The Avoncroft Museum
December 2, 2019
Many historical or old buildings get demolished because they are not protected. It’s a good thing that some of them get saved and restored for future generations to still be able to experience them. This is what visitors to the Avoncroft Museum can expect, specifically 700 years of history in buildings and other items carefully restored and presented.
The museum opened its doors in 1967, after a wave of demolition of old buildings in Britain. Many of them from Wales and the English Midlands found their way to the museum to be saved for years to come. Nowadays, this odd collection seems random but they allow today’s visitors to explore how buildings were built and how they look like centuries before.
What To See
In the 19 acres of land the museum occupies, there are 30 exhibits in all, other than just the restored buildings. There is also a 19th Century windmill, a prefab house from post-World War II, a cell block, a highway toll house, an 18th-century outdoor toilet, and even a cockfighting pit. They also have an interesting church spire made of fiberglass. A Medieval Townhouse is one of the highlights, being one of the oldest structures in the museum.
The museum celebrates the industrial heritage of the Midlands, through the 100-year forge and the 19th-century chain-making shop among its exhibits. Other interesting exhibits include a brick display.
One of the more popular collections is the British National Telephone Kiosk Collection, where visitors can see these iconic structures. They have the earliest cast iron red phone booths from 1912 all the way to the last units made of glass installed in the 90s. Doctor Who fans will love being able to inside their own Tardis!
Other Features and Amenities
The Avoncroft Museum is an award-winning museum, thanks to its Edwardian Tea Rooms that serve dishes with produce coming from the grounds itself. During the warm, summer days, visitors can explore the orchard on the grounds that have traditional varieties of perry pears and cider apples. It also has a picnic area and a meadow full of wildflowers.
They also have a children’s play area and a free carpark for visitors. On some days, a miniature railway is open for kids, but it is best to call ahead and check if it is open on the day you visit.
Dogs on a lead are welcome, and while some older buildings have no lifts, the museum is quite family-friendly.
The museum hosts various events throughout the year, like open-air Shakespeare and even lessons in blacksmithing (in a real forge!). Historical reenactments and fun family days are also planned throughout the year. For a calendar of activities, you can check their website.
The location is also quite picturesque and it is easily accessible. A train from Birmingham stops at Bromsgrove and the museum is a bit over a mile away from the train station.
Kids and adults alike will appreciate a lesson in history when it is seen, touched, heard or experienced as opposed to just read in a book. The Avoncroft Museum aims to give its visitors a unique hands-on experience that will educate future generations on the country’s interesting past.
Our Top Picks for Spa-Resort Hotels in Worcestershire
September 18, 2019
If you have no time or budget for a long, luxurious holiday, you can unwind with a short spa break. This is, in fact, how we love to relax and gather strength for the stresses of day-to-day life. We try to squeeze in a few visits to a good spa hotel yearly, and there are quite a few to choose from all over the country. Here are our top picks in Worcestershire.
1. The Abbey Hotel
The beautiful surroundings of this 4-star spa hotel are already very relaxing, but they offer much more. First of all, we love their rooms, even their Classic and family rooms. Another favorite is the Bramblings Restaurant and Bar, with its panoramic view of the grounds and the golf course.
For a workout during your visit, you can check out their top-of-the-line health club, which includes an amazing 15-meter deck swimming pool. You can also avail of the fitness instructors in the gym for some professional assistance. But undoubtedly the best part of the health club is the spa, where we have tried out the face and body treatments. They are not only great for the body, they are also rejuvenating for the soul.
2. The Elms Hotel & Spa
Worcestershire is really a great spot to visit if you love nature as we do. When you visit the Elms Hotel and Spa, you will be surrounded by beauty whether you are indoors or out. We love the interiors of this family mansion-turned-hotel and it is the quaint little spot for a weekend away from the city.
The Herb Garden Restaurant is a must-try, with the ingredients grown locally in the hotel’s gardens. But the undisputed highlight is the very modern Elms spa, which is always the highlight of our visit. We can truly forget the stress while getting a facial and massage, and you can also try out different holistic therapies.
3. Malvern View Spa at Bank House Hotel
In comparison to other hotels, this is more modern, though still set in the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire. Every single guest here is sure to feel comfortable and welcome, thanks to their meticulous customer service. This is obvious in the very tiny details of the room, but also with their relaxation services.
The brand new Malvern View Spa is the perfect destination for a day of unwinding, whether alone or with a companion. The thermal suite, swimming pool and sun terrace are a great start, before you go for one of their relaxing treatments.
4. Malvern Spa
The Malvern Spa is on the top of the list of spa hotels to visit in Worcestershire, especially so you can check out their 20-meter long indoor to outdoor hydrotherapy pool. This natural warm Malvern water will make you forget every little stress from work and daily life.
What we love about this spa hotel is its mix of the old and new, paying homage to the spa heritage of this town. Malvern Spa also offers its guests Italian-style rooms with the most comfortable beds that will give you a good night’s sleep.
