Worcestershire

Worcestershire

Worcestershire borders the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, and Gloucestershire.

Two major rivers flow through Worcestershire – The River Severn and the Avon.

Worcestershire was the heartland of the early English kingdom, absorbed by the Kingdom of Mercia during the 7th century. Leading up to the Norman conquest, the Church, supported by Worcester Cathedral, Evesham Abbey, Pershore Abbey, Malvern Priory, and other religious houses, increasingly dominated the county. In Worcestershire 1265, Simon de Montfort was killed in the Battle of Evesham and in 1642, the Battle of Powick Bridge was the start of the English Civil War, which was effectively ended at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. In the 19th century, Worcester was a centre of glove making and Kidderminster became a centre for the manufacturing of carpets. Redditch specialised in the manufacture of needles, springs, and hooks and Droitwich Spa was a centre of salt production from Roman times, with one of the principal Roman roads running through the town and Malvern was one of the centres of the 19th century rise in English spa towns.

Worcestershire County Museum at Hartlebury Castle

The WorcesPlaces to visit in Worcestershire Worcestershire Country Museumtershire County Museum is a fascinating place to explore when looking for places to visit in Worcestershire.  In the galleries, you will discover social history, toys through time, travel and transport and the interesting story of Worcestershire’s history. You get to see a schoolroom and scullery with period rooms that focus on the Victorian and Civil Wars.

From April – August the Castle’s magnificent State Rooms, Medieval Great Hall, and Georgian Saloons are open to the public. Within the grounds, there is a Cider Mill a Transport Gallery housing a fascinating array of vehicles such as; a fire engine, hansom cab, bicycles, carts and a collection of beautifully decorated Gipsy caravans.

See more information on the museum website – Stourport Rd, Hartlebury DY11 7XZ, England

Croome Park, Worcestershire

Croome Court isPlaces to visit in Worcestershire Croombe Park a mid 18th-century Neo-Palladian mansion surrounded by extensive landscaped parkland that was Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s very first landscape design, and his first major architectural project.

For more information www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croome – Near High Green, Worcester WR8 9DW

Places to visit in Worcestershire Croomb Park Worcestershire

Elgar Birthplace Museum

Places to visit in Worcestershire Elgar Museum and birth placeAs a visitor, you get a fascinating insight into the life, music, family,  friends, and musical inspirations of Sir Edward Elgar, whose masterpieces include the Enigma Variations and Pomp & Circumstance and much more. The Museum is set in the heart of Elgar’s beloved Worcestershire countryside, just 3 miles from the City of Worcester.

Open Friday to Tuesday from 11 am – 5 pm (last admission at 4.15pm) and there is an admission fee.

For more information www.elgarmuseum.org.uk – Crown East Lane, Lower Broadheath, Worcester WR2 6RH

 The Severn Valley Railway

Places to visit in Worcestershire Severn Valley RailwayThe railway line is 16 miles long, full-size standard-gauge and runs a regular service between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth with mainly steam-hauled passenger trains.

This railway is remarkable as it is largely run by unpaid volunteers who throughout the year appear on the railway to perform many tasks, including repairing and repainting stations, reconstruction of viaducts and bridges, and rebuilding locomotives and rolling stock, not to mention operating the trains!

Tickets are available for travel from the main stations, and there is no need to book, just turn up and pay! There is a Visitor Centre at Highley that is worth visiting, called ‘The Engine House’.

For more information visit their website www.svr.co.uk – One Comberton PlaceKidderminster DY10 1QR

Witley Court

Places to visit in Worcestershire Whtley CourtIn 1937 a fire destroyed the England’s greatest country house leaving today a shell of the impressive architecture and now charred timbers. The gardens around the court are magnificent and the spectacular Perseus and Andromeda fountain comes to life every 4th day from April to Oct. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Great Witley Church of St Michael and All Angels which is attached to Witley Court and was untouched by the fire and has an amazing Italianate Baroque interior. There is also a shop and woodlands walks to enjoy making this a fantastic place to visit in Worcestershire.

For more information www.english-heritage.org.uk – Worcester Rd, Great Witley WR6

Hanbury Hall and Gardens

Places to visit in Worcesetershire Hanbury Hall and GardensHanbury Hall is a beautiful country house, garden, and park built in 1701 by Thomas Vernon, a lawyer and Whig MP for Worcester.

Inside there is a mix of interiors to be discovered, from the Hercules rooms and Gothic corridor to the recently re-decorated smoking room with stunning staircase and wall-paintings by Sir James Thornhill, which underwent major restoration work in 2010. Around the house are 20 acres of recreated early 18th-century gardens and 400 acres of parkland which include an intricately laid out parterre, fruit garden, grove, orangery, orchard, and bowling green. There is a lovely walk around the park that will lead you into the surrounding countryside.

For more information www.nationaltrust.org.uk – Droitwich, Worcester WR9 7EA

Spetchley Park Gardens

Places to visit in Worcestershire Spetchley GardensSpetchley is a  beautiful historic garden with ancient parkland, deer park and lakes with far reaching views to the Malvern Hills. The gardens provide an ideal day out as you enjoy the stunning 30-acre garden, with the Bath Stone Georgian mansion as a backdrop There is also a wonderful tea room, where you can buy a light lunch or full, traditional afternoon tea.

