Great Malvern is well known for its bursting schedule of events and festivals that take place in and around the town every year. The events range from Classic Car Shows to Quilting Festivals so whatever takes your interest, there is sure to be something for you! We’ve rounded up some of the best festivals around Malvern in the coming months:

Upton Blues Festival

While not located directly in Great Malvern, the Upton Blues Festival is well worth the 15 minute drive to Upton upon Severn. The festival is a free event that sees thousands of music fans flock to two main stages, an acoustic stage and ten pub venues that add up to a whopping 130 performances over three days. The festival kicks off this Friday the 21st July and runs all weekend, with camping available from Thursday.

Three Choirs Festival

Yet another event that starts this weekend, the Three Choirs Festivals is a weeklong festival of choral and orchestral concerts, cathedral services, music recitals and exhibitions. The event rotates every Summer between Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester, and this year will be held in Worcester. You can buy tickets and see the full schedule of events here.

Upton Sunshine Music Festival

Another much-anticipated music festival to descend on the town of Upton, the Sunshine Music Festival is preparing for its eighth year in a row and is expected to showcase some amazing artists over the August Bank Holiday weekend. With big names on the line up such as Blue, Paul Young and Atomic Kitten it is sure to be an amazing weekend for music fans!

Limitless Festival

Limitless is the national youth ministry of Elim Pentecostal Churches across the UK and Ireland, and their aim is to reach out to young people across the UK. The Limitless Festival will take place between 7-12 August at Three Counties Showground in Malvern and is a summer camp experience for kids and young adults to take part in exciting activities, sports, seminars and celebrations.

BusFest

The world’s largest International Bus Festival will head to Malvern once again this September, for 3 full days and over 8000 vehicles. There will be a load of activities at the festival, including a fun fair, a cinema, stunt shows and loads more. Tickets are still available and can be bought in advance here.

If you are planning on heading to Malvern for any of the upcoming festivals, then be sure to book a stay at The Abbey. Featuring 103 luxurious bedrooms, many with spectacular views of the Malvern Hills and the Vale of Evesham. The Abbey is the perfect base for exploring Malvern’s festivals. Check out our offers pages to find our best rates and exclusive discounts, or make a booking by calling us on  01684 879193.

In just 10 days the region’s premier agricultural show will descend on Great Malvern, showcasing the best of British farming and food and offering excellent entertainment for the whole family. The much anticipated annual event opens on 16th June 2017 at the Three Counties Showground and makes for a great day out for all ages.

Little ones will love being able to step back in time at the Medieval Village, where you can experience life in the middle ages by dressing up as knights and princesses, walking through battlegrounds, and even learning to be a medieval soldier. There will also be the chance for kids to get up close and personal with friendly animals in the Fur, Feather and Farm Area, which will be home to everything from chickens to alpacas.

The weekend will see plenty of entertainment in the dedicated Arena area, including death-defying stunts from the Freestyle Motocross Stunt Display. The Red Devils will wow the crowds by free falling from a plane at speeds of 120mph, and on Sunday you can witness the incredible connection between a shepherd and his dog in a sheep herding demonstration.

The Royal Three Counties Show will also feature some of the finest produce from the three counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. You can over-indulge at the Cheese Show and wash it down with a freshly poured glass of local cider at the Cider Festival. There’s the chance to work off some of those extra calories over at Active Avenue where you can try your hand at a range of sports, with everything from football to scuba diving.

For a comfortable place to rest your head after a busy day at the Royal Three Counties Show, be sure to book in at the Abbey Hotel. Located just 3 miles away from the Three Counties Showground, it is the perfect location to relax and enjoy spectacular views of the Malvern Hills after a fun-filled day. Join us on Sunday for a delicious traditional roast dinner in the Priory View Restaurant, or head to our lounge bar for a bite to eat and a pint of local ale in the evening.