Worcestershire is one of our favorite corners of England to head over for a relaxing weekend because the beautiful surroundings and its spa heritage means you will not be left wanting. Try out our top 4 picks for an unforgettable stay.
Top Parks in Worcestershire
August 1, 2019
Worcestershire is a county to the west of England and it has a number of hills and farmland in its landscape. But there’s more to the county than fields. If you’re visiting Worcestershire, you might want to visit its lovely parks.
The 5 Must-Visit Parks in Worchestershire
1. Gheluvelt Park
One of the most popular parks in the area is Gheluvelt Park. This park was built as a memorial for those who fought during World War I. However, over time, it became a family park where kids became free to run around.
Gheluvelt Park is divided into two areas. The right side of the park is where most families stay and stroll while the other side was dedicated to preserving wildlife in the area. But what’s great about this particular park is that you get to see ducks and swans in the pods. If you have kids, they will surely love this place.
2. Worcester Woods Country Park
Worcester Woods Country Park is not your usual park. It’s like a whole community thanks to all the sites you can see and the activities you can participate in during the summer. A cafe, an open field, a nature reserve, a playground, these are just some of the things you get to enjoy at Worcester Woods Country Park.
One of the best activities to do here is to have a picnic with your family. During the summer, lots of people sit at the picnic tables with their packed meals and just enjoy under the sun. While you relax, you can let your kids play in one of the park’s playgrounds.
Croome takes its name from Croome Court which is found right in the middle of the park. Home to the Earls of Coventry, this park was once the center of a lot of activity during World War I. Today, Croome Court has become a tourist site where visitors are guided by artists and craftspeople in the area.
Although not the kind of park where kids can run freely, Croome does boast of stunning fields and ponds. Around the park, there are bridges erected where you can take photos in. You might even catch a glimpse of the Court from afar.
4. Abbey Park
If you are looking for a playground, field, cafe, and a historical site, then you can find all these in Abbey Park. Abbey Park is one of the parks that has it all. It serves as a tourist spot thanks to the bell tower and the Old Abbey, and it also functions as a great outdoor day for kids. You can also take photos of the beautiful scenery and take walks alongside the river.
5. Sanders Park
Finally, you have Sanders Park. Sanders Park is the place where you want to go jogging or walking your dog. There’s not a lot of playgrounds where kids can play which is why you will see more adults here than children. Nonetheless, the park is perfect for those who love strolling on a cool morning.
Nighttime Activities in Worcestershire
July 17, 2019
In the smaller cities in the United Kingdom, the nighttime activities happen more in the pubs. In fact, you cannot have a truly British experience without going to a pub. Interestingly, Worcester has some of the oldest and most interesting ones.
Must-See Pubs In Worcestershire
Locals love the pub they affectionately called “the Blower”, although its official name is The Horn and Trumpet. This is a good place to see where the residents go, and it can get a bit exciting just before it closes. If you are interested in avoiding the other tourists, then you should head here.
On the other hand, if you want to visit a pub that is located in a former church home, then head over to the Slug and Lettuce. It is fun because there is a dance floor downstairs, while upstairs is perfect for drinking. They also offer lunch during the day. This pub is one in a chain and is designed to appeal to young adults. The music is also leaned towards the younger guests, with the DJ playing more R&B and house music.
If you are visiting with family, though, you will love the Salmon’s Leap at 42 Severn Street. They serve curry and have their one ales on tap. While the parents are having a drink, the little ones can play in the beer garden or in the play area.
To have a taste of history, you should stop by The King Charles House, where King Charles I stopped by in 1645 after escaping Worcester when Oliver Cromwell defeated his army.
Another interesting pub is The Swan with Two Nicks or Nicking Swans for short. It is a welcoming nightclub/ restaurant/pub-in-one that is popular with students as well. They also have some live music at times, wherein you might be charged a little for cover.
Lastly, The Cardinal’s Hat offers continental beer without having to leave the UK. They used to serve in half and one-liter beer mugs but they were forced to change to half-pints and pints back in 2002. The building itself is also interesting, dating all the way back to the 15th century.
Local Nightclubs To Check Out
If you are looking for a real nightclub, then there are quite a few in Worcester, which do not just cater to the students. Bushies, or Bushwackers, on Trinity Street, is an Australian restaurant that turns into a dance floor and 2 bars in the night. The restaurant offers huge portions and is favored by guests in the mid-20s all the way to those in their mid-40s. They have a cover price of around $5.
A church in Angel Place has also been converted into a nightclub called Tramps. It has 3 dance floors that offer different music, namely 80s, R&B, and dance. They also have 5 bars to choose from.
Other Nighttime Activities
Visitors also have some other activities catered to them, like pub walks or restaurant visits, so if you are looking for something to do in the night, you can refer to some local guides for ideas.
Exciting Shopping Activities in Worcestershire
July 4, 2019
Worcester is mostly known for the sauce that bears its name. It was first produced here using the recipe developed by John Lea and William Perrins, all the way back to the 1820s. Visitors to this city will, however, find more than just this product to buy.
