Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

101 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


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February, 2024

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The Cottage In The Wood Hotel sits high in 8 acres of peppered cliffs with wonderful views.
Built before the 1870s, it was probably supplied with water, piped for domestic purposes from the Holy Well. The original iron outlet pipe can be found on the bank behind the car park, where today, the water runs to waste.
It was here, we decided to spend a couple of days in this independent, 32 unique en-suite bedroom boutique hotel in the Malvern hills overlooking the Severn Valley.

Being February, it was not the warmest part of the year, but nevertheless, it looked inviting for a short break and was reputed to have very good food.

We arrived in the afternoon and given our key to room 21 which was a few yards away from the original building, known as the Coach House. Indeed, the view was wonderful with a balcony and seating for two overlooking the valley below. However, it was to be the only moment we could actually see much outside, as the following day was very misty with rain.

Our room had comfortable chairs and a table with a front facing window looking out over sweeping views. The bed was a King size and the room had a working vintage record player with a unique selection of music. The bathroom was spacious and had a walk-in shower and roll top bath. A well as tea/coffee facilities there was also a small fridge and a safe available in the room.
The hotel completed a 5 year refurbishment just a year ago, giving a re design of the entire hotel and restaurant. It was recently awarded a 4AA star status.

The award winning restaurant serves high quality, locally sourced, modern British cuisine from breakfast to lunch, afternoon tea and evening meals. Rob Mason was appointed as Head Chef in 2020 which