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As we continue to stay at home, we can still enjoy the talents of the artists, designers, musicians and performers behind the events that were due to take place across The Malverns – and take a look around some of our finest architectural and historical wonders.

Back in April, Malvern Theatres was due to welcome the English Touring Opera, which has generously made a recent performance of Bach’s St John Passion available to watch on YouTube here. Staying with the musical theme, if you are missing the Priory Early Music Series concerts at Great Malvern Priory with gifted students from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, head over to this playlist on YouTube for fascinating discussion and beautiful music. For your folk music fix, visit Upton Folk Festival’s Facebook page for videos from a range of charismatic musicians as part of a ‘virtual festival’. Plus, extend your virtual visit to Upton with a fantastic video from 2019 on the Upton Jazz Festival website, where you will also find links to videos of individual performers. The award-winning Woo Fest, raising money for St Richard’s Hospice, will be a virtual event on 4th July, featuring big name acts including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Grant Nicholas and Toyah Wilcox. Visit the St Richard’s website for more.

Although Malvern’s wells, springs and spouts have not been dressed this year, the organisers of Malvern Well Dressing and Water Festival are encouraging residents to dress their own spaces on their own property (where it is safe and legal to do so) and share photos of their creations on the Facebook page for others to enjoy from home. While in the creative mood, check out the latest online exhibition, ‘Tall Stories’ featuring Frans Wesselman and Victoria Keeble, from Blue Ginger.

With most NGS garden openings suspended (some gardens have re-opened to visitors, but pre-booking is essential), visit the website for virtual visits to many participating gardens, including Woodview near Ross-on-Wye. Plus, Pear Tree Cottage, in the beautiful Worcestershire countryside, has a website with a frequently updated blog and lots of photos to give you an insight into the fascinating life of this ever-evolving garden. As of early June, a small number of local NGS gardens have re-opened for visitors with pre-booked tickets. You’ll find more information about this on our blog.

For a change of pace, visit the Shelsley Walsh Facebook page to relive some of the dramatic motorsport action that has taken place at this iconic venue.

As we look forward to the return of the Malvern Walking Festival in 2021, get a taste of the landscape and stories of the Malverns with these Radio 4 programmes. Despite the cancellation of this year’s International Dawn Chorus day walk with the Malvern Hills Trust, many of you will have enjoyed the musical treat offered by our local feathered residents from your own gardens. To get you started with identifying birdsong, try this video from Worcestershire Wildlife Trust or listen to these recordings from the RSPB.

Alongside virtual events, why not try a virtual visit? Great Witley Parish Church, described as ‘Britain’s finest Baroque church’, has an astonishing interior that can be enjoyed from home using the 360-degree viewer on its website. Eastnor Castle, at the foot of the Malvern Hills, is set in fabulous grounds and has truly impressive interiors behind its imposing Georgian walls, both of which you can discover using the video tours on the website. Full of fascinating exhibits telling the story of this historic riverside town, Upton-upon-Severn’s Tudor House Museum is waiting to be explored from home using the virtual tour facility on the website, where you will also find information about the building itself, the garden and collection. If you are intrigued by objects and the stories they tell, take a look at Croome Court’s amazing collections on the National Trust’s Collections website.

Last updated: 29 June 2020

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