Heart of England Malvern & Worcester

Heart of England Malvern & Worcester

Based in the pretty spa town of Great Malvern, this tour takes in the Black & White villages, ancient market towns and the Cotswolds


Based in the pretty spa town of Great Malvern, this tour takes in the Black & White villages, ancient market towns and the Cotswolds

Great Malvern

Malvern is largely Victorian but its roots go back much further.The oldest parts of the town can be seen around the Priory Church which was founded in 1085 when Benedictine monks settled here and built a Priory, which was a daughter house to Westminster Abbey.

Malvern originated as a spa village with therapeutic qualities attributed to its springs. It was the Georgian fancy of taking the waters and later the Victorian popularity of the water cure that transformed Malvern into a Water Cure town. Although you can no longer take the water cure in Malvern many of the impressive buildings are still in use as public buildings.

George Bernard Shaw and Edward Elgar brought Malvern into the 20th Century with their music and theatre festivals held in the Winter Gardens.



The Cotswolds is home to some of the most unspoilt, historic and famous towns and villages in England. Beautiful villages such as Painswick, Broadway, Stow on the Wold and Bourton on the Water nestle in the Cotswold Hills, sure to delight any visitor. The historical Cotswold region covers an area of 790 square miles in the upper part of the southwest region of England and attracts visitors from all over the world, the area is well known for gentle hillsides ('wolds'), outstanding countryside with river valleys, water meadows and beech woods, sleepy ancient limestone villages, historic market towns and for being so 'typically English' where time has stood still for over 300 years.


Black & White Village Trail

The trail, as the name suggests, is characterised by the large number of timbered and half-timbered houses in the area some dating from medieval times, others from more recent periods.

‘Unrivalled in England’!  This is how Alec Clifton-Taylor described the half timbered ‘black and white’ buildings of north-west Herefordshire. The Black & White Village Trail is a motor/cycle route through some of the prettiest villages and most beautiful landscape in England. The 40 mile circular trail leads west from the ancient town of Leominster, through a rich landscape of orchards, hopyards and distant hills, taking in the most picturesque black and white villages along the way as well as the little market town of Kington.

The villages are more than just pretty places to visit. Each one has its own character and community, with tea-rooms, shops, craft workshops and pubs waiting to welcome the visitor.



A cathedral city and county town of Herefordshire lies on the River Wye, approximately 16 miles east of the border with Wales, 24 miles southwest of Worcester, and 23 miles northwest of Gloucester. The name "Hereford" is said to come from the Anglo Saxon "here", an army or formation of soldiers, and the "ford", a place for crossing a river. If this is the origin it suggests that Hereford was a place where a body of armed men forded or crossed the Wye. The Welsh name for Hereford is Henffordd, meaning "old road", and probably refers to the Roman Road and Roman settlement at nearby Stretton Sugwas. An early town charter from 1189 granted by Richard I of England describes it as "Hereford in Wales". Hereford has been recognised as a city since time immemorial, with the status being reconfirmed as recently as October 2000. It is now known chiefly as a trading centre for a wider agricultural and rural area. Products from Hereford include: cider, beer, leather goods, nickel alloys, poultry, chemicals and cattle, including the famous Hereford breed.


Mappa Mundi

The Hereford Mappa Mundi is unique in Britain's heritage; an outstanding treasure of the medieval world, it records how thirteenth-century scholars interpreted the world in spiritual as well as geographical terms. The map bears the name of its author 'Richard of Haldingham or Lafford' (Holdingham and Sleaford in Lincolnshire). Recent research suggests a date of about 1300 for the creation of the map.

Mappa Mundi is drawn on a single sheet of vellum (calf skin) measuring 64" by 52", tapering towards the top with a rounded apex. The geographical material of the map is contained within a circle measuring 52" in diameter and reflects the thinking of the medieval church with Jerusalem at the centre of the world. Superimposed on to the continents are drawings of the history of humankind and the marvels of the natural world. These 500 or so drawings include around 420 cities and towns, 15 Biblical events, 33 plants, animals, birds and strange creatures, 32 images of the peoples of the world and 8 pictures from classical mythology.