To book a table in the Priory View Restaurant or to check availability, call us on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

In two weeks Malvern will see many walkers descend on its streets for the annual Malvern Walking Festival. Starting on 27th May and featuring 9 days of themed walks on and around the Malvern Hills, it is a fantastic opportunity to get out and about in the sunshine, and experience some of the fantastic scenery the historic town has to offer. Spaces on the walks are filling up fast, with some of the most popular options already fully booked. We have listed our top picks of walks with space still available, so be sure to check these out:

Spring and Sprouts of the Middle Hills

This walk kicks off at 2pm on Saturday 27th May and is expected to take around 3 hours with moderate difficulty. It is sure to be worth the effort though as you will visit the many springs and wells of the Malvern Hills. The walk gives the opportunity to learn about the Middle Hills, between Wyche and Wynds Point. You will also visit the Evendine Spout which is a wonderful spring of drinkable water, the perfect place for topping up your water bottles!

Bromyard, Bringsty and the Great Beyond

For the more experience walker, this 10-15 mile hike on Tuesday 30th May is the perfect chance to explore the wonderful Bromyard Downs and enjoy the views of their famous orchids. You will then head to the Devil’s Punchbowl and other varied landscapes to Edvin Loach, featuring its famous bells. The return walk will take you through the wildest of Herefordshire’s commons, where you can appreciate stunning panoramic views from the Whitbourne Estate and Bringsty Common.

Great Malvern Local History Walk

This is an ideal walk for budding historians! It is expected to take 5 hours to cover 6-10 mile at an easy pace, and covers around 40 of Great Malvern’s most interesting pieces of history. Starting with the Victorian Cemetery on Wednesday 31st May, you will visit well known locations on route such as the railway station, Malvern College, Malvern common and Lower Wyche. Heading back down Abbey Road past the Abbey Hotel and taking in the stunning Priory Church and various other historical gems. At the end of the walk is a stop for a well earned drink at the historic Nags Head Pub.

Landscape appreciation in the northern Malvern Hills

This moderate walk gives you the opportunity to join a local geologist in an informative and fascinating walk on the northern end of the Malvern Hills. You will learn all about the close relationship between the stunning landscape and the underlying geology. It is expected to cover 0-3 miles and take approximately 3 hours on Thursday 1st June.

Whichever walk you choose to take part in, be sure to have a comfortable place to rest your feet when you return. The Abbey Hotel is the perfect place for a relaxing post-walk meal, or book in to one of the 103 luxurious bedrooms, many of which feature stunning views of the Malvern Hills or the Vale of Evesham. To book a room or a table in the restaurant, call us on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

Worcestershire is one of the most beautiful counties in the West Midlands, offering a vast number of attractions and things to see and do. From stunning countryside to historic houses and a steam railway, there is plenty to explore in this wonderful area. If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy the great outdoors, then this rural county full of open spaces and expansive countryside is the perfect place for a visit.

All types of outdoor activities are available in Worcestershire, including mountain biking, horse riding and water sports. The rural landscape featuring patchwork fields and the majestic Malvern Hills makes for an excellent playground for all ages, and a picturesque place for relaxation. Take a walk to the top of the Malvern Hills and you will find magnificent views stretching across the Severn Valley, Herefordshire and on a clear day you can see all the way to the Black Mountains in Wales.

The best way to take in everything Worcestershire has to offer, and to see some really impressive views of the stunning county, is to head to the skies. Hot air balloon rides are available all across Worcestershire, offering some of the most beautiful views of Britain’s countryside. Wickers World offers balloon rides across the West Midlands, with one of the most spectacular rides starting from Eastnor Castle, just minutes from the Abbey Hotel. Virgin Balloon Flights also offers hot air balloon rides in the area, and are available as vouchers to make the perfect unique gift experience.

To give the ultimate gift experience for your loved one, team a hot air balloon ride with a luxurious stay at the Abbey Hotel. Located in Great Malvern, just steps from the stunning Malvern Hills and overlooking the Vale of Evesham, it makes for the ideal base to explore everything Worcestershire has to offer. Browse our Gift Vouchers to find the perfect present, or book a stay online today. For more information call us on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

 After late spring, summer is the most popular time to get married in the UK with its much welcomed warmer weather and sultry light-filled evenings offering prospective couples the opportunity to tie the knot while nature is in full bloom. Attending local wedding fayres in advance can offer you much inspiration for your summer colour theme & wedding dress, not forgetting the great benefits of being able to view your dream venue, all set up and ready as if it were the big day of the wedding.

Location

High on the agenda of must have locations is a place that has extensive grounds with features that will not only occupy & provide talking points for your guests but also act as a backdrop for your wedding album. If possible try and source a venue that can provide accommodation for yourself and your guests that will be staying overnight. In fact if you’re considering booking an all inclusive wedding package at the Abbey Hotel in Malvern, you won’t want to miss the complimentary overnight accommodation offer for the bride and groom.

