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Worcestershire is a largely rural county, with a population of around 570,000. To the west are the Malvern Hills, an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the spa town of Malvern. To the south the county is bordered by Gloucestershire and the northern edges of the Cotswolds and to the east is Warwickshire. Two major rivers flow through Worcestershire – the Avon and the Severn, Britain’s longest river.
Worcester is the county town and home to the majestic Worcester Cathedral. Other principal towns include Bromsgrove, Kidderminster, Pershore, Malvern, Redditch and Evesham.
Traditional industries in the area have included porcelain production, carpet making and the manufacture of needles, springs and hooks. Droitwich Spa was originally a centre of salt production. These industries have been replaced by more varied light industry. Fruit farming has decreased considerably although around the Vale of Evesham there are still enough fruit orchards for the British Automobile Association to signpost “the blossom trail” where orchards can be seen in blossom in spring.
Worcestershire has a completely comprehensive school system, with independent schools, including the RGS Worcester and The Alice Ottley School, The King’s School, Worcester and Malvern College.
The M5 motorway runs right through the county from Birmingham in the north to Exeter in the south west. The M50 provides easy access to Wales. The M42 links to the M6 to enable travel to the north of the country and to the M40 for access to London. By rail Birmingham is approximately 45 minutes and London 2 hour 30 minutes away.
Interesting Worcestershire Facts
- Lea and Perrins’ Worcestershire sauce was made from a recipe brought back from India in 1835 and is best known for its use in the cocktail “Bloody Mary”.
- Berrow’s Worcester Journal established in 1690 is England’s oldest newspaper and the world’s oldest continually published newspaper.
- William Shakespeare stayed at the black and white timbered Old Bell Inn in Inkberrow near Alcester on his way to Worcester to collect his marriage certificate. This inn is the model for the Ambridge village pub in Radio 4’s soap opera, The Archers.
For further information visit: www.visitworcestershire.org