Autumn is the perfect season to get outdoors and enjoy everything that nature has to offer. Crunching through fallen leaves and soaking in colourful woodland scenes are just some of the benefits of heading out for a crisp afternoon stroll. The Three Counties offer loads of delightful spots for walking, but the Malvern Hills are by far the most impressive with their unbeatable views across the English countryside. Grab your scarf and walking boots and check out our top Autumn walks in the Malvern Hills:

Worcestershire Beacon

Located in the northern section of the hills, the Worcestershire Beacon is the highest point and a fairly short hike from the town centre of Great Malvern. Be prepared for some stiff climbing, and head up St Ann’s Road passed the Red Lion Pub, continue up Happy Valley which will turn to a rough stony track after a while. This is the quickest route to the Worcestershire Beacon, which sits at 425m and has a toposcope showing a plan of the views that can be seen on a clear day.

British Camp

British Camp is located in the south of the hills and is a bit more secluded than other areas. You can get the bus or drive to the British Camp car park and then head up the hill from there. There are multiple routes from the car park; we recommend taking the second path nearest the road and bearing left along a level track above the reservoir. At the end of this track you can head to Giants Cave, a tiny, man-made cave that was excavated into pillow lavas. You can then head to the hill top by the steps. The scenic route offers benches to stop for a rest, or bring a picnic and enjoy the view from the top.

End to End

Follow the top of the Malvern Ridge all the way from Chance End in the south to North Hill and experience the full beauty of the Malvern Hills. This is not a circular route so make sure you plan a return trip when you get to the end of the walk. It is not a trail fit for inexperienced walkers as it covers over 9 miles and takes around 5 hours to complete, but the breathtaking views and glorious scenery is well worth the effort. For the full route, download the route map here.

Hollybush

This is a leisurely route that will take you through the pretty village of White Leaved Oak and the dramatic vista along the backbone of the Malvern Hills. Starting from the car park near the hamlet of Hollybush, the walk makes a figure of eight around Midsummer Hill to the north and Ragged Stone Hill to the South.

Whichever trail you chose to tackle this Autumn, make sure you have a comfortable base to relax and rest your feet after a long day. Book in at The Abbey and enjoy stunning views of the hills and the Vale of Evesham, whilst making the most of the luxurious four star facilities. Make a long weekend of it with our 3 nights for the price of 2 offer. Book online now or call us 01684 879193 on for more information.

 

 

 

In 11 days the Malvern Autumn Show 2017 will open its gates to food and gardening lovers ready to celebrate nature’s harvest. On the 23rd and 24th September, the Three Counties Showground will once again host the annual event, featuring everything from cookery schools and gardening Q&A sessions, to goat parades and vintage fair rides. It is sure to be a great family day out, with a huge range of activities for all ages.

The much-anticipated horticultural line up features the RHS Flower Show, interactive workshops held by celebrity florist Jonathon Moseley, and events from Carol Klein and Alys Fowler from BBC Gardener’s World. This year’s show will also see one of the UK’s largest Harvest Pavilions, with nearly 30 National Plant Societies, the National Championships for the National Vegetable Society and the Malvern Autumn Show’s own Grow to Show section with over 1000 entries.

Foodies will also be well catered for at the Malvern Autumn Show, with the return of the Cookery Theatre. This year it will be headlined by Andi Oliver, the Great British Menu host, and Selasi Gbormittah, the Great British Baker. In addition to the Cookery Theatre, you can also grab some tasty grub at the Orchard Pavilion, which celebrates traditional orchards and will be hosting the Annual Fruit Juice Show this year. If you want to find something a bit stronger than fruit juice, then explore the Westons Cider Garden, where you can grab a refreshing pint whilst you put your feet up and enjoy the picturesque scenery.

The Malvern Autumn Show will have loads of activities to keep little ones entertained as well, such as duck herding, garden games, donkey rides and storytelling in the Treehouse Garden. Kids and adults of all ages will love the Vintage Pavilion, which is your chance to step back in time to yesteryear. Be fascinated by vintage machinery, shop for something unique at vintage shopping stands, or head to the Old Tyme Fairground where all the rides date from the 1900’s. There will also be vintage crafts to get involved with, including giving a helping hand to the Women’s Division of the Royal British Legion by knitting and crocheting poppies for the remembrance display at Cirencester Church.

If you’re planning on heading to the Malvern Autumn Show, then book to stay at the Abbey Hotel for a luxurious base to relax after a busy day. All our four-star bedrooms feature comfortable beds, free WiFi, and free full English breakfast, and if you make your booking direct on our website, we’ll give you a free drink of your choice in the bar. Book online now, or call us on 01684 879193 to find out more.

This August Bank Holiday weekend, Great Malvern will be descended on by thousands of Morgan Motors for the annual Run for the Hills event. Organised by the Morgan Motor Company, the event is set to be the biggest gathering of Morgan cars since 2009 when the company celebrated its centenary. The iconic event will take place on Three Counties Showground and will include activities for all the family, including live entertainment, themed events, trade stands and much more.

The Run for the Hills event kicks off on Friday the 25th August 2017, with an open house at the Morgan Factory. You can relax with a coffee after your journey and get to know dedicated Morgan aficionados before a jam-packed weekend of events. The main event starts on Saturday 26th August at the Three Counties Showground. There will be Morgan Motors from every year of the companies 108 year history, and the chance to meet owners from all across the globe. The day will include live motorsport events, concours, a pit stop challenge, stunt displays and much more.

Saturday evening is your chance to get your best outfit on and party the night away at the Gala Dinner. This black tie event will include a delicious three course meal featuring the finest local cuisine, a charity auction, an after dinner speaker, and the chance to mingle with like minded Morgan lovers.

Finally on Sunday 27th August, there will be concours judging, a prize giving ceremony, EV junior races and lots more family activities. To round off the bank holiday weekend, on Sunday night there is the Morgan Prom Spectacular and firework finale. The evening will be headlined by the English Symphony Orchestra and supported by the Rockabellas, making for a perfect summer evening of live entertainment. The night will be finished by a spectacular firework display against the unbeatable back drop of the Malvern Hills.

Tickets are still available for the event and can be purchased online here. Children under 16 are free to attend and are sure to enjoy some of the weekends exciting events.

If you are heading to Malvern for the weekend, book in at the Abbey Hotel for a comfortable base during your stay. The Abbey is less than 10 minutes from the Three Counties Showground, and offers 103 luxurious four star bedrooms in the centre of Great Malvern. Be sure to book your room online soon, as space is filling up fast for the bank holiday weekend. Book online here, or call us on 01684 879193 to find out more.

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.

 

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