Indoors & backup plan

No matter what time of year it is in Britain the weather can at any time dampen even the best-planned event, which is why you must have a plan B on hand should the wind whip up, or a thunderstorm role in to ‘try’ and spoil your perfect day.

Ideally, a well researched  photographer will have done their homework in selecting where the wedding pictures will be taken but it’s a good idea to have an indoor backup in place just in case inclement weather comes into play.

Even with the best wedding planning and preparation, no one can predict what the weather is going to be like on the day you decide to get married which is why selecting a reputable venue that is prepared for every eventuality is so important.

The Abbey hotel offers a wide variety of rooms to choose from with seven different suites available and can accommodate large numbers of guests or assist you with a more intimate gathering.

Your specific ideas can be brought to life with a tailormade wedding package, with every detail taken care of from the stunning room decoration to the three course meal, leaving you to enjoy your special day to the full

Reception drinks in the gardens

Outdoors

More than likely your guests will want to spend the majority of the time outdoors during the summer, so be sure to have plenty of attractions on hand to keep your guests occupied, such as beautiful grounds to explore or even games such as boules, croquet, badminton or lawn darts.

As the sun starts to set you can add sparkle to the occasion with candles on the tables and Japanese paper lanterns hanging from the trees to provide a warm, friendly ambience as you celebrate well into the night.

Wedding breakfast in the Elgar Suite

Photos or happy memories captured?

Carefully choose a good  location with your wedding photographs in mind. A venue that has naturally photogenic gardens and surroundings will never be a wasted investment, but will help capture wonderful memories of your special day in a way that you will cherish forever.

Photographs are of course a big part of wedding celebrations and not just the formal ones that were taken by a professional photographer. In today’s digital age everyone has a decent camera embedded in their smartphone capable of taking great photos and video.

Why not send your guests a link to a free app such as WedPics.com and encourage them to upload their photos to your special album on the site or failing that ask them to share with you on social media. Sometimes the best photographs are captured by family or friends in the natural setting.

Refreshments

When holding a summer wedding be sure to have plenty of ice-cold drinks on hand and not just the alcoholic variety. Bottled water is perfect as it allows your guests to keep hydrated both during the ceremony and at the reception.

Champagne, cava and prosecco are all welcoming reception cocktails that will always go down well, and if you want to be a little different perhaps serve a refreshing Pimm’s cup, mint julep or your own favourite summer cocktail to get your guests in the mood to party.

Menu

Use the warm summer weather to your advantage by building a menu around locally sourced produce that is in season.

For appetizers, you cannot fail to be a success by serving chilled shellfish with a lemon mayonnaise, while cold summer soups like Spanish gazpacho can be called upon to help cool your guests down while also refreshing their palates.

Although people often suggest lighter meals to satisfy their appetites during the summer, your guests will still want to be ‘wooed’ by tempting dishes. Instead of a hearty meat-filled mains option, why not choose a less filling alternative such as panfried supreme of chicken served with a wild mushroom and honeyed silver skin onion with a forestiere sauce? Or how does pan-seared fillet of salmon served with sautéed potatoes and sauce vierge cassoulet of butter sound?

Also, do not forget to have a vegetarian selection available for non-meat eaters with a mixed grill of summer veggies which are sure to be a hit.

For side dishes consider grilled vegetables such as corn on the cob or asparagus, together with a chilled mayonnaise based macaroni or potato salad.

Add to this a salad selection with green leafy lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, red onion and a variety of dressings and you know you are onto a winner that will satisfy all your friends and family.

As an accompaniment to the wedding cake why not serve a refreshing frozen dessert of ice cream, sorbet or granita. Overall, ensure that you carefully select a venue that will try hard to cater to everyone’s dietary requirements.

Why consider the Abbey Hotel Malvern?

With Manicured lawns and landscape gardens, you and your guests will enjoy a spot of paradise sipping champagne and tasting canapés in the Herb Garden whilst admiring the outstanding views of the Evesham Vales. This luxury four star wedding venue ticks all of the boxes when it comes to satisfying the desires of every dream fairy-tale wedding. To find out more about the Abbey Hotel as a wedding venue, visit their wedding pages or call 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

 

For top tips on planning a Winter wedding click here to see our last article

 

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and step into the serene county of Worcestershire this Mother’s Day. Explore the beautiful countryside, enjoy the great outdoors and discover the history and heritage of the West Midlands county with mum this March.

