We might be biased, but we think that The Malverns is a pretty spectacular place to visit all year round. However, Springtime in The Malverns has a particular loveliness. There are festivals, fine chocolates, adorable animals bouncing around the fields and pastel flowers perfuming the air. So, uncurl yourself from winter hibernation and take a springtime trip to The Malverns; here are 15 reasons why its worth it.
Image Credit: Jan Sedlacek at Digitlight Photography
1. The Malvern Well Dressing & Water Festival: 29 April – 7 May 2023
Tour the hills during the Malvern Well Dressing & Water Festival to see historic wells, springs and spouts decorated in this year’s theme ‘Kings and Queens’. The dressing of the wells is a local tradition and the offerings just keep getting better.
The theme links both to the British Royal Family, to celebrate 2023 as the year King Charles III will be crowned, as well as tales of mythical and fictional Kings & Queens.
The annual event celebrates the history of the Malvern Hills, from its iconic spring water and Victorian Water Cure to the area’s ancient Pagan traditions. It is brought to the town by the Malvern Spa Association with local businesses and community groups taking part. It’s a big occasion, last year over 800 people took part in dressing the wells, springs and sprouts.
Plan a walk, drive or cycle around the wells with maps available from the Malvern Well Dressing | Facebook or from Malvern Tourist Information Centre.
2. Eat the Finest Chocolates
We’ve got competition for the Easter bunny himself. Stock your cupboards for the Easter holidays, and don’t forget to sample plenty before they all get lost in the egg hunt. The finest chocolates can be purchased from one of our independent chocolate shops. In Tenbury Wells, Mr Thom’s Cholate bombs are as mouth-watering as they sound, and they even have creamy vegan milk chocolate alternatives. Chocolate Avenue in Great Malvern stock just about every flavour of chocolate imaginable as well as having commitment to Fair Trade in their supply chains.
3. See the Beautiful Little Malvern Court & Gardens
Little Malvern Court & Gardens are opening their gates on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons for their spring/summer season from 19 April to 22 July. These 10 acres, attached to a former Benedictine Priory, promise a carpet of happy daffodils, a distinguished collection of old English roses, as well as views across the Severn Valley. Visits to the garden don’t need to be booked but if you would also like a tour of the house pre-booking is essential.
4. Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb: Speed into Spring 6 – 7 May 2023
If you’re in need of a bit of adrenalin visit Shelsley Walsh – a motor sport venue that has been running events on its original course since 1905. Known for its speed hill climbs (who would have thought driving in The Malverns would involve hills?!) it will host competitors from the Midland Hill Climb Championship and from their very own Sunrise Speed Championship. The weekend will culminate with the first Top 12 Run Off of the season. If you can’t wait until then for the action, their Season Opener event takes place on 16 April with many drivers starting their championship campaigns.
5. Bluebells on The Malvern Hills
It is thought that half of the worlds bluebells are in the UK, and locals often retort that half of the UK’s bluebells seem to sprout on the banks of the Malvern Hills. From mid-April, as the spring breeze warms the wooded slopes of the hills, the delicate blue flowers bloom in their thousands. Head to Jubilee Drive, accessible via a short walk from Black Hill car park, to see this lovely native species.
Please take care when visiting these ancient plants, they are protected from picking and digging up by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). Bluebells can take years to recover from being trampled so please stick to the paths so that they can continue to be enjoyed year on year.
6. Priory Park’s Fantastic New Playpark
Since its opening in 2022 the newly built play park in Great Malvern has had rave reviews. The fun space is made up of multiple areas suitable for different ages and includes hobbit houses, a daring robe bridge, a dizzying basket swing and a giant butterfly to befriend. There’s hours of outdoor fun and exercise to be had, even adults will tempted to join in. Let the little ones run riot on the eco-friendly structures while you shade under the mature trees, the sound of the nearby stream babbling in your ears. A visit to the playpark has never been this relaxing!
7. Malvern Walking Festival: 27 May – 4 June 2023
The Malvern Walking Festival comprises of 9 days of fantastic themed walks on the Malvern Hills and the surrounding countryside. Take an interactive look at some of Malverns lesser known history on the “Hidden Trails in the Malvern Hills” walk, take a brewery to brewery stroll on the “Walking up a Thirst!” route, or challenge yourself to complete the “Worcester Way in a Day”. With walks for every ability, this popular festival will sell out soon, so don’t delay if you want to take part!
