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Image of the Malvern hills, Worcestershire

The spa town of Malvern, in the English county of Worcestershire, is a gateway to the outdoor pleasures and outstanding views of the Malvern Hills, where fresh air will fill your lungs during long walks in the countryside.

Thought to be around 1,000 years old, the urban area of Malvern, known as Great Malvern, contains a wealth of historical attractions, including some of the splendid buildings that served as grand hotels during the town's reign as a supreme spa destination, thanks to its pure spring waters. There's still an aura of wellbeing around the town, though the flushed cheeks and healthy glows might be down to walking, clean air, and an unhurried lifestyle rather than the healing properties of the wet stuff.

The best of British hospitality can be enjoyed in Malvern hotels, with warm welcomes, copious amounts of tea, and comfortable rooms presented by cheery hoteliers.

Hotels in Malvern come in all shapes, sizes and levels of service, and cater for a range of budgets. There are charming budget hotels and B&Bs, restored inns that are worth a look, stunning country-park hotels and manor houses, farm stays and a variety of mid-range accommodation. To stay within the town proper, look for Great Malvern hotels, as Malvern hotels encompass the surrounding countryside and the hotels within.

Don't expect the major brand names to have hotels in Malvern. Instead the properties are locally owned and managed. If you want to find chain hotels, you'll need to travel to Hereford or Worcester.

To hark back to Victorian opulence, look for spa hotels that encapsulate the vibe of the era; there are a few dotted around the area. And don't forget your walking gear!

Top five attractions

Worcestershire Beacon

The highest peak of the Malvern Hills; take a flask and enjoy the view from the top.

The Elgar Route

Follow in the footsteps of the famous composer as this 40-mile route takes you around various sights and landmarks associated with Edward Elgar.

Morgan Motor Company

Take a guided tour of the factory that has produced some of Britain's most enigmatic vehicles for more than a hundred years.

Great Malvern Priory

Once a Benedictine monastery, this ancient and attractive building now dominates the Malvern skyline.

Great Malvern Station

One of those great British railway stations that make you feel all gooey inside. Take a break on the platform at the station's much-lauded tea room.

Events

Elgar Festival; June: A series of concerts and events in Worcester and across Worcestershire mark the life of Edward Elgar. Grab a flag and be ready to wave it madly in the air as the main attractions will always reach a traditional climax with the composer's 'Pomp and Circumstance'.

Malvern Autumn Show; September: The Three Counties Showground plays host to this annual event, which has dominated the Malvern calendar for more than 200 years. Give yourself a full day to experience what is always praised as one of the best county shows in England.

Autumn In Malvern Festival; September-October: A widely-acclaimed series of artistic events set against the backdrop of the magnificent Malvern Hills, the festival attracts some big players in the world of poetry and music. Hotel rooms can be hard to come by during the festival, so book early.