Malvern’s rich heritage is set to be celebrated with the return of the inspiring Malvern Well Dressing and Water Festival. Famously quoted as having ‘the godliest view in England’, the Malvern Hills definitely have the ‘wow’ factor, and even more so during the Well Dressing & Water Festival. Visitors can view wonderful creations across hills, on foot, by bicycle, on a self-drive tour or via our popular mini-bus guided tours.
The annual FREE festival celebrates Malvern’s history, from the iconic spring water and Victorian Water Cure to the ancient pagan traditions and is brought to the town by the Malvern Spa Association with local businesses and community groups taking part.
Saturday 4 May – Sunday 12 May 2019
Explore 60 wells dressed with imaginative designs at your own pace around the Malvern Hills
Friday 3 May – Monday 6 May 2019
Well Blessings (see festival timetable below)
Saturday 4 May – Tuesday 7 May 2019
Discover the ancient Malvern Well Dressing tradition on an organised mini-bus tour. Tours cost £10pp and last approximately 2.5 hours. Book via Malvern Tourist Information Centre on 01684 892289.
Sunday 5 May 2019
Traditional donkey blessing outside Malvern Museum
Monday 6 May 2019
May Day in Priory Park – a family day full of fun
Well Dressing Prize Giving Ceremony
Water Cure Re-enactment
60 wells, springs and spouts will be decorated with imaginative designs, as well as a wide variety of family-friendly activities including the May Day in Priory Park event.
Decorations will be on display for the Bank Holiday weekend 4-6 May and into the following week, giving visitors plenty of time to enjoy to explore the hills. The majority of the wells will be dressed until Sunday 12 May, allowing visitors to the RHS Spring Festival the chance to experience well dressing around The Malverns.
The 2019 theme for the Well dressing is ‘Flight’, and going by last year’s designs for the Year of The Woman, we’ll be in for a treat. Tour at your own leisure or book a mini-bus early to avoid missing out! The Malvern Spa Association have also launched some brand NEW Well Dressing walking trails so you can explore on foot at your leisure. Find out more about the Well Dressing Walks.
On Saturday 4 May, as well as touring the wells, visitors will have the chance to enjoy a Health and Wellbeing Fair in Rose Bank Gardens and browse the popular Malvern Spring Arts and Food Market in the Priory Grounds back for its thirteenth year in partnership with Boffy Markets who provide only the highest quality of stallholders.
The Sunday will see a Donkey Blessing held at Abbey Gateway (Malvern Museum) and then on Bank Holiday Monday, you can experience May Day in Priory Park which will be buzzing with activity, with a water-themed family fun day, including bumper carz, a bounce and slide, a surf simulator, hook a duck, The Puddle Duck entertainers and live music. In addition, the popular Xplorer Trail for kids will return in partnership with Freedom Leisure, as well as the historic Victorian Water Cure Re-enactment and the Well Dressing Prize Giving ceremony.
Over the weekend, the wells will also receive special Blessings from various religious groups, including the Diocese, Druids and Buddhists.
Please view some of the Well Dressing photographs from the 2018 ‘Year of the Woman’ below. Special thanks to Barbara Meddows, Helen Burrage and Rick Banbury for allowing us to use their images.
Well Dressing & Water Festival Event Timetable
Friday 3rd May 2019
18:00 Celebration – St. James’s Churchyard Spout, West Malvern by Eileen Tomlin
Saturday 4th May 2019
10:30am – Mini-bus Tour – Dr. John Harcup
11am – 5pm – Health & Wellbeing Fair in Rosebank Gardens
11am – 12pm Songs P A C E Singers at Rosebank Gardens
2:30am – Mini-bus Tour
4pm – Well Blessing at Malvhina, Belle Vue Island by Revd. Rod Clarke, Vicar at Great Malvern Priory
PLUS 10am – 5pm Malvern Spring Arts & Food Market in the grounds of Great Malvern Priory
Sunday 5th May 2019
8am – Walk The Wells from Lord Sandys’ Spout with Kirsty Johnson
10am – 12pm – Beautiful Music at St. Anne’s Well with Ray Mytton
12pm-2pm – Water & pet blessings with donkeys at Abbey Gateway & Malvhina by Val Needham
2:30pm – Mini-bus Tour – Dr. John Harcup
3pm – Well Blessing at Hayslad with Malvern Druids
Monday 6th May 2019
4:45am – Well Blessing – meet at St. Anne’s Well for: Dripping Well Ceremony by Paul Sandover
10am – 5pm – May Day in Priory Park family fun day
10:30am – Mini-bus Tour
12pm – Well Blessing at Evendine Spring by Amida Malvern Buddhists
2pm – Well Dressing Prize Giving
2:30pm – Water Cure Re-enactment by Dr. John Harcup
3pm – Mini-bus Tour
Tuesday 7th May 2019
10:30am – Minibus Tour
2:30pm – Mini-bus Tour
Sunday 12th May 2019
Closing ceremony at North Malvern Clock Tower by Ian and Susie Woodcock
Saturday 4th May – Sunday 12th May 2019
Art exhibition “Water, Water Everywhere” by Sara Bennett in Abbey Road Coffee House Cavern in aid of Kerala India Flood Appeal.