Famed for its eponymous condiment, invented by two Worcester chemists in 1837, Worcestershire marks the transition from the industrial heart of the Midlands to the peaceful countryside of the Welsh Marches.
The southern and western fringes of the county burst with lush countryside and sleepy market towns,
while the capital is a classic English county town, whose magnificent cathedral
inspired the composer Elgar to write some of his greatest works.
Worcester has enough historic treasures to forgive the architectural eyesores from the postwar love affair with all things concrete. This ancient cathedral city was the site of the last battle of the Civil War
, the Battle of Worcester, which took place on 3 September 1651. The defeated Charles II only narrowly escaped the pursuing Roundheads by hiding in an oak tree, an event still celebrated in Worcester every 29 May, when government buildings are decked out with oak sprigs.
There are various family attractions nearby, such as the West Midlands Safari Park
and the famous Severn Valley Railway
. English Heritage abounds here, with many National Trust properties
dotted around the county, alongside Broadway Tower and the impressive Worcester Cathedral. Be sure to visit Warwick Castle, alongside Shakespeare's Stratford-upon Avon and the Cotswolds!
Take a magical steam train journey from Kidderminster through the countryside to Bridgnorth, or visit Drayton Manor Theme Park in Tamworth - a day out destination for older thrillseekers as long as the little ones.
Severn Valley Railway: 8min / 6.4km
Worcester: 30min / 23.2km
Malvern Hills: 45min / 40km
Warwick Castle: 45min / 48.3km
Stratford-Upon-Avon: 50min / 55.5km
The Cotswolds: 1hr / 65km