Take the Malvern Hills Real Ale Rail Trail (try saying that after a drink or two!) Arrive in The Malverns at our ornate Victorian train station, make your way over and around the Malvern Hills and sample the ample amount of real ales brewed locally and poured in the traditional pubs. Once you’ve tasted the local tipples, hop back on the train and whizz home – not a designated driver in sight. The only thing we ask; please drink responsibly!
How long you spend on the trail will depend how many of the stops you choose to take, how long you spend at each location and your walking speed. You could set aside the whole day, breaking for lunch at The Chase Inn, or take a shorter route and enjoy the trail on a summer evening, stopping to admire the sunset from the Malvern Hills. The total walking distance is about 7.5 miles and, as the walk includes the Malvern Hills, the route is moderate/ hard difficulty. Of course shorter options and routes that miss out certain stops can be improvised, for detailed maps and route advice stop by Great Malvern Tourist Information Centre.
Start – Great Malvern Train Station
Wherever you’re from or wherever your going The Malverns is a handy rail stop. Colwall/ Malvern Stations have direct trains from London Paddington, Oxford, Reading, Birmingham and Hereford and Worcestershire Parkway provides links from Cardiff, Bristol and Nottingham.
Alight the train, take in the beauty of Great Malvern Station (currently in the final stages of a renovation to its historic Victorian platform canopies, to be completed Spring 2023) and walk west towards the hills up Avenue Road and onto Church Street.
Stop 1 – Weavers of Malvern
Now on Great Malvern’s main high street, settle into your first stop; Weavers of Malvern. Selling a plethora of locally sourced ales as well as ciders, craft beers, wines and spirits Weavers boasts a casual, friendly atmosphere to boot. Bring your own food and chat in the modern bar area or head upstairs to the cosy lounge and sink into the sofa. There’s a sun trap beer garden for the summer months that has great views over the town and to the hills. Beers on tap change regularly with offerings like Butty Bach, brewed in the Wye Valley.
Stop 2 – The Nags Head
Cross the road at the pelican crossing and walk north down Graham Road for about 15 minutes until you come to Malvern Link Common. Turn west up Moorlands Road and arrive at The Nags Head. This highly rated pub is one of the most popular in Malvern and for good reason. The interior is charmingly ramshackle and the atmosphere inclusive with good food if you are thinking of stopping for lunch. The beer selection is wide and ever changing offering a good selection of both cask and canned options. You won’t want to leave if you bag a spot by the fire.
Stop 4 – The Brewers Arms
Bit of a longer walk this time, walk west to the main Worcester Road then up to meet North Malvern Road. Go uphill along North Malvern Road until you arrive at Tank Quarry Car Park and follow the path onto the Malvern Hills. Walk over (or around!) North Hill and Sugarloaf Hill and come off the hills on the west side to find West Malvern Road. Tucked away here you will find The Brewers Arms. Having faced a few years of closure this much loved pub was resurrected in late 2022 after the community bought and renovated it. The beers, far reaching views from the garden, and Friday pie and mash night are all excellent.
Stop 5 – The Wyche Inn and The Chase Inn
Onwards now, head back onto the hills and here you can summit the beacon or take the more gentle west side path. Carry on until you reach the Wyche Cutting where you can stop at the Wyche Inn for a range of real ales from local small and micro breweries. If heading on to The Chase Inn stay on the west side of the Malvern Hills and take the lower path after you pass the church. The Chase Inn also boasts glorious views, like all the hilltop pubs, and is a great place to grab a meal, listen to live music or spend a sunny afternoon in the verdant garden. With regards to drinks they offer two permanent ales and two guest as well as a rotating craft beer – their free house status allowing them to support local breweries and customer requests.
Stop 6 – Back to Great Malvern
To return to Great Malvern either hop back onto the hills, head past The Beacon, Sugar Loaf Hill and follow the stone signs to St Ann’s Well or take the Lower Wyche road all the way down. In Great Malvern you can stop by The Red Lion, The Unicorn (famously patronised by C.S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on their visits to Malvern) or The Great Malvern Hotel which stocks drinks from The Lakehouse Brewery, brewed in Malvern and Great Taste award winners. Other Malvern brewed ales, by The Hop Shed, are stocked in Malvern Cellar. A bit further afield, various locations around Malvern stock beers by The Friday Beer Company conceived in 2011 when three of Malverns expert scientists were made redundant. The Friday Beer Company has found success since supplying carefully brewed, award winning beers to the drinking establishments of Malvern and Worcestershire.