Our round-up of the best activities in Malvern includes Eastnor Castle, Witley Court and Gardens, the Worcestershire Beacon and more.
Activities in Malvern
Spread over Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucester, the Malvern Hills are a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty home to gentle rolling hills, sweeping grassland and several important geological sites. The hills are alive with activities including miles of hiking and biking trails plus fishing, climbing, hang-gliding and horse riding. The area is also packed with historical finds including settlements dating back to the Bronze Age and famous for its spring water and holy wells. Take the three-mile round trip up to the highest hill, the 425-metre-tall Worcestershire Beacon, and you’ll be rewarded with views for miles taking in the Wye Valley, the Cotswolds and the Severn Vale.
Great Malvern Priory
Located in the southern part of the Malvern Hills, Eastnor Castle is a fun-packed family day out offering everything from adventure playgrounds and a maze to fine art and gleaming medieval armour. Open on select days from Easter until the end of September, the grounds of the castle are perfect for exploring, tree-climbing and bike rides, while guides are on hand in each room of the 16th-century castle to talk you through the displays and the estate’s history. Food and drinks are available from the Castle Tea Room with plenty of picnic benches dotted around the grounds if you’re taking your own lunch and snacks.
Great Malvern Priory
Almost 1,000 years old, the Great Malvern Priory was a Benedictine monastery from 1075 until 1540 and is now a Grade I-listed building and an Anglican parish church. Located on the western edge of Malvern near Priory Park and Malvern Theatres, the priory is a treasure trove of medieval architecture and design, boasting the largest display of 15th-century stained glass in the UK and an impressively conserved collection of floor and wall tiles dating back centuries. The church is free to explore with guided tours available from the Friends of Malvern Priory group every Saturday morning from the end of April until the end of October.
Not just a popular town-centre park with a duck pond, large playground and plenty of trails, benches and exotic trees, Priory Park is also the location for a series of events throughout the year including live music, outdoor cinema and regional festivals. Built 150 years ago, the leafy park hosts free Sunday summer afternoon concerts at its central Victorian bandstand, while the large adventure playground and play area recently underwent a £500,000 refurbishment adding in new slides, trampolines, water fountains and climbing frames.
Small but action-packed, the Malvern Museum has plenty to offer children and adults and is located in the Great Malvern Priory’s 15th-century gatehouse. Younger children will enjoy the dressing up zones where they can pretend to be Benedictine monks in honour of the Great Malvern Priory, while the museum also covers the Victorian era when the town’s popularity grew, a small art gallery and exhibits dedicated to the Malvern Hills and the town’s reputed spring water.
Witley Court and Gardens
Once one of England’s grandest country houses, Witley Court and Park sadly burned down in 1937 largely destroying the vast house that hosted some of the most lavish parties ever thrown in the UK during the Victorian era. There’s still plenty to see at this English Heritage location a 10-minute drive from our Worcester M5 hotel with the church, outhouses and stables still intact, while the exquisite gardens are a joy to discover including pavilions, stunning flower beds and the Perseus and Andromeda fountain that runs from April to October. Kids will love the wilderness play area boasting a tree house, outdoor musical instruments and a large adventure playground, and there’s also a large shop and cafe open for light lunches, snacks and drinks.
Malvern Hills GeoCentre
Running for 109 miles from Bridgnorth to Gloucester, the Geopark Way is a long-distance walking trail that criss-crosses four counties. The Malvern Hills GeoCentre is the official centre for the hike, detailing the route’s geography and history via a series of interactive maps and displays. As well as being a great place to take in the region’s history – and some amazing views – the GeoCentre is also home to the H20 Cafe where you can pick up a tasty array of snacks, drinks, lunches and ice creams.