Nestled at the foot of the Malvern Hills, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is the Victorian spa town of Malvern.
Malvern is an elegant Victorian town, with roots going back to the bronze age. Modernised in the 1800’s as a popular destination for ‘taking the water’ travellers came from around the world to heal, relax and rejuvenate.
Today visitors come to take in the natural beauty of the hills, experience the rich history & culture of the town, relax in the excellent hotels and spas and treat themselves at our independent cafés and restaurants.
There are three town centres in Malvern – Great Malvern, Barnards Green and Malvern Link, making Malvern an impressive shopping destination. There are independent retailers a-plenty including arts and craft shops, galleries, boutiques and more. Browse bookshops, both new and second-hand, as well as quality furniture, fashion and food. The local lifestyle attracts artists and craftspeople, so you will find some delightful works on show and in shops and galleries.
The best way to appreciate what the town has to offer is to pay us a visit – there is much to find.
Watch the videos below to get some ideas.
Malvern Tourist Information Centre
ST ANN’S WELL
The well waters of Malvern are many – but often well-concealed. St Ann’s Well (where you can enjoy a peaceful break with delicious refreshments) and Holy Well, are tucked away in valleys. But in and around the Malverns are many more springs, some well restored like the Beauchamp Spout in Cowleigh Road or the well known fountain, Malvhina, at Belle Vue Island and others more obscure. Finding them makes an interesting treasure hunt.
GREAT MALVERN PRIORY
How about a visit to Great Malvern Priory? It is a cathedral-sized wonder of English medieval architecture, with many treasures to reveal; massive Norman pillars, a huge famous east window, misericord seats carved with lively and entertaining scenes, tiles in many designs, manufactured by the monks.
MALVERN THEATRES AND PRIORY PARK
Music and theatre are Malvern traditions. You will find them alive and well in the Malvern Theatres Complex which overlooks Priory Park. This Edwardian building has been transformed into one of Britain’s most enjoyed and popular provincial cultural centres. The theatre’s West End style and atmosphere helps the management attract big names and top-class drama, ballet and opera companies throughout the year. As for music, the Forum Theatre’s superb acoustics and seating enhance the quality of its programmes. And the cinema now has frequent showings of less-available films from all over the world, as well as current releases.
Malvern’s other medieval jewel is the Abbey Gateway, which is home to Malvern’s Museum. It is small but filled with exhibits on every aspect of Malvern’s history and development; geology, intriguing insights into the 19th Century, era of the water cure and items from Malvern’s famous defence research establishment, where historic wartime radar was developed.
For a tour with a purpose, around some of Malvern’s loveliest parts, follow the Elgar Route, to places loved by Edward Elgar. Favourite places to visit on the route include the Elgar Birthplace Museum at Lower Broadheath between Malvern and Worcester and the Elgar Graves in St Wulstan’s Church at Little Malvern.
Malvern is made up of three town centres – Great Malvern, Barnards Green and Malvern Link (as well as a few shops dotted at Link Top and in Poolbrook), where you can explore a variety of independent shops and retailers selling an assortment of goods from arts and crafts shops to locally sourced cheese.
You’ll have an interesting afternoon or full day exploring the shops, whether you are looking for an undiscovered treasure in one of the antique or vintage shops or trying to trace that first edition of your favourite book, or after the latest work of your favourite local artist or craftsperson and with plenty of amazing curios, clothes and gifts to buy along the way – you’ll definitely find a wander around the shops in Malvern an enjoyable occasion.
There are a number of markets held throughout the year, including arts and food markets, the monthly Great Malvern Farmers’ Market held on the third Saturday of every month as well as the Malvern Vintage and Retro Fair.
Plan Your Visit to Malvern
Find out about how to get here, car parking, our Tourist Information Centres, and much more in our Plan Your Visit section.
We look forward to seeing you in this beautiful part of Worcestershire soon.
Many eminent Victorians visited The Malverns during the heyday of the Water Cure. Sir Edward Elgar drew inspiration from walking and cycling in the area for his musical compositions. He collaborated with George Bernard Shaw to organise the Malvern Drama Festival from 1929. Charles Darwin visited on a number of occasions and his 10 year old daughter Annie sadly died in Malvern and is buried in Great Malvern Priory churchyard. Jenny Lind – the “Swedish Nightingale” lived for some years at Wynds Point below British Camp. C. S. Lewis went to school at Malvern College and drew inspiration from the Malvern gaslamps for elements of the story of “The Chronicles of Narnia“. Lewis introduced J. R. R. Tolkien to the College’s Head of English, George Sayer, and the “Lord of the Rings” was first put down on tape at his Malvern home. Peter Mark Roget – famous for his Thesaurus – died whilst on holiday in the area and is buried in the churchyard of St. James’ in West Malvern. Sir Charles Hastings, founder of the British Medical Association, lived in Barnards Green House on Poolbrook Road. Dame Laura Knight, the famous impressionist painter, often visited Malvern, staying at the Mount Pleasant Hotel. Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of America, convalesced at Aldwyn Towers in 1889 aged 7years. During the 20th Centrury, Haile Selassie stayed at the Abbey Hotel in the 1930s during his exile. Many of these visitors are commemorated by “Blue & Green Plaques” placed by the Malvern Civic Society on buildings associated with their Malvern connections.
Route to the Hills
Great Malvern: Route to the Hills offers a new way to explore our town. Celebrating Great Malvern’s wealth of heritage, the route features signage, plaques, seating and artworks – all telling the stories of this fascinating Victorian spa town.