The Malvern Hills have been classed an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) since 1959. The 105 km stretch of hills encompasses parts of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire and is protected for its natural beauty and excessive biodiversity. Thanks to a huge range of habitats, the hills are home to many different species of flora and fauna and they provide a popular walking destination for visitors of all levels and abilities.
The Malvern Hills are enjoyed for their unspoiled and dramatic scenery, much of the area is open access and easy to roam. In addition to this there is a great range of established walking trails, routes, cycle paths and quiet tracks that make this AONB ideal for ramblers and the perfect place to take in the stunning views.
The popular Discovery Walks are a set of seven that explore various areas of the Hills, taking in points of interest along the way. You can find all the links and information you need for these here.
A strong tradition of cider making in Herefordshire has led to the formation of the Cider Trail, a cycling route that just skims the AONB and takes you past many cider related attractions such as a range of producers, a museum and tasting opportunities. Find out more and download the leaflet here. Or visit The Malverns Guides and Tours page here for more options.
With woodland and hedgerows, open grassland, rivers and streams, the Malvern Hills provide ideal habitat for a number of species. Keep your eyes open for birds of prey as you're walking, especially Peregrine Falcons which are most often spotted over the wet woodland. The area also protects key species of bat and butterfly (the High Brown Fritillary), the Great Crested Newt and various plant species.
The Malvern Hills are rich in history, so there's lots to discover while you're out and about. Great Malvern is the historic centre with a priory that dates from the 11th century, but the Hills too display a wide range of heritage with Iron Age hill forts and Bronze Age burial grounds to see. Listed buildings include the magnificent Eastnor Castle which is located toward the southern corner of the AONB and there is, of course, a number of springs producing the famous Malvern water. St. Ann's Well and Holy Well are both popular springs which you can read more about here; you can find St. Ann's Well in Great Malvern located in a building that dates from 1815.
Learn a little more about the Archaeology of the Malvern Hills.
Visit Great Malvern's website. Or Find out about Great Malvern Priory and Eastnor Castle here.