Crockery, composers and a cracking good sauce are not the only great things to come out of the ancient city of Worcester, in the West Midlands region of England. Sitting at the heart of the country on the winding River Severn, Worcester has accumulated a clutch of historic attractions over the 2,000 or so years since its humble beginnings as a Roman town.
The former home of Royal Worcester Porcelain and Sir Edward Elgar, perhaps the city's most famous export remains Worcestershire Sauce, which is produced by the gallon at the local Lea & Perrins factory. There is plenty to see and do, even if spicy sauces are not your bag, though. Check out Worcester's impressive cathedral, Tudor architecture and riverside trails before pottering around Huntingdon Hall, the Elgar Birthplace Museum, Tudor House, The Greyfriars, the Worcester Porcelain Museum and the pleasant Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.
There are just enough hotels in Worcester for a city of its size, and you shouldn't expect to pay over the odds in this good-value destination. Even the luxury hotels, situated in country houses and splendid Georgian buildings, offer great rates. These Worcester hotels can mostly be found in and around the city centre, with a few notable exceptions on the outskirts of the city and in the nearby villages.
Budget and mid-range accommodation, meanwhile, is in charming inns, traditional pubs, although you can book cheap hotels even in the city centre, where food, drink, attractions and a decent smattering of nightlife are all close at hand. But of the major names, only Travelodge and Premier Inn have hotels in the city.
Top five attractions
Worcester Porcelain Museum
You'll find this museum in Worcester's historic core. See some of the finest works to come from the hands of the city's artisans and discover the story behind the pretty pots.
Work started on this grand project, which now towers over the rest of the city, in the 11th century and ran on for the next 500 years. A variety of building styles are in evidence as a result.
Get a glimpse of life in Tudor times at this former home, which is free to enter. Opening times and days are limited, so check in advance.
Elgar Birthplace Museum and Visitor Centre
Discover everything you need to know about celebrated British composer Sir Edward Elgar at his extremely pretty first home in the nearby village of Lower Broadheath.
Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum
The varied and interesting collection at this museum will teach you a lot about the city of Worcester.
Worcester Spring Regatta; May: See rowers competing on the River Severn during these hotly contested, but friendly races.
Worcester Festival; August: Family fun abounds during this summer celebration. The event, which stretches over week rather than days, culminates in a mighty fireworks display.
Malvern Autumn Show; September: Head to the Three Counties Showground a little way south of Worcester in Malvern to enjoy this bastion of rural English life, which includes some amazing shows, as well as quirky vegetable competitions.