Hidden treasures and things to do in Malvern

Monday, 22 April 2024

Discover a newfound appreciation for the English countryside as you soak up the traditional British elegance of Malvern with its cosy pubs, quaint shops and millennium of history.

Tucked away behind the hefty row of green hills sits the quintessential British countryside town of Malvern, which was first established in the 11th century by Benedictine monks. Discover the traditional charm of this West Midlands gem from its history, characterful old buildings and natural beauty. Beyond its elegant appearance and notoriety as a source of pure water, you’ll uncover a range of things to do in Malvern, including a vibrant creative scene and a host of tempting independent boutiques.

Sit back and enjoy an easy train ride to Great Malvern or Malvern Link – both with direct routes from Birmingham New Street.

Spend a day rediscovering the English countryside with a trip to Malvern. While you’re there, make sure you visit the hidden treasures and top attractions of the town. Check out all the activities in Malvern below.

Visit the Morgan Experience Centre

You don’t have to be a petrolhead to be impressed by the Morgan Experience Centre's sensational collection of luxury sports cars and high-tech factory workings. Watch the engineers hard at work in each unique area of the workshop. The components are built and put together to create retail-ready Morgan automobiles – there are no mockups or viewing galleries here.

Adult tickets cost £32.50 and £16.50 for children. While you’re there, you’ll also find a cafe and an opportunity to book a passenger ride in one of their finest cars or even hire a car for the day for an extra special occasion.

Distance from Great Malvern station: 1.5 miles

Hike the Malvern Hills

Bursting out of the ground in the Worcester countryside is the line of mounds, reaching heights of 425 metres at the Worcester Beacon, where you can soak up 360-degree views of your surroundings. Follow the snaking trail from the foot of the Malvern Hills through sheltered woodland and along the ridge for an unbeatable perspective of Great Malvern.

It’s fairly easy to navigate but you can choose from a range of trails in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for all levels of ability. Two of the most loved hikes, both of which take around two hours, are the North Hill Circular , which is 2.5 miles and the 3.5-mile British Camp to Swinyard Hill Circular .

Distance from Great Malvern station: 0.6 miles to the start of the North Hill Circular and 4.2 miles to the beginning of the British Camp to Swinyard Hill, which is a 12-minute taxi ride.

Bring home some blooms

Nestled into the lower slopes of the Malvern Hills, you’ll find the floral green spaces and plants available to buy at Old Court Nurseries & Picton Garden . Impressive displays can be admired in every season, with snowdrops in winter, heritage Narcissus in spring and herbaceous plants in summer. In autumn, you’ll catch the garden’s most magnificent spectacle of over 430 blooming Michaelmas daisies.

Stroll along the winding paths through the 1.5-acre gardens past bushy shrubs and mature trees. Top it all off by visiting the shop where you can take home some of your favourite plants you’ve seen on the grounds.

Distance from Great Malvern station: 3.2 miles – you can catch a 5-minute West Midlands train to Colwall, and it’s a 0.4-mile walk from there.

Step into Medieval Malvern

Delve into the local history of Malvern and learn the tales of prehistoric hill forts, the mediaeval forest and The Water Cure in the Malvern Museum . The Abbey Gateway is an imposing grade II-listed building dating back to before 1600 – it’s one of few surviving monastic gatehouses.

Walk beneath the ancient oak timbers, past original stone blocks and the ornate lookout window into the museum. Listen to an audio guide, try the interactive displays and dress up in historic costumes while learning about mediaeval Malvern.

Distance from Great Malvern station: 0.7 miles

Choose a traditional country pub

Sit beside the crackling fire with a pint on a chilly winter’s evening or lounge in a sunny beer garden when the weather is warmer. Malvern is a great place for cosy traditional pubs with classic wooden bars, cosy, snug corners and a lively community feel.

Whether you’re after a hearty Sunday roast or British comfort food like a pie and chips with friendly service and a laid-back atmosphere, you’ll have plenty of options during your visit. The Nag’s Head is dog-friendly, with an open fire and an excellent range of craft beer. Pop into The Morgan Public House and relax in the garden, or settle in for a night of competitive games in Wavers of Malvern , which offers a chest full of games and a dartboard.

Distance from Great Malvern station: All within 1 mile.

Browse the quirky bookshops

Sniff that old book smell in one of the quaint and traditional bookshops in Malvern, like The Malvern Bookshop , Books for Amnesty and Rossiter Books . Scattered around the Bellevue Terrace road are a handful of quaint bookstores overflowing with second-hand bargains and new releases from floor to ceiling. Hunt out your favourite author or try something completely new. You can also find the occasional literary event taking place in these shops too.

Once you’ve sorted out your reading list for the year, you could wander into the independent boutiques, antique shops and fashion retailers along the street.

Distance from Great Malvern station: All within 0.6 miles.

A real taste of Malvern

Since the 17th century, travellers have journeyed to Malvern to get their hands on the naturally filtered water, which is famed for its purity and, some say healing properties. Water bursts through rocks in the earth in over two hundred natural springs around the Malvern Hills, which you can collect to drink. In ancient times, people would create pools to capture the water. Over time, this progressed into basins, troughs, wells, convenient spouts and taps.

Take yourself on a Malvern Water Tasting tour and sip the clean water of the Malverns at Haysland, Malvhina, Evendine Spring, St Anne’s Well, Holy Well, Westminster Bank or Lower Wyche Spout. The Holy Well gained its name from the mediaeval times when local monks used the water to cure people from illnesses.

Distance from Great Malvern station: All within 4 miles – the closest is St Annes Well, which is 0.8 miles away.

Immerse yourself in the artistic scene

Mood-boosting live music, gripping performances and eye-opening hands-on workshops can be found in this unassuming town. Seeking to inspire, educate and entertain are three welcoming creative spaces.

Salvaged from closure by locals, the Malvern Cube boasts regular live events and creative workshops and has a quaint garden cafe. Inside the elegant grade II-listed Elmslie House is a hive of art exhibitions, health and wellbeing classes and gigs. Or you can settle in for a block-buster movie screening, operatic masterpiece and numerous other live performances at the Malvern Theatres .

Distance from Great Malvern station: All within 0.5 miles.

Pause in the outdoors

Take some time to relax in nature during your busy day exploring Malvern. On the foothills of the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is an Eden for wildlife throughout the year with sycamore trees planted in the Victorian era. Arguably, the best time to visit Happy Valley is in spring when the landscape comes alive with a blanket of vibrant bluebells.

Take the little ones to let off some steam in the children’s play area in Priory Park . Tuck into a picnic on the grass surrounded by wildflowers and watch the Kingfishers catch their dinner in the pond.

Distance from Great Malvern station: 0.8 miles Happy Valley, 0.4 miles Priory Park.

Handy tip: When you travel with West Midlands Railway, you can get exclusive 2FOR1 deals, 1/3 OFF savings and many other great discounts available at top attractions in and around Great Britain.

Venture into the heart of England and save money with off-peak tickets to Malvern. You can purchase your ticket via the West Midlands Railway app.