- Countryside Marvellous Malverns
- Country life Whistling along to Elgar
Sitting comfortably between the Cotswolds, Warwickshire and the Welsh Marches, Worcestershire is a preserved pocket of tumbling hills, riverside towns and a grand old cathedral city.
This quiet and rural county in the UK’s Midlands links Elgar, Nigel Mansell and the world’s favourite anchovy-based sauce (rather randomly) by birth. Sir Edward’s homeland of hope and glory claims a share of the miniature-mountain Malvern Hills, acres of blooming fruit orchards and riverbank villages along the Severn. In the Cotswolds-fringed south and west, some admirable asparagus grows in the Vale of Evesham and the Georgian market town of Pershore stands on the Avon’s banks. (The north and east are flat and more industrial.) Worcestershire has two Victorian spa towns – Droitwich in the north and Malvern in its hills. And in Worcester itself you’ll even find the burial ground of King John of the Magna Carta if you look around the cathedral long enough.
Do go/Don’t go
The countryside comes alive in late spring with bluebells and fruit-tree blossom.
- Planes Birmingham International is the nearest airport to Worcester (40 minutes away) and has connections from Aberdeen | Belfast | Edinburgh and Glasgow with BMI Baby (www.bmibaby.com); Manchester and London Heathrow are each around two hours away.
- Trains There’s a regular main line service linking Worcestershire with London Paddington, Birmingham New Street and Moor Street and other parts of the UK. For full services, see www.nationalrail.co.uk.
- Automobiles Access the county via the M6 | M40 or M5 (around two and a half hours from London; two hours from Manchester). National Express (www.nationalexpress.com) operates coaches from Birmingham | London | Swansea and Leeds to Worcester.
- Taxis In Worcester and the county’s bigger towns (such as Kidderminster and Stourport) you can hail cabs in the street, and most rail stations have ranks. Village-based cab-hunters will do best to book.