Great Malvern, Worcestershire

Hay on Wye didn’t do anything for me but on the other hand Great Malvern was well, great. Despite the fact that it was wet and we couldn’t even see the hills for the low cloud which enveloped them it still had a lovely atmosphere and friendly people in the shops. I took some photos but you can see more images here.

Obviously I’d heard about the Malvern hills before but it was a surprise to me that the whole town is built on hills. To me, it has the feeling of a seaside place because of that, but instead of looking out to the sea, it’s glimpses of multi-hued fields far below which can be seen between buildings. Unfortunately because of the weather we didn’t get a very clear view but on a good day it must look fab. But this is one of the streets in the town.

Great Malvern shops
There are quite a lot of good bookshops around, I think the Amnesty International one was my favourite but the second hand bookshop which is right next to the priory gates is good too. Yes, I did buy books in them! I’m not at all into organised religion but I do like the Great Malvern Priory site, where dogs are invited to bring along their well-behaved humans! In the photo below you can see the priory and various different architectural styles.

Great Malvern

Great Malvern Priory, which has fearless grey squirrels running around its grounds.

Great Malvern Priory

This is the public library and for some reason it doesn’t look nearly as imposing in this photo as it does in reality. I wish it were my public library. It’s another Andrew Carnegie one, he donated £5,000 to it.

Great Malvern Library

This stone bridge is part of a small park which we had to walk through to get to the town from the car park, it’s a very pretty rural area with ducks scattered around it.

a stone bridge at Great Malvern

This is a wooden bridge in the same area. I would definitely go back to Great Malvern, hoping for better weather next time. I’ve always thought of it as a place that people retire to but really you have to be fit as there are hills and steps everywhere, no need to join a gym if you’re living there, just doing your shopping would keep you fit. It’s all very genteel and sort of – step back in time-ish, and often that’s just what I need. Evee, if I were you I’d be visiting my cousins an awful lot!

Great Malvern wooden bridge

Evesham and Chipping Norton

When we went away for a few days recently there were only a few places that we definitely wanted to explore but when we looked at the map we realised there were so many towns nearby that it was daft not to take the opportunity to visit them while we were so far down south. Evesham was one of the places we spotted on the map. A hop and a skip from where we were, unfortunately it was raining heavily by the time we got there and it isn’t the sort of place where you can go into a department store to dry off. The photo below is of The Almonry, a 14th century building, and I managed to snap it in a lull in the downpour.

Evesham is in Worcestershire, apple growing country and I realised that we would be there at the perfect time for the blossom but unfortunately it wasn’t possible to stop the car whenever we saw the trees in bloom. They looked very pretty, even through the rain.

Driving out of Evesham towards Chipping Norton is quite a climb for a car and you can look down at the Vale of Evesham which I imagine is a good view on a clear day.

I had heard people raving about the beauties of the Cotswold hills and you travel through them to get to Chipping Norton but I have to say that they didn’t seem much to write home about. Mind you I was brought up in the west of Scotland and I don’t think you can beat those hills for beauty anywhere in Britain – well that’s my opinion anyway!

One lovely thing though was the colour of the Cotswold stone, it’s a really lovely warm golden honey colour. There are villages with all of the houses built of Cotswold stone and they must look very pretty when the sun is shining on them, if it ever does.

These two photos are of the main street in Chipping Norton you can read about the town here. It’s quite a bustling place with a few bookshops, second hand and new and it’s very historic and worthwhile having a look at if you’re in that area.

aStreet 1

There are just a few buildings of Cotswold stone here.

aStreet 2

We managed to visit quite a few English counties that we hadn’t been to before. I now have a mental list which I’m ticking off as we go. This was Worcestershire and Oxfordshire, the next visit will be Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire.