The Malvern Hills
The Malvern Hills are the oldest hills in England. The remains of ancient volcanoes, they straddle the Worcestershire-Herefordshire border, and dominate the surrounding landscape, the Severn valley to the east, and to the West, the rolling Herefordshire countryside. The Malvern Hills are popular with walkers, cyclists, hang-gliders and para-gliders, and with those who just enjoy looking at the magnificent landscape.
Great Malvern is a victorian spa town. Malvern water, now bottled at the plant in Colwall, on the western slopes of the hills, is available internationally, and is reputed to be the Queen's water of choice. Malvern Spring water may also be freely collected from various wells scattered over the hills. In fact there are over 200 springs on the hills, as a result of the local geology.
The igneous (volcanic) rocks of the Malverns were formed deep within the earth's crust from molten material (magma) during the Precambrian (700 million years ago).
Malvern and the Arts
Malvern has associations with a number of celebrated figures from the world of the Arts. Sir Edward Elgar is reputed to have been inspired by the local landscape. He was born not far from Malvern, and rode his pony over the hills as a boy. As an adult he cycled and walked the hills, and wrote many of his most famous works while living in the area. In fact he lived for most of his life in Worcestershire, within a few miles of the Malverns. His statue stands in the centre of the town.
Jenny Lind, the "Swedish nightingale", spent her last years in Little Malvern. She is known for her performances in soprano roles in Sweden and Europe, as well as for an extraordinarily popular tour of America beginning in 1850, and for her philanthropic work, and is buried in Malvern.
The poet, W.H. Auden taught at the Downs School, on the western slopes of the Malverns, for three years in the 1930s.
Malvern Theatres play host to national and international stars,
in productions, many of which move on to the West End, as well as
orchestral concerts and other musical events, the annual pantomime,
experimental productions and other events, many aimed at young
The theatre complex, which includes a cinema and a restaurant, forms the centrepiece of Malvern's Victorian town park.
The Malvern Hills are extremely popular with walkers at all times of the year. They look magnificent in the winter with snow on the upper slopes and in the summer the tops of the ideal place to cool down and enjoy the views of the Severn Valley to the east, and Hay Bluff and the Black Mountains to west. The terrain is not too challenging, although the steep gradients make for excellent pulmonary and cardiac exercise in places. For those less agile there are plenty of made-up paths with gentler slopes.
Malvern on the Web
There are a number of useful websites to help you find out more about Malvern