There’s no place like home – but there is definitely no place like Worcester. The Faithful City may have been recently referred to as average but anyone who is lucky enough to live there knows it is anything but. It may not be as big as other cities such as Manchester, Birmingham or Liverpool, and it may not be considered as vibrant as Bristol, London or Glasgow, but Worcester has plenty to offer.
A relatively small Worcestershire city with big appeal, Worcester is famous for many things, such as its porcelain china, its cricket, its relaxing canal trips, and the original Worcestershire sauce — Lea and Perrins. Interestingly, the city is also home to the oldest newspaper in the world — the Berrow’s Journal of 1690. Worcester is a very traditional English tourist destination, being full of historic buildings and surrounded by rolling countryside, stately homes and landscaped gardens.
Close by Worcester are two major tourist attractions that really do add to the overall summer tourism appeal. The nearby West Midlands Safari Park is full not only of exotic animals, but also exciting roller coasters and fast rides. Also just a short distance away is Witley Court and Gardens, a palatial Grade-I listed manor house with incredible fountains, managed by the English Heritage and now in ruins, following a devastating fire many decades ago. Details about these attractions and more are readily available at the Worcester Tourist Information Centre, which is housed in the historic Guildhall, on the High Street, in the Lychgate area.
Getting About in Worcestershire
Being just a two hour drive from London, travellers who get to the United Kingdom by way of a London airport would be smart to consider taking advantage of a chauffeur service such as Cars Exec (cars-exec.com) for their airport taxi transfer to Worcester. While you might find it unreasonable to do all your vacation travel by a chauffeur hire, it makes sense to schedule at least one ride using such a service. A vacation is all about memories, and having a smartly dressed, knowledgeable chauffeur driving you through the English countryside certainly will leave you with a great memory to reflect upon years later. There’s really nothing more British than being escorted about by a chauffeur.
When you first arrive in Worcester, consider joining a walking tour, to learn more about exactly what is on offer during your stay. You may also like to take a cruise along the scenic River Severn, with boats departing from the South Quay and offering impressive views of the riverside skyline. After that, you can choose between a visit to the Worcestershire Cricket Club, the Evesham Vale Light Railway, the Worcester Racecourse or the Spetchley Park Gardens. In the evening, the two leading entertainment venues in the city are the Swan Theatre and Huntingdon Hall, the latter of which is actually a converted church and has become the city’s number one concert venue.
Things to See and Do in Worcester
Worcestershire County Museum
The County Museum tells Worcestershire’s story from prehistory to the twentieth century & is housed in the magnificent surroundings of Hartlebury Castle. In 1646 during the Civil War Hartlebury Castle was strongly fortified and held for King Charles I by Captain Sandys and Lord Windsor, with 120 foot soldiers and 20 horses, and had provisions for twelve months. When summoned by Colonel Morgan for the Parliament, it surrendered in two days without firing a shot. The Castle was slighted and the Parliamentary Commissioners seized the Castle and manor, and sold them to Thomas Westrowe for £3133. At the Restoration they were given back to the Bishop of Worcester.
The Worcestershire County Museum is housed in the servants’ quarters of Hartlebury Castle. The exhibits focus on local history, and include toys, archaeology, costumes, crafts by the Bromsgrove Guild, local industry and transportation, and area geology and natural history. There are period room displays including a schoolroom, nursery and scullery, and Victorian, Georgian and Civil War rooms.
National Trust Croome – Parkland
This ‘Capability’ Brown landscape has acres of parkland waiting to be discovered. Explore Croome Court which stands proudly at it’s heart or visit our restored wartime buildings now a RAF museum and Visitor Centre with children’s play areas. After taking in the far reaching views of the Malvern Hills from the top of Church Hill, stroll down to the lakeside discovering temples, follies and statues on your way and relax in one of the many deckchairs scattered at it’s edges.
Follow the river which meanders through this stunning ‘Capability’ Brown landscape or walk further afield to one of our many eye-catchers such as Dunstall Castle or the Panorama Tower. Children can have fun making dens in the natural play area and running around in the RAF themed playground – don’t forget to visit the bird hide and see what you can spot or perhaps do one of the family trails that take place during the school holidays.
Mid Worcestershire Ring
The Droitwich Canals have been reborn from a derelict channel to become a thriving boating route and a peaceful retreat for the local community. Walking is one of the nicest ways to explore the beautiful canals and rivers. Whether you fancy a 10 minute stroll or a vigorous all-day hike, by walking along the towpaths you’re guaranteed relaxing views of the water.
Canals and rivers offer accessible walking routes at all times of year. Aside from lock flights, your path is level and there’s little chance of getting lost! The unfolding scenery of a canal-side stroll also takes some beating. Where else could you find such a mix of wildlife, architecture, countryside and of course, the thing that brings it all to life, narrowboats.
But, perhaps the best part of a walk by the canal is the near-obligatory rest at a waterside pub. Sit back with a refreshing drink and watch the world float by. It’s all part of the canal experience. Or why not pack a picnic and enjoy an al fresco lunch anywhere you like? Remember, any extra calories consumed can always be walked off on the return leg.