Walk the Malvern Hills. If mum is more of an adventure seeker, an energetic ramble on the top of the Malvern Hills will allow you to witness stunning views across the Severn Valley, Herefordshire and across to the Black Mountains. Discover picturesque views from the Malvern Hills with our two night walking break.  Complete with accommodation, dinner, packed lunch and walking maps, it could be the perfect get-together with mum!

Spoil mum to a relaxing day afloat with boat hire. Equipped with cutlery, crockery, kettle and other picnic essentials, it’s a unique way to spend quality time with mum whilst enjoying the wonders of the waterways. With a choice of departure locations available around Worcestershire, it is the perfect occasion to test out your narrow boating skills.

If mum has a penchant for all things history, head over to Blists Hill Victorian Town to discover more about life 100 years ago in this recreated town. An open-air museum located an hour’s drive away from Worcestershire, it will give you a fascinating insight whilst letting you play dress up in a Victorian costume and trying your hand at traditional skills such as candle making.

To end a long day of sightseeing, indulge mum with a traditional 3-course carvery lunch at the Priory View Restaurant. Relax and savour perfectly cooked roasted meat and vegetables whilst gazing over stunning views and landscaped gardens. Why not enjoy the British custom of high tea, complete with delicate cakes, finger sandwiches and fluffy scones with real cream and jam? Served in our Priory View Lounge Bar, the indulgent treat will surely leave mum feeling like a queen! For enquiries or to reserve a table, call us on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

Flock away from the hustle and bustle of the city this winter and explore the magnificent three counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. From excelling in rural crafts and real ale to offering the best of British food and farming, the counties are truly the best of English countryside.

One of the country’s most picturesque areas, Gloucestershire boasts lush rolling hills and stunning historic architecture. Our top picks to add to your list when visiting the area include a visit to the fascinating Gloucester Cathedral or the informative Jet Age Museum. If you are up for a bit of an adventure, the interactive Prinknash Bird and Deer Park or Robinswood Hill Country Park might just fit the bill.

For all the walkers out there, Herefordshire’s breath-taking countryside should definitely be on your bucket list, besides exploring its rock faces and River Wye rapids. If you are planning to visit the captivating county, we recommend you pay a visit to Goodrich Castle, a hidden treasure tucked away in the Wye valley or Hereford Cathedral, known for its stained glass work and stunning architecture. For a garden with a quirky twist, Westonbury Mill Water Gardens makes for a lovely visit on a sunny day or why not head over to Newbridge Farm Park? With large sand pits to play in, tractor rides and lots of great outdoor activities, it’s a great way to keep the little ones occupied.

Worcestershire, besides being known for its part in the English Civil War is also home to a steam railway and an array of historic houses to explore. Must-visit places of interest include the majestic and medieval, Worcester Cathedral, drenched in English history and the Worcester Woods Country Park on the outskirts of Worcester, featuring woodland paths and picnic areas. To witness beautiful panoramic views, Kinver Edge is easily accessible and also features cave houses that have been restored by the Natural Trust.

An ideal base for exploring England’s three counties, why not stay at The Abbey during your visit? Stay in one of our 103 individually decorated rooms, enjoy a Traditional Sunday Carvery Lunch at the Priory View Restaurant while you are there or indulge in the British custom of Traditional Afternoon Tea! For enquiries or to make a booking, contact our team on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

 

If you are amongst the flurry of couples wanting to tie the knot in winter, here are our top tips on making your celebration magical.

