The Malverns (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) are sometimes referred to as the Seven Sisters, namely Great Malvern, Little Malvern, Malvern Link, North Malvern, West Malvern, The Wyche (or South Malvern, an Iron Age salt route), and Malvern Wells, and are nestled along the roads that run around the Malvern Hills which are some 600 million years old. The area has a rich heritage and culture, fantastic landscapes, and is famous for the spring waters that flow from the Hills.
There are so many attractions and places to visit in the area you may not know where to begin! Below are some suggestions, alternatively use this link for more ideas.
The Malvern Hills and Commons (walking distance)
No visit to the area would be complete without a walk on the spectacular Malvern Hills. Breathtaking views are only a stroll away from Copper Beech House or from any of the many conveniently located car parks dotted around the Hills. The Hills are not only home to beautiful views, but provide a home for some of Britain’s rarest animals, birds, insects and wild plants. Keep an eye out for skylarks, High Brown Fritillary butterflies, dormice, Great Crested Newts and, on those summer evening walks, Barbastelle and Lesser Horseshoe bats.
Malvern Priory and Park (walking distance)
In 2010 Malvern Priory celebrated its 925th anniversary. With stained glass windows second only to York Minster and still retaining its Medieval floor tiles it is well worth a visit. On Sunday afternoons from late May to early September the Victorian bandstand in Priory Park hosts various brass and other bands (Bands in the Park). There is plenty of space to take a picnic, relax, and enjoy the atmosphere. The park is open throughout the year and can be used as a short cut to the Theatre complex. More information about the Priory is available at www.greatmalvernpriory.org.uk and the Park at www.malvernhills.gov.uk.
Upton upon Severn (6.5 miles)
The life-blood of Upton for many centuries has been the River Severn. It was the main highway for commerce, employment and communication. All of this is reflected in today's vibrant town. The focus on the river is now for pleasure, with a large marina and boats visiting Upton for the various festivals held each year. As with Ledbury below, Upton has a magnificent riverside walk. Follow the path past the church tower to the water meadow where swifts, swallows and the occasional skylark can be seen and heard. Buzzards and hawks glide down from the Malvern Hills and swans float down the river - sample a little of the beauty and magic of Upton.
Ledbury (9.2 miles)
Nestling a few miles off the west Malvern Hills this medieval black and white market town is a thriving and fascinating place to visit. Ledbury is renowned locally for its beautiful flower displays and was the national winner of the 2003 Britain in Bloom competition. We recommend a relaxing stroll through the town and along the riverside walk.
Eastnor Castle (9.3 miles)
This magnificent castle is surrounded by a deer park and the terraces overlook a 22 acre lake with walks running around it and into the adjoining woodland of spectacular rare trees. Eastnor is home to Land Rover’s world famous test track and also host to the annual Big Chill music festival. More information and details of forthcoming events can be found at: www.eastnorcastle.com and www.malverns.landrover.com.
Croome Park (10.6 miles)
Commissioned in 1751, Croome Park was one of England's first landscape gardens, aiming for a vision of 'perfected nature'. The centre of which was a series of interlinked undulating shrubberies, punctuated by lovely buildings, statues, specimen trees, a lake with boat house, and a mile and a half long artificial river.
Unfortunately the park changed hands in 1949 and was left to become partly overgrown while sections were converted to arable farm land.
In 1996 the national trust acquired the land, and have since been restoring it to its original glory by clearing weeds, replanting (using original plans), and restoring the buildings and statues. It's a fascinating morning out! More information at www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Hampton Court Van Kampen Gardens (22.5 miles)
The gardens have been recently completed and are one of the most ambitious garden creations of our time. Original Victorian garden walls enclose stunning new flower gardens divided by canals, island pavilions and pleached avenues. The kitchen garden is an ornamental garden of fruit and vegetables. There is a maze of a thousand yews with a gothic tower at its centre. Climb to the top for a panoramic view of the gardens or descend underground to a tunnel that leads to a waterfall in the sunken garden. Beautiful herbaceous borders stretch out from a one hundred and fifty year old wisteria tunnel that leads to vast lawns and ancient trees beside the castle. Beyond the lawns are riverside and woodland walks. More information available at www.hamptoncourt.org.uk