knew I wouldn’t have time to walk around the full circumference of the site so decided I would make my way to the highest point and view the surroundings from there.
The Hillfort’s defences are certainly impressive – some of the best I have seen. The information stone on the way up states that this is one of the best preserved Hillforts in the country – I wouldn’t disagree. The outer ramparts are several metres high and the inner ramparts even higher and pronounced, although this may have been due to the later medieval ‘modifications’?
So far so good. It then all started to go horribly wrong!
As I got about three quarters of the way up I was engulfed in mist/cloud and the visibility dropped to about 20 metres. Not only that but the wind increased to near gale force and to add insult to injury, it started to hail. It was difficult to stand and it felt like I was being sand-blasted by the hail. I nearly turned around but decided to push on to the summit. The higher I went the worse it got. The temperature dropped and I could feel my lungs getting colder, Due to the coldness and strength of the wind I was finding it quite difficult to breath. I thought I was going to have a heart attack!
I finally reached the top but could see little. I am sure that on a nice day the British Camp is somewhere you could easily spend several hours (paths also run around the top of the ramparts) but certainly not today. I quickly turned around and made my way back down the hill to the safety of the car. As on the way up, when I reached the lower outer defences, the wind eased and I was once again out of the cloud/mist. The hail stopped and I could again see for many miles.
When I arrived back at the car Karen looked at my wind-battered expression with a mixture of alarm and amusement.
‘Weather not so good up there then?’ she enquired
‘You wouldn’t believe what it was like!' I gasped.
All in all the British Camp is an easy and great place to visit.
Just try to make sure you visit on a nice day!
Posted by CARL
17th February 2014ce