8. Malvern Festival of Ideas: 3 – 5 March 2023
Expand your mind with the Malvern Festival of Ideas – a weekend of talks, discussions and activities themed around the phrase “As Time Goes By”. The Festival explores the concept of being a good ancestor as well as examining how we handle the legacies handed down to us. Can we become good ancestors and work towards creating a different future from the trajectory we are on now? How do we handle the legacy handed down to us? The event takes place over the weekend of 3-5 March 2023 at Malvern St James Girls’ School. Speakers include poets, philosophers, academics and filmmakers.
9. Spring Gardens in Bloom
There is no shortage of places to find an abundance of spring flowers across The Malverns.
The historic Madresfield Court has extensive sixty-nine acre grounds that are popular year on year for their completely glorious display of spring flowers, including a stunning amount of yellow daffodils. The lawns are further blanketed with a sweet mixture of anemone, cowslips, fritillaries, bluebells and other wild flowers. Tours of the gardens and house are available from the end of April to the end of June – booking is essential.
In Great Malvern the lush Rosebank Gardens boast multiple tiers of colourful floral displays. The florals frame a view of the Malvern Priory and the surrounding countryside. Why not grab a hot drink and slice of cake from Abbey Road Coffee or The Mulberry Tree and enjoy the view.
For an example a quintessential flower garden its worth a turn around Old Court Nurseries & The Picton Garden. See the late winter snowdrops give way to expertly planted spring bulbs in this perfectly formed 1.5 acre floral wonderland. See their website of opening times, or visit during one of the National Garden Scheme open days.
10. Jacobs Lambs at Stanbrook Abbey
There’s nothing that gives the feeling of spring more than a fluffy lamb bounding around a felid. The lambs that delight guests of former monastery turned luxury hotel Stanbrook Abbey are distinctive for their spotted black and white wool. These are Jacobs Sheep and will grow from the cute black and white patched lambs to a formidable sheep with no less than 4 large horns. With 26 acres of gardens and a fine dining restaurant Stanbrook Abbey is the perfect spot for a luxurious spring retreat.
11. Highland Calves on The Malvern Hills and Castlemorton Common
A heard of charming Highland cows have taken up residence on the Malvern Hills and Castlemorton common. Apart from their important job helping conserve the flora of the hills; they’re adorable. If you’re lucky this spring you might meet a shaggy, amber haired calf with a big pink nose while on an evening stroll. Remember to keep these lovely creatures safe by keeping gates closed and dogs on their leads when the cows are are near.
12. National Trust at Croome & Witley Court (English Heritage)
As the weather gets warmer and (hopefully) drier the historic landscaped gardens of Croome and Witley Court become an appealing place for a walk and picnic. Witley Court provides plenty to fill a spring day from intricately designed gardens, including the spectacular Perseus and Andromeda fountain, to a fantastic wilderness play area.
Croome’s 18th century ‘Capability’ Brown designed gardens are second to none. Across the gardens and woodlands crocuses will be sprouting and sheep and lambs roaming. If the weather takes a turn, head inside to the main house for an art exhibitions or for a tea and cake at Croome’s RAF Canteen.
13. Blossom – Tenbury Wells and the Teme Valley
Its abundance of orchards and fruit trees mean that the Teme Valley is prime spot for blossom viewing. As immortalised in this beautiful Teme Valley Blossom Painting by Paul Powis the fluffy, pink and white flowers of apple, damson and cherry trees are a stunning sight. A walk around the town of Tenbury Wells is a great place to start your blossom hunt. Use our Teme Valley trail guide to find the perfect walk for you.
14. RHS Spring Festival: 11 – 14 May 2023
Tickets are now on sale for the 2023 RHS Malvern Spring Festival, hosted at the Three Counties Showground. This 4 day festival celebrates everything gardening with a beautiful floral marquee, festival theatre with lively talks and informative demonstrations and a large shopping area. Special guests this year include Alan Titchmarsh, Adam Frost and Tom Leonard (A.K.A the Drag Queen Gardener).
15. CountryTastic: 6 April 2023
CountryTastic provides a jam packed day for all the family. There is something for everyone to get stuck into including tractor and trailer rides, pottery workshops , a play barn and so much more. There will be an opportunity to meet all the farmyard favourites as well as rabbits, guinea pigs and the very friendly ponies and donkeys. This family fun day is very popular so make sure to book your spot!