Conquer the Malvern ridge, canoe the rivers, ramble the ancient woodlands at Ravenhill. Check out Chelmsford Spa for boutique shopping and pretty Cotswold villages for babbling brooks and honey-stone cottages. Kids can crack the Malvern Hills Spy Mission Treasure Trail or race the karts at Area 7.
Get your skates on at Ice Quest Malvern, or go potty for pot painting at Green Frog Pottery. On sunny days, find the hidden statues, follies and temples in the gardens at Croome. And enjoy Malvern Splash whatever the weather, with its beach, flume and wave machine.
At Malvern Hills GeoCentre, local geology, archaeology and history come alive, while The Commandery museum makes history horrible, with stories about power, greed, war, wealth, romance and death. Keep the grittiness going at the George Marshall Medical Museum, with its death masks and 19th-century amputations.
Lighten up at the Knapp and Papermill Nature Reserve with a trail that takes in an apple orchard, brook and meadow. Watch out for woodpeckers, nuthatches and otters. Or head to Eastnor Castle for the deer park, lake, arboretum, adventure playground, assault course, knight’s maze and treetop walkway.
Race the karts and fire the lasers at Area 7. Then be 007 for the day at the Malvern Hills Spy Mission Treasure Trail. Solve the clues around the Malvern Hills and discover the deactivation code to complete your mission.
For the Grown Ups
Five miles to the west, Ledbury is a half-timbered haven, with St Michael’s the most beautiful church in the county. Potter the cobbles of ancient Church Lane, stopping off for real-ale pubs and tearooms. Here, pottery and sculpture studios, museums, antiques and blacksmiths pepper the medieval alleyways.
There’s theatre in Malvern, boutique shopping among the ironwork balconies and stucco facades of Cheltenham, and events and festivals everywhere. There are fireworks to watch and Land Rovers to ride over ridges at Eastnor Castle, and cider to be tasted at Westons.
But the Malverns beckon and you can reach the hills right out of the door. Potter over to Castlemorton for picnics and classic country views, or drive to the Cotswold villages of Broadway or Winchcombe, where willows weep languorously into babbling brooks and drivers wait patiently for ducklings to cross the lanes.
Fish or canoe the rivers, walk the Malvern ridge, ramble the ancient woodland at Ravenhill. Have a flutter on a filly at Cheltenham Races, be wowed by Witley Court, sample the Elgar range at Lovells Vineyard. Active or passive, old or young, indoors or out, there’s something for everyone among the Malvern Hills.