The fact is, while it is not the most popular destination for shopping, Worcester is actually a shopper’s haven. Whether you are looking for new items to add to your wardrobe or for unique gifts for your loved ones, you will have enough little shops and high street stores to explore.
Arts and Crafts Shopping
If you are searching for something unique as a gift or as decor, then turn to these stores selling various arts and crafts products. If you like antiques, then Broadway in Cotswold Hills has one of the largest collections in the whole country. If you prefer buying straight from the artist or craftsman himself, then the Jinney Ring Craft Center in Hanbury and the Mamble Craft Center in Bewdley should be your destination. You may even see them at work.
Other important stops include the world-famous Royal Worcester Porcelain Factory or the factory shop of the Bevery Vivis Gallery and Pottery Shop. Aside from the Worcestershire sauce, this place is also well-known for its fine porcelain. Thus, if you are looking for a special gift or something not industrial-made for your home, then this is the place to go.
Fashion And Outlets
For a more general shopping trip, you can head over to the city center, where High Street chains and some independent outlets are located. The local Marks & Spencer branch is also especially popular. Beyond clothes, there are other shops that sell common items like kitchenware at Lakeland. If you also prefer to support smaller shops instead of chains, the CrownGate Shopping Center has more than 70 of them.
Shopping at the city center is pleasant, thanks to the pedestrianized streets and the countless cafes and food shops all around so that you can stop for a sweet treat or even a meal after a long day of shopping.
If you prefer exploring some local stalls instead of the usual shops, then you will find them every day of the week except Sundays. During bad weather, the Worcester Indoor Market on the Shambles is open from Monday to Saturday. When the sun is shining, though, turn to the CrownGate Outdoor Market on Angel Place.
The Worcester Farmers’ Market is held every first Sunday and fourth Saturday of the month on Severn Street. This is the best place to get fresh produce direct from the farm. The Country Market at the St. Clement’s Church Hall is also well-visited, and is open every Friday.
No department store carries every kind of product out there, so if you are looking for something special, you will need to look for specific stores. For example, the Worcester Guitar Center is a haven for music lovers. Not only can they strum the products to try them out, but they can also benefit from the expert shopping advice from the staff there.
Worcester has a nice balance between the High Street outlets and small, independent shops for a nice and relaxing shopping break. So make sure you leave some space in your suitcase for your unique finds and gifts.
Worcestershire Restaurants Every Tourist Must Try
May 23, 2019
Worcester is the home of the famous Worcestershire sauce, which says something about its food culture. Add the vibrant university atmosphere and you get a destination so full of life. Plus, with its wonderful architecture, you can burn off those extra calories you gain from enjoying the local restaurants. Here are some of the restaurants that you should definitely try out when planning a trip to Worcester.
1. Chesters Restaurant And Bar
You would never think that you will find authentic and delicious Mexican cuisine here until you visit Chesters. Fans of spicy food will love the traditional dishes from across the Atlantic, though there are non-spicy options for those who cannot tolerate the heat. Beyond the tasty food, you should also order some drinks. Mezcal, which is not that different to a great tequila but just a bit smoother and smokey in taste, is a must-try. There are also top tequila-based cocktails, like the strawberry tequito, which will surely give you a great night.
2. Thai on 7evern
Seeing the exterior of this restaurant will make you doubt that it should be a restaurant to try out. But don’t let yourself get fooled by its appearance. Once you get in, you will be transported to Thailand, with the beautiful and intricate carvings on the walls and the Buddhist statues. Thai on 7evern is one of the 2 restaurants serving Thai cuisine but you can expect nothing less than authentic and delicious here. Plus, the prices are reasonable for the quality and the great service.
3. Bolero Bar & Kitchen
While Italian restaurants are quite common in Worcester and almost every other city, there are ones that truly stand out. Bolero is definitely one that you should try out. You can expect authentic meals that are simple but just exquisitely delicious. Make sure you try out their chargrilled lamb skewers that are served with pita bread. Plus, pair your meal off with one of their cocktails, like the apple and caramel martini. If it’s not your thing, then there are also wines, ales, spirits, and champagne to choose from.
4. The Old Rectifying House
If you are looking for a romantic setting for a date, then The Old Rectifying House is the top choice for you. Beyond the ambiance, you can expect the tastiest steaks with the most affordable prices in the area. During the colder nights, you can enjoy the cozy fire and candlelit tables and in the summer, you can expect to stay cool. Lastly, if you love having a wide selection of drinks, including older cocktails that are rare to find nowadays, then this is the place for you.
5. The King Charles House
The King Charles House is not just one of those old buildings to visit but it is definitely a must-try. The inn was originally built in 1577 and most of the features of the old building remain, like the carved wood paneling, exposed beams, and even an underground jail cell. Its name came from the visit of King Charles while he lost the Battle of Worcester. Though the building has been renovated, it is still that traditional English pub. Their specialty is pie and mash, with tons of versions to choose from.
A trip to Worcester should also include a trip to these restaurants that will not just bring you the taste of Worcester, but also the rest of the world.