THE Malvern Hills may be less than an hour from Solihull, but they’re a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the West Midlands, even when compared to an area as leafy as this.
Long regarded as Worcestershire’s own ‘mini mountain range’ they’re small enough to conquer yet big enough to find peace and quiet and marvel at the views.
And now they’ve been made even more accessible thanks to a brand new book, by local resident Mike Smart.
The Malvern Hills is packed with 160 gorgeous full colour photographs taken by Mike himself and showcase perfectly what has made them so alluring for thousands of years.
For graphic designer Mike the attraction is straight forward: “The hills have their own spirit, you can draw inspiration from them, and they’re a fantastic day out too.”
Right down the centuries, people have been drawn to Malvern, from the ancient iron age hill forts, most spectacularly at British Camp where legend has it Caracticus made his last stand against the Romans, to the more gentle pursuits of Britain’s greatest ever composer Edward Elgar.
And the hills, showcased beautifully in Mike’s book, have retained their allure to this day.
“There have been books on the Malverns before, but I wanted to capture their spirit,” he said.
Indeed, from misty mornings to glorious sundowns, the Hills have never looked better than in this fine volume - and for those who no longer have the puff to scale the full 1,400ft, Mike photos make a more than adequate substitute.
The Malvern Hills by Mike Smart is on sale now and costs £16.99 in large format hardback and is available to order at Waterstones and Borders in Solihull.
Mike himself will be doing a book signing at Beacon Books on Worcester Road, Malvern at 11am on Saturday, March 21.