For more information www.spetchleygardens.co.uk – Spetchley, Worcester WR5 1RS

Avoncroft Museum

Places to visit in Worcestershire Avoncroft MuseumHome to over 30 different buildings and structures that have all been rescued and rebuilt in rural Worcestershire. The 19 acres site includes a wildflower meadow, period gardens, a traditional cider and perry orchard along with a collection of historic buildings. Avoncroft is England’s first open-air museum, and their priority is to retain historic buildings in their original location. The museum displays and cares for over twenty-five historic buildings ranging from the fourteenth century to a post second world war prefab from Birmingham. Visitors can enjoy the peaceful countryside explore the historic buildings and enjoy the Edwardian Tea Rooms.
For more information www.avoncroft.org.uk –Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove B60 4JR

Harvington Hall

Places to visit in Worcestershire Harvington HallHarvington Hall was built in 1580 by Humphrey Pakington and is a medieval, Elizabethan manor-house with a moat and many of the rooms still have their original Elizabethan wall-paintings. The Hall contains the finest series of priest hides anywhere in the country. Amazingly during the 19th Century, all the furniture and panelling were removed and the shell was left almost derelict, but in 1923 it was bought by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham and they restored and opened it to the public.

On the death of Humphrey Pakington his daughter Mary, Lady Yate inherited the house and in 1644 it was pillaged by Roundhead troops. Family letters refer to politics, London fashions, and medical treatment, as well as business matters. In 1696 the Hall passed to the Throckmortons of Coughton Court in Warwickshire, who owned it until 1923. For more information www.harvingtonhall.com – Harvington Hall Lane, Harvington DY10 4LR

Forge Mill Needle Museum and Bordesley Abbey

Places to visit in Worcestershire Forge mill needle museumOne of the most, unique museums in Worcestershire, this museum has a superb Gift Shop and a good selection of the finest quality needles, many of which are locally produced. This historic site illustrates the rich heritage of the needle and fishing tackle industries, with a vivid illustration of how needles were once made, and how Redditch once produced 90% of the world’s needles. On the same site are the ruins of Bordesley Abbey; a medieval Cistercian Abbey which has been extensively excavated. There is a Visitor Centre, which is set in an original reconstructed 16th-century barn and tells the extraordinary story of the Abbey from its development in the 12th century to its destruction in 1538 by Henry VIII during the dissolution.
For more information www.forgemill.org.uk – Needle Mill Lane, Redditch B98 8HY

Stourport-on-Severn

Places to visit in Worcestershire Stourport on severn WorcestershireThis is a unique Georgian CANAL town located on the River Severn. It was water that brought about the creation of Stourport and continues to shape the town today. The River Severn is the UK’s longest river, the River Stour, and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal surround and intersect the town, so there is plenty to do both on and by the water. There is a static fun fair with boating and crazy golf, but visit The Basin to experience the heart of Stourport and the Canal Boats and further afield enjoy a walk at Hartlebury Common Nature Reserve, Moorhall Marsh Local Nature Reserve and go visit Astley Vineyard.

For more information – stourporttown.co.uk

Bodenham Arboretum

Places to visit in Worcestershire Bodenham Arboretum There are many lakes and pools exhibiting interesting features and bridges provide access to the islands in the big pool and the “Giants Island”  which children love to explore.  Seats throughout the Arboretum allow the visitor to stop and rest for a while and enjoy the garden. The epicentre of the Arboretum lies around the big pool where many rare and ornamental trees can be seen in flower or fruit at all times of the year and their autumn colours are a special beauty. The Grand Avenue, which is in its infancy, is planted with Pope’s Seat Provenance Beech to mature over the next century. It stretches up the hillside to the Gazebo, built to celebrate the Millennium and the higher reaches of the Arboretum where extensive views to the Clent Hills and surrounding countryside can be enjoyed. Bodenham is situated in a protected valley,  away from traffic noise and visual intrusions.
For more information www.bodenham-arboretum.co.uk

Shelsey Walsh Motor Sport

shelsey walshShelsley Walsh was first used in 1905 and is today the oldest motorsport venue in continuous use in the world. The main events are the Shelsley Walsh speed hill climbs and the MAC organises sprints, sporting trials, classic car events and social events offering something for every motorsport and motoring enthusiast.

Shelsey was the first purpose-built motorsport venue in history and featured the first electrical motorsport timekeeping and had the first outside broadcast. Raymond Mays perfected his ERA racing cars at Shelsey in the 1930’s and his later BRM’s  also featured at Shelsley.

Leigh Court Barn

Leigh Court Barn in WorcestershireLeigh Court Barn is the only surviving building from Leigh Court Manor, which belonged to the monks of Pershore from the Middle Ages. Radiocarbon dating. though not conclusive, suggests evidence of carpentry techniques that date this barn to around 1325. Medieval monasteries owned farmland to supply them with food and raw materials and Monastic farms, known as granges, were often large-scale operations. Leigh Court Barn is a great example of the magnificence of the grange barn and suggests that the Pershore Abbey farm was a well-organised and a lucrative business. Thankfully the size and sturdy construction of this barn have helped it survive, largely unaltered for almost 700 years.

Read more about this impressive Barn at English Heritage

Orchard Side Bed and Breakfast and our dog-friendly, self-catering Annex make a great base for exploring the county of Worcestershire and walking the Malvern Hills, and if you want more ideas of places to visit then visit our blog

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