Walking with Edward Elgar

The image at the top of the page shows British Camp in the Malverns, the setting for Elgar's cantata Caractacus.

Five unique walks to download and enjoy

These five walks (see below) are part of an archive consisting of nearly 150 routes in and around Herefordshire which were conceived, tried, tested and put into print by local writer Garth Lawson. They appeared every month for more than twelve years in The Hereford Times. Maps have been updated and routes checked in the spring of 2021. The historical and topographical background of each walk - and how it relates to Edward Elgar - can be found on this website.

Exploring the landscape which fired the imagination of one of Britain’s great composers

Born in a tiny rural Worcestershire cottage, the son of a modest piano-tuner, Edward Elgar’s music saw him transcend humble beginnings to achieve international fame and earn a knighthood along the way. The five walks that we have devised are set in the town, river, hills and countryside which were familiar to Elgar at the turn of the twentieth century. From 1891 to 1904, the composer lived on either side of the Malvern Hills, which provided much of the inspiration for his early works. In our Malvern Hills Pilgrimage (Walk Four) for example, we bestride the same dramatic domain as his choral work Caractacus. From 1904 to 1911 Elgar lived in Hereford and we visit the places where he walked or cycled when at the height of his powers. There’s even a nod to fellow maestro George Bernard Shaw on Bringsty Common. Elgar’s enduring appeal is witnessed by Land of Hope and Glory being a signature tune of the Last Night of the Proms and in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, on 17th April, 2021, “Nimrod”, from his first great success, the Enigma Variations  was played at the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Downloading the walks

Each walk can be individually downloaded as a pdf from the relevant page. They are all free, but in exchange we would ask for a donation to St Michael's Hospice, near Hereford. How much you choose to donate is entirely up to you.

We can be contacted at info@herefordshirewalks.co.uk

This website is kindly sponsored by The Lichfield Vaults, Church Street, Hereford.