Our Favourite Things to Do in Worcestershire
Heading to Worcestershire? Add these fantastic activities to your itinerary
Although it may be small, Worcestershire really does pack a punch, boasting a wide array of great ways to spend your time. In the south are the Cotswolds with their picturesque rural scenery and picture-perfect villages, and to the west you have the varied landscapes of the Malvern Hills, part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are countless reasons to get out and enjoy these natural surroundings, whether that’s to get active in the great outdoors, or simply to visit one of the many exciting attractions. Here at Plum Guide, we know a remarkable holiday destination when we see one, and Worcestershire falls comfortably within that bracket. It takes a lot to impress us, but this charming county does exactly that. Read on for our expert advice on the very best things to do in Worcestershire, and ensure that you don’t miss out on a thing.
Explore the Malvern Hills
The Malvern Hills are a wonderful place to admire the views, and you can even stay fit at the same time. What's not to love? This area is an absolute paradise for walkers, with trails for all ages and abilities winding through the hills and offering the perfect day out. There are easy walks that take you through charming little towns and past wildflower meadows, but if you’re up for a challenge, you can embark on one of the harder routes - like the End to End trail, which follows the top of the Malvern Ridge. Or alternatively, why not climb up the 425 metres to Worcestershire Beacon, the highest point in the Malverns. We can’t promise there won’t be clouds, but we can promise magnificent views when the weather’s clear. A camera is compulsory (not really, but it should be). Prefer to explore by bike instead? The Malvern Hills has a range of bridleways offering challenging yet rewarding rides. A network of country lanes wind their way through a variety of landscapes, from wooded hills to rolling farmland. Whether you want to ride off-road or sail down quiet country lanes, you'll find your peace on one of these routes.
Take a trip to Malvern
If you’re looking for more relaxing things to do in Worcestershire, be sure to visit the pleasant town of Malvern at the foot of the Malvern Hills. Originating as a spa village, Malvern became popular with the Georgians, before the Victorians came in droves to reap the benefits of its therapeutic natural springs. Malvern Museum is a great place to learn more about the local history, and see ancient artefacts found in the area. Those in need of some retail therapy will be pleased to find an impressive range of shops and boutiques, from new and secondhand bookshops to stores specialising in antiques, furniture, fashion, and food. The town has a large arts and crafts community too, so peruse some of the galleries to discover some fantastic pieces on show. And for more art and culture, catch a show at Malvern Theatres, a centre for the arts since 1885.
Ride on the Severn Valley Railway
There’s nothing quite like sitting back in a vintage railway carriage and watching the scenery roll past your window. And that's exactly what you can get with the Severn Valley Railway, a heritage railway that runs for 16 miles along the Severn Valley. Chugging along between Bridgnorth in Shropshire and Kidderminster in Worcestershire, the train follows the course of the River Severn, rolling through beautiful countryside and crossing the river over the historic Victoria Bridge.
Break your journey up with a stop at Highley Station, where you can check out the railway’s large collection of working steam locomotives and coaches. There’s never a bad time to visit the Severn Valley Railway, with a range of events throughout the year - including the Spring Steam Gala, 1940s themed days, and a gin & rum tasting experience. You can even take your railway experience to another level, and learn how to drive a locomotive (although preferably not right after the alcohol tasting).
Venture out to Broadway Tower
Near the village of Broadway in the Cotswolds is Broadway Tower, an iconic landmark completed 200 years ago by the famous Capability Brown. The tower has had many uses over the years, from the renowned printing press of Sir Thomas Phillips, to a country retreat for pre-Raphaelite artists. Relive its history over three floors, before climbing onto the rooftop viewing platform for views across 16 (yes, 16) different counties. Set within 50 acres of parkland, the tower actually stands at the second highest point in the Cotswolds - so it's no surprise that the views are special from a vantage point like that. Hire an e-bike from the Tower Barn and venture through the countryside, keeping your eyes peeled for William the stag and his herd of roaming red deer. Nearby, you'll find a nuclear bunker from the Cold War, with everything still lying as it was during service. Descend on a guided tour into the depths, and you’ll really get a sense of what life was like down here once upon a time.
Visit Astley Vineyard
For wine connoisseurs, a trip to Astley Vineyard is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Worcestershire. This family run, single estate vineyard was established in 1971, and is one of the oldest vineyards in the UK (that makes us feel very old). This boutique producer also happens to be one of the smallest commercial vineyards, producing less than 10,000 bottles of still whites and sparkling wines per year. But size doesn't matter, because in terms of vineyard tours and wine tasting experiences, it doesn’t get any better than Astley Vineyard.
When you arrive, soak up the countryside and stroll through beautiful woodland as you enjoy a relaxed introduction to the wines. Head to the pavilion and savour a glass as you look out over the valley, before popping into the winery to get the lowdown on winemaking. End the tour on a high with a guided tasting accompanied by delicious local produce. You can, of course, leave with your very own set of wine too, so make sure you have some spare cash to bring a bit of the countryside back home.
Explore the ruins of Witley Court
Built in the 19th century, Witley Court was once a place of lavish parties and great wealth, but after a disastrous fire in 1937, all that stands today are the fascinating ruins. As you explore the charred timbers, re-live the extravagant lifestyles of the fashionable who came here to play - make sure you're wearing your finest gown. Wander through the maze of passageways and rooms, and stroll through the immaculate gardens as you lose yourself in the world of the other half. Don’t miss the Perseus and Andromeda fountain ‘firing’ as it comes to life - it’s been restored to sound like an express train, exactly as it did in its heyday. Ramble further afield along the winding woodland paths and down to the lake, looking out for the rustic Victorian boathouse.