Places to visit
The surrounding area abounds with fascinating places to visit in a variety sure to suit all interests.
Churches and Cathedrals
Roman remains at Cirencester and Chedworth; Gloucester and Hereford cathedrals, the Abbey at Tewkesbury, ruins of Hailes Abbey and countless fine churches all pay tribute to the area’s rich, religious history.
Historic House and Palaces
A leisurely drive through the Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty and the setting for many of England’s most picturesque towns and villages, brings you to Blenheim Palace, seat of the 11th Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
Photo copyright© by kind permission of Blenheim Palace.
Coughton Court has been the home of the Throckmorton family since 1409. It holds a unique place in English history with its close connections to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Behind the Tudor gatehouse house you will find the courtyard with its fine Elizabethan half-timbering, where a knot garden leads to lawns and fine vistas of the Warwickshire countryside.
The house stands in 25 acres of grounds containing some of the most breathtaking gardens in the country. It was Clare McLaren-Throckmorton’s intention to create a garden that complements the beautiful house, and to give it the setting it deserves. She also wanted to create a wide variety of gardens: formal and informal, traditional and innovative. Created over the last 15 years, the gardens are now mature and varied and are solely managed by the Throckmorton family.
Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, is steeped in culture and history. It is set in beautiful rural countryside, on the banks of the river Avon and is one of the most important tourist destinations in the UK.
It is also home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Here we find the finest actors and directors working on great plays in some of the best theatre spaces in the world. The RSC in Stratford offers two theatres providing an elaborate range of drama, ancient and modern, classic and contemporary.
– The Royal Shakespeare Theatre where you can watch Shakespeare plays such as Hamlet or Taming of the Shrew depending on availability.
– The Swan is a wonderfully atmospheric galleried playhouse with the inside designed to reflect an actual Elizabethan style theatre.
Worcester – The Cathedral
Worcester, a city where ancient and modern walk hand in hand; a city with a long history but also packed with the local attractions, terrific shopping, top-notch entertainment and first-class sport. Whatever you’re looking for – Worcester has it!
KING John, who ruled England during the time of Robin Hood, lies buried in Worcester. The monarch, who was on the throne between 1199 and 1216, died the year after he gave into the demands of mediaeval barons and signed the Magna Carta, effectively Britain’s Bill of Rights. His tomb can be found in Worcester Cathedral.
Also look out for the cricket ground, civil war commandery and famous porcelain factory.
There are a dozen castles from which to choose – Warwick is the finest medieval castle in England and Sudeley castle, once the palace of Katherine Parr, are two favourites.
Severn Valley Railway
Abandon the car and ride on the Severn Valley Steam Railway – a full-size standard-gauge line running regular steam-hauled passenger trains for the benefit of tourists and enthusiasts alike between Kidderminster in Worcestershire and Bridgnorth in Shropshire, a distance of 16 miles.
Worcester – The Town
Visit Worcester, an ancient English city with a modern outlook on life, where heritage and tradition link arms with the arts, and up-to-the-minute shops vie for your attention with inviting restaurants offering food from around the globe.
Home of the magnificent Worcester Cathedral and the world-famous Royal Worcester porcelain, the city is also close to the birthplace of Sir Edward Elgar, England’s greatest composer.
The Malverns and Malvern Hills
The Malvern Hills boast some of the most spectacular views in the Midlands, with routes for both beginners and the more experienced walkers. The entire length of the Hills is open to the public and is criss-crossed with about 160km (100 miles) of bridleways and footpaths.
Hidcote Manor Garden
For garden lovers there’s Hidcote Manor Garden, with its structure of outdoor ‘rooms’, linked by vistas and furnished with all sorts of topiary. It recalls both the English garden style and the European connections of its creator Major Lawrence Johnston.
Laid out over seventy years ago an astonishing variety of effects have been created. Hedges, walls, water and paving were all combined to create a garden that has its originals in the Arts and Crafts movement.
Profuse and ‘jungly’ planting, rich colour and texture, contrast with areas left deliberately plain to give calm and restful interludes, so increasing the impact of the garden’s lavish and exciting progression.
The Wychavon Way
Developed as a partnership between Wychavon District Council and Worcestershire County Council, this route runs through the district of Wychavon – starting in Droitwich Spa (following much of the original route up until north east of Fladbury) and finishing in Broadway, taking in Pershore and Bredon Hill.
The start and finish points are Droitwich Spa and Broadway, the route is waymarked in both directions so can be walked as desired. The magnificence and importance of each place should not be underestimated; Droitwich has been an important centre for Salt trading since Iron Age times while Broadway was established soon after the Norman Conquest and later became an important centre for trade in Cotswold wool, but is now better known for its independent little shops, welcoming cafes and pubs, housed in Cotswold beautiful buildings.
Birmingham, England’s second city is only forty minutes by car, and proud possessor of Symphony Orchestra, new concert hall, Hippodrome theatre, National Exhibition and Conference Centres.
Birmingham is also excellent for shopping including the famous Bullring shopping centre where you will find Selfridges and all the top high street names.
Near Birmingham you can visit the Black Country’s Industrial museum or see glass being blown and cut at Stourbridge, the centre for English Crystal, where there is a sparkling array of factory-shop bargains. For children and chocolate lovers there’s Cadbury World at Bournville.
Droitwich Spa Canal Walk
The new waterways route passes through the picturesque town of Droitwich Spa with many shops, pubs and cafes. It will also encompass the historical Cathedral City of Worcester which has a host of activities on offer, extensive shopping and restaurants.
Droitwich Spa Marina will be a haven for walkers, with many routes to choose from, either along the towpaths or footpaths across open farmland.The National Trust property Hanbury Hall is a delightful one hour’s walk away through some of Worcestershires finest countryside, completely avoiding any road and is recommended as a ‘must to visit’.
There are several excellent country pubs within a two mile radius including the famous ‘Ambridge Bull’. Whether you want a quick bite, relaxing drink or a evening meal they all serve excellent food at a competitive price.