The town of Worcester is on the River Severn about half way between Gloucester (to the south) and Birmingham (to the north), in the county of Worcestershire in central England. The most famous landmark in the city is Worcester Cathedral, with Worcestershire Sauce running a close second!
The history of the town dates back to several centuries before the Roman occupation of Britain, and it has known several important events over the centuries. The most important of these was a battle between the New Model Army of Oliver Cromwell and the Royalists under Charles II during the English Civil War (1642-1651) - the Battle of Worcester was won by Cromwell's Army. Fort Royal Park, one of several large garden areas in Worcester, is the site of the battle.
The town has a historical medieval centre with some interesting and attractive highlights (although a significant part of the original centre was unfortunately demolished to make way for modern developments in the decades after World War II). The centre also contains a very wide range of shops, both local specialist shops and high-street stores, and plenty of opportunities to buy the world famous Worcester Porcelain
The region around Ferry Street has the best examples of Tudor architecture to be seen in Worcester - you can visit the National Trust managed Greyfriars in Ferry Street, a lovely 15th century half-timbered building with a pretty walled garden to see the best example.
The Visitor Information Centre in Worcester is in another fine building, the Guildhall in the High Street. The Guildhall was built from 1722 onwards in brick and stone and has a very elegant facade decorated with statues.
The Cathedral at Worcester dates from the 11th-15th centuries. In an enviable position on the banks of the River Severn, it is a mixture of architectural styles including the norman style for the earlier parts and gothic for the later additions. Particular highlights include the ornate entrance surmounted by numerous statues; the Norman crypt; the Chapter House; the cloisters; the stained glass windows; and the intricately worked altar. The cathedral also contains the tomb of King John (1167 - 1216).
Another particular highlight is the chance to climb the tower (close winter and bad weather) for some lovely views across the rooftops of Worcester and along the River Severn and surrounding countryside (£4 charge).
Other Worcester attractions
The Worcester Racecourse has a good number of events during the summer months and makes for a fun afternoon out - to find out if one is taking place during your visit see Worcester racecourse.
Other attractions in the region around Worcester include:
-the stately home and gardens at Witley Court, Great Witley (managed by English Heritage);
- the interesting and pretty mix of formal and informal gardens and parkland at Spetchley Park Gardens (Spetchley);
- the National Trust property at Croome Park (Severn Stoke), best known for having the first garden to be designed by landscape architect Capability Brown
Map of Worcester and places to visit
Worcester places to visit
See more places nearby in the Worcestershire guide