The best view in England, that’s the promise from some after a stay at the Cottage in the Wood Hotel in Great Malvern.
Well, set high on the Malvern Hills overlooking 30-mile views over the Severn Plain it’s hard to disagree.
The Malvern Hills rise dramatically from the plain and a steep narrow drive up to the Cottage in the Wood nestled on a plateau reveals a stunning vista from an idyllic location.
The hotel is made up of the Main House, Beech Cottage and the Pinnacles, the latter two being a short walk away. The Main House has seven bedrooms, Beech cottage houses four bedrooms described as ‘cottagey’ and ideal for families and groups of friends.
We stayed in the Pinnacles, described as having the finest views of all. Our bedroom was large, spacious and exquisitely decorated. Almost all the rooms in the Pinnacles are front facing, two have balconies and six have patio seating areas and yes the view from here is fine indeed. To tell the truth where ever you stay in the Cottage in the Wood you are pretty much guaranteed a fine view.
The Main House is where you will find the Outlook Restaurant, (named for obvious reasons), with a menu including many locally sourced ingredients. We tried pan roasted wood pigeon breast to start, followed by seared sea bass and gnocchi and local pork and herb sausages, delicious! It’s not cheap but the food and service were without doubt exceptional.
When surrounded by steep wooded hills a peaceful nights sleep is guaranteed. After breakfast at the Main House we collected our guidebook, thoughtfully lent to us by staff and set off walking onto the 9 mile range of Malvern Hills, on one of the two direct access points from the hotel. If walking is not your thing then head into Great Malvern instead.
The area has inspired many greats such as the English composer Sir Edward Elgar whose Land of Hope and Glory was written here and famed authors including C.S. Lewis, Malverns famous Victorian gas lamps played a part in the creation of Narnia.
The town is full of quirky shops and scrumptious little cafes, the Great Malvern Priory dating back to 1085 will satisfy history enthusiasts and of course no visit to Malvern would be complete without trying the water. Head to Malvhina, a female figure sculpted in stone and bronze located on Belle Vue Island in the centre of town. Malvhina delivers pure spring water from three different springs nearby.
At the Cottage in the Wood, a room with a view is an understatement, so remember your camera and enjoy.
Three places you must visit in Great Malvern:
The Elgar Birthplace Museum: Elgar’s birthplace cottage and visitor centre set in the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire.
Stroll through the cottage garden, play the outdoor musical instruments and sit with Elgar himself and enjoy the view of the Malvern Hills.
Westons Cider: Deep in the Herefordshire countryside, Westons is nestled amongst apple orchards galore! Discover the secrets of traditional cider making by joining the guided mill tours.
Abbey Gateway: The medieval Abbey Gateway is home to Malvern’s Museum. It is small but filled with exhibits on every aspect of Malvern’s history with intriguing insights into the 19th Century, the era of the water cure.