Worcester is a beautiful Cathedral and University City with a fascinating history of industry, a wealth of interesting architecture, top class sports teams and venues, an unrivalled selection of high street names and independent boutiques and a vibrant programme of events. The city is best known for its magnificent Cathedral but is also famous for the world renowned Worcester Porcelain, the piquant Worcestershire Sauce and the most picturesque cricket ground in the country. Explore The Commandery to learn about our important role in the English Civil War. See a contemporary exhibition at the City Art Gallery and admire the half-timbered buildings in Friar Street. These include Greyfriars’ House & Garden, the 500 year old Tudor House, and the  Guildhall which is a truly beautiful building dating back to 1721.



Ludlow and its castle are perched on a cliff above the picturesque River Teme in south Shropshire, one of the most unspoiled parts of rural England. The town breathes history at every turn, but it's far from being a museum piece. The town centre's ordered elegance is evidence of the 900 year old Norman planned town.

Situated on the River Teme in the outstanding countryside of the Welsh Marches, Ludlow's medieval street pattern survives almost intact, along with many ancient properties including a magnificent ruined castle and one of the largest parish churches in England. Modern buildings are few and far between in the town centre, whose streets are lined with medieval and Georgian buildings. There are over 500 listed buildings in the town: Broad Street, which leads from the Buttercross down through the Broadgate, has been described as the most beautiful street in Britain. Particularly interesting buildings include the Reader's House, the Buttercross and the Broadgate


Day 1

A morning departure from Cumbria for the journey south to Bridgnorth, where we have time for lunch. Why not take a ride on the oldest and steepest inland funicular railway that connects the low town and the high town. From Bridgnorth we only have a short drive to Great Malvern and our hotel the Abbey. Dinner in the hotel.


Day 2

Our day begins with a drive to the delightful Cotswolds and lovely Broadway. We have a break here before continuing to Stow-on-the-Wold, home of the well known Scott’s of Stow shops. Here we have time for lunch and to explore before we are on our way to Regency Cheltenham, with its beautiful architecture and elegant town centre & shops. Late afternoon we return to Malvern and dinner at the Abbey Hotel.

B, D

Day 3

Following breakfast today we are joined by our local guide, we begin with a drive through Bromyard to Leominster for a short stop. From here we travel through some of the villages in Herefordshire’s beautiful 'Black and White’ villages trail. Our route takes in delightful cottages, inns, shops in timber framed hamlets including Eardisland, Pembridge, Eardisley and Weobley. This brings us to Hereford in time for lunch and the afternoon free to explore. Hereford Cathedral is home to the rare Mappa Mundi. Dinner in the hotel tonight.

B, D

Day 4

This morning we head for the City of Worcester with then have time to explore the city, its imposing Cathedral is well worth a visit. There are lots of opportunities to obtain lunch. In the afternoon we return to Malvern for free time before dinner and our final night.

B, D

Day 5

We leave our hosts at the Abbey hotel and travel to Ludlow, a thriving market town renowned as the food and drink capital of Shropshire. Time for lunch before continuing home to Cumbria.


B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

The Abbey Hotel Great Malvern

The setting for the Abbey Hotel is one of the most perfect in the country. It is close to a number of interesting and historical cities, yet situated right in the heart of the tradtional English countryside, at the foot of the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire. With sensational views of the scenic Vale of Evesham and beautiful Malvern Hills, the hotel offers you a tranquil haven in which to relax and retreat.

All the bedrooms at the Abbey are individual and unique. There are three types of hotel bedrooms: Standard, Superior and Executive. The hotel has a total of 103 bedrooms, many of which have breathtaking views of whether the Malvern Hills or the Vale of Evesham.

They also have all the features you would expect including complimentary broadband internet access, comfortable working space, Satellite television with 24 hour news channels, hospitality tray, ironing centre and hairdryers.

At The Abbey’s Priory View Restaurant you can enjoy seasonal British and Mediterranean cuisine with stunning views over the Vale of Evesham. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast and dinner.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Shap Village Hall Shap
Tebay Old Services Car Park Tebay
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Old Bus Station Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
From Price Call Back Telephone Favourites

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Summer Brochure 2019
Autumn Spring 2019 2020
Summer Brochure 2020