The Malverns are a 13km region of hills running north to south eight miles southwest of Worcester. The beautiful hills reach a height of 425 metres at the Worcestershire Beacon and offer a view of 15 counties and the River Severn and the Cotswolds to the east. The Malverns are best known for their natural spring water which was believed to healing properties in the 19th century. Up until then, Great Malvern was a tiny, practically unknown village. The spring water captured the public’s imagination and Great Malvern grew prosperous. Great Malvern still bottles mineral water for sale worldwide today.
The name “Malvern” probably is derived from the Celtic term for bare hill, “Moel Bryn.” Great Malvern is still a quaint town with pleasant shops and public houses where visitors can relax after a day hiking and driving through the hills. The beauty of the Malverns is legendary and was believed to be part of C.S. Lewis’ inspiration for The Chronicles of Narnia. Other famous personages who loved the Malverns included Lord Byron and Sir Edward Elgar.
Pathways and car parks are provided throughout the hills to provide explorers with access to the summits and valleys. There is also a bus service which conveys pedestrians to the walking paths. The summit of the Worcester Beacon is the highest point in the hills and offers a magnificent vista. There is also an Iron Age Hill Fort which hikers can reach that can be seen from kilometers around.
Great Malvern includes some attractions of its own such as the lovely Priory Church of Saint Mary & Michael, a beautiful Norman work of architecture, the Great Malvern Theatre, originally opened in 1885, and the remarkable and quirky 12 seat Theater of Small Convenience. Nearby in Little Malvern you can enjoy the medieval Church of St. Giles. A short distance from the Gregorian town Upton upon Severn is the beautiful, mysterious 18th century landscaped grounds of Croome Park with its many architectural follies, arches, pavilions and greenhouses.
The Malverns is a quiet and remote place where you can partake of fresh air and rejuvenating spring water and get in touch with nature. This is a wonderful stop to include on your journey through the Cotswolds!