  1. The festive season may be over but there’s no reason you cannot incorporate your favourite bits into a winter wedding. Indulge with some creative tablescaping using frosty pinecones, cinnamon sticks, log slices and other woodland details for a rustic and simple ambience.
  2. When it comes to décor, there’s no need to stick to the obligatory icy, winter wonderland theme. Experiment with white and peach with accents of rose gold to add some warmth to the crisp white scenes.
  3. Lanterns, twinkling backdrops and tea lights incorporated into your theme will help add that enchanting feel to a winter wedding.
  4. Be mindful of your guests whilst you have your pictures taken outside. Invite them to stay warm and cosy with a pretty basket stacked with blankets and gloves for guests to snuggle up whilst they are outdoors – a gesture that will surely be well received! Why not come up your very own recipe for a warm winter cocktail?
  5. And finally, when hunting for an ideal venue, look for places that will allow you host the ceremony, reception and offer accommodation. Having everything under one roof will be convenient for you as well as the guests, especially in freezing temperatures so you don’t have to brave the cold after dancing the night away.

From intimate suites to make your vows in and a stunning space for a pre-wedding dinner to spacious accommodation of 103 bedrooms, The Abbey is an all-inclusive wedding venue. Want everything from your dress to your details covered? Get in touch with Alison, our Weddings and Events Manager at The Abbey, who will be more than happy to plan a bespoke winter wedding for you.

Whether it’s champagne on the lawn you desire or a candlelit breakfast, we have a wedding package to meet your needs. For bookings made before the end of June, we are giving away £300 bar tab to spend on your special day! To find out more about discounts available for selected dates in 2017, contact our wedding team on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

 

If you are on the hunt for last minute festive inspiration, you’re at the right place! We’ve cobbled together a list of must-visit Christmas activities and events in Worcestershire this year.

Late night Christmas shopping in Broadway is not to be missed. There will be music, street entertainers, mulled wine and festive food to keep you going while you shop. Reindeer Court and New Street will also be given a festive makeover. Keep the little ones entertained and let them discover an eco-friendly Father Christmas in his woodland home in Clent Hills! Taking place at Nimmings Wood, the multi-sensory, interactive experience is sure to be a hit amidst kids.

A National Trust venue and an hour’s drive away from Malvern Hills, Croome Park, usually known for its airbase museum, will also be dressed for the festive season. From admiring Georgian inspired Christmas trees and listening to festive stories to exploring an outdoor Christmas trail and joining in a family carol concert, there is something unique to do for all ages. This year, Christmas trees in the Long Gallery at Croome Park have been designed by Art and Design students at UAL.

If you are looking to indulge in something traditional yet fun for the family, the Swan Theatre in Worcestershire is hosting pantomime performances such as the Cinderella and A Victorian Christmas Celebration throughout December.

Once you have Christmas shopping sorted and have shortlisted events you would like to visit in the run-up to the 25th, it’s time to think about New Year’s Eve! Welcome 2017 in style with a lavish 4-course Gala Dinner in the Elgar Suite at The Abbey followed by entertainment from our live band and Resident DJ. With 10% OFF on bookings, don’t forget to check out our Gala Dinner Flash Sale.

For more information call us on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

It’s that time of the year again when festive coffee cups start making an appearance and you spot areas of the city adorned with Christmas lights.  The switch-on dates have been announced and the quest for seasonal recipes and Christmas presents has begun. One of the best places to browse through unique gift ideas is the Worcester Christmas Fayre. It is the most popular market in the West Midlands and has a Victorian theme to it. This year marks the 24th anniversary of the fayre. A street market with hundreds of stalls lined up and thousands coming to visit them, it’s a great way to kick-start your Christmas shopping.

Taking place at the Worcester City Centre from 24th to 27th November, the fayre has no admission cost. Each day has a different opening time as follows:

November 24th: 12:00-21:00

November 25th: 11:00-21:00

November 26th: 10:00-20:00

November 27th: 11:00-17:00

An opening ceremony also takes place each year at 4.30pm on the 24th of November during which the Mayor officially declares the fayre open! Aside from the fantastic costumes you will witness as you shop, expect to explore a plethora of quirky stalls while you sip on some mulled wine to keep you going. There will be a Victorian carousel going around to music of the time, and carollers filling the streets to add to that festive feeling. That’s not all as traditional Victorian entertainers will also be present to cheer the crowd. If you are driving to the event, then a list of city car parks can be found on the city councils website.

If you find yourself a little too chilly, why not join us for a traditional Afternoon Tea with family and friends in the Priory View Lounge Bar where you can catch up on emails with free WiFi. Looking to dine with a spectacular view while you rest your feet? Stop by for the chef’s specials at the Priory View Restaurant. The Abbey is less than a 30 minute drive away from Worcester City Centre. For more information call us on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

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