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The Malvern Hills are calling
Worcester in General
Member Name: s1an1e
Worcester in General
Advantages: Good links, easy to get to, plenty to do
Disadvantages: If you are city folk it's rural!
I have posted this review here because I can't find anywhere else to put Malvern and it deserves to be put somewhere being one of my favourite getaways. Worcester is the town nearest to Malvern, being some 12 miles away and the hills and Malvern Town itself are easily accessible from Worcester by both road ( about 15 minutes) or direct train link ( about 8 minutes).
If you’re looking for somewhere to go in the holidays this summer you could do a lot worse than hit the sights of Malvern. Malvern is an old Victorian spa town nestling in. Yes the Malvern Hills. In days gone by people would visit the town from near and far to partake of its mysterious waters, which were claimed to clear all manner of ills. Having visited the local Water Museum I think the miraculous properties were derived more from time out from a rich lifestyle than any mystical properties held by the water but what the heck….it made Malvern rich and famous, as it still is today for it’s bottled water.
If you are a water connoisseur you can actually collect your own Malvern Spring Water from St. Anne’s Well. It’s a bit of a hike up a hill but the views are great and they provide a café for a recovery stop.
Aside from Water, Malvern is best known for it’s hill walks and has a thriving hill walking tourism industry. It is the home of Elgar (famous ancient musician) with local attractions including The Malvern Festival Theatre, (part of the West End circuit so it gets all the London shows) Eastnor Castle and the Three Counties Showground, which houses a host of different agricultural shows throughout the year together with proms and fireworks displays in September and November. A short drive or train trip, as mentioned, takes you to the historic city of Worcester, where you can visit the Cathedral, Worcester Porcelain and the Commandery together with a large pedestrianised range of shops. Talking of shopping, if staying in Malvern there are good train links directly into the Bull Ring in Birmingham. A shoppers paradise! (Approx. £7 return on a saver day ticket) as well as all the other Birmingham attractions such as the Sealife Centre. Take care though, there are two Malvern stations….Great Malvern and Malvern Link. If you want the centre of town you want to make sure you get off at Great Malvern.
The town itself boasts a great range of Victorian buildings. It is picturesque and the local conservators have gone to great lengths to try and keep the character of the town. It has all facilities including a leisure centre, complete with gym, wave machine and water flume, a cinema within the Theatre complex and a number of quirky and boutique like shops and cafes. The ‘Scarlet Ark’ in the High Street meets both these criteria. I highly recommend the hot chocolate, with whipped cream and marshmallows of course, together with the chocolate brownies, a personal favourite. The shop next to the café, also called the Scarlet Ark, is home to a number of craft items from local artisans. Oh yes, another thing Malvern is famous for ….pictures of the Malvern Hills! The place is frequented by artists of varying calibres and there are a number of outlets for their works in the town.
If you choose to stay in the town itself it has a number of options from hotels to B & B. The main hotel, and grandest, is the Abbey. This is an olde worlde type of place, with ivy clinging to it’s walls. It has over 100 rooms and great views. It’s very central to the town, in fact whilst in a quiet location next to the Priory it is only about 2 minutes walk to the town centre. If booking on line shop around for deals though as prices range from £50 - £115 for a standard double.
There are a number of smaller hotels such as The Foley Arms. (www.foleyarmshotel.com) Again in a central location but I felt with more of a pub atmosphere than posh hotel of days gone by…. Or should that be described as a relaxed atmosphere. Anyhow, it is a different league to the Abbey but at a cost of £100 for a double it’s not really reflected in the price.
There is also a wealth of character B & B properties around at various prices. These represent far more value for money and provide all the comforts of home.
If you choose to stay in the town you may wonder what there is to do of an evening. As already mentioned the Malvern Festival Theatre is on the West End circuit and get a great array of productions from London either at the end or the start of a tour. Recent attractions have been Blood Brothers and the Rat Pack. Full details of events at the theatre can be found at www.malvern-theatres.co.uk and it is advisable to book in advance although last minute tickets do become available.
From an eating point of view Malvern is limited but what it has is of an excellent standard. The Italian restaurant, Benedicto’s in Church Walk (01684 578288), is in the centre of town and highly recommended. Parking is easy, although everything in Malvern can be walked to if staying there, and it is owned and staffed by first generation Italians who have been known to burst into song when overcome with enthusiasm for their work! It also has a wonderful Indian restaurant, the Anupam. A word of warning here though, if you think an Indian meal is a cheap alternative think again and avoid this place. The food is superb but so are the prices and you need to book in advance, particularly at a weekend.
There is the usual array of pubs, many being freehouses which stocking a range of beers. One of particular note is the Nags Head in Graham Road. This pub usual stocks at least 7-8 guest beers and has won numerous awards. They have recently refurbished their restaurant which serves home cooked meals of a great quality. You can’t book though so if you want to eat get there early. If you have a car, the pubs in the area are too many to mention. I suggest you get your CAMRA book out! For none beer drinkers like myself, what I particularly like about the pubs round here is most of them have a wine list and sell by the glass….this means that while hubby quaffs that real ale pint you too can have a pleasant and refreshing drink – not the usual offering of Stowells!
If having read this you would like more details I suggest you visit
They have details on all hotels, restaurants and attractions in the area in what they refer to as the Malvern Experience. If you are looking for a get away from it place to go in the Midlands I suggest you look no further.
I love the town. As a place to get away and recoup it’s great. Even the children enjoy it for a weekend or two. There are an enormous range of walks, either in the hills or over the common and the surrounding countryside is superb. I would recommend it to anyone.
Thank you for reading this and if you go, enjoy.
Summary: A wonderful english getaway.
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