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Holidays in Malvern

An inspirational town at the foot of the Malvern Hills

The beautiful Malvern Hills

Malvern, seen on the map as Great Malvern, is a very beautiful spa town in the middle of Worcestershire, and an excellent holiday destination. With traditional architecture, pretty walks and plenty in the area to keep you busy, you will be spoilt for choice on what to see first.

The town is the focal point of a larger region called The Malverns or Malvern Hills, which are found in north of Bristol and to the west of the Cotswolds. Other towns are West Malvern, North Malvern, Malvern Wells, Colwall and Welland. The landscape is characterised by low plains and high hills. There is no shortage of long-distance trails and walkways through the area.

Malvern’s most famous son is the 20th century composer Sir Edward Elgar (1857—1936), perhaps best known for the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, amongst which was the melody used for Land of Hope and Glory. Elgar was from Malvern, born in nearby Lower Broadheath, and there is a statue of him at the centre of town found on Belle Vue Terrace.

Malvern, and the region at large, is most famous for the medicinal value of its spring water. The water’s healing properties may have been known since medieval times. By Victorian times, the waters were being bottled and sold to people far and wide. Also, high profile clinics were set up by well-known exponents of hydrotherapy.

A sheep on Malvern Hills

The popularity of the spa waters had a positive impact on the growth of the town, with several hotels and boarding houses springing up throughout Great Malvern, North and West Malvern and Little Malvern. During the 1800s, St Ann’s Well received such illustrious guests as Sir Charles Darwin, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Samuel Wilberforce and members of the Royal family of its day.

For evening entertainment, the Malvern Theatres is the place to visit. Housed in the town’s Winter Gardens, it was a major regional music venue through 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Also, visit The Theatre of Small Convenience. With its maximum capacity of 12 customers, in 2002 it was thought to be the world’s smallest theatre.

"The Malverns has inspired authors and composers, many of which are household names…"

Along with the town’s other public venues, it enjoys a regular inclusion at the Malvern Fringe Festival.

The Malverns have inspired writers as well as composers – the Christian author and lecturer CS Lewis, who is best known for his Chronicles of Narnia, and JRR Tolkien of Middle Earth fame, all spent a significant amount of their time in the area. Poet WH Auden taught at the Down’s School and wrote many of his best loved poems here.

Today the town has a nice selection of shops and eateries, with a good selection of restaurants and pubs to satisfy all tastes.

Malvern is well-connected to the national road and rail networks, so travel to Worcester, Birmingham and beyond is simple. The rail journey through the Malverns is amongst one of the most beautiful in the country, and featured on the popular TV show Michael Portillo’s Great British Train Journeys.

Whether you are looking for a romantic break away with your other half or a family holiday to remember, you are sure to find a cottage suitable for you in and around Malvern.

While you’re there

The Theatre of Small Convenience

Built for an audience of 12 people, visit one of the world’s tiniest performance spaces.

The Malvern Hills

Viewpoints across the wide plains to the Welsh Mountains and the Cotswolds surround Malvern.

Edward Elgar’s statue

Have your picture taken with Malvern’s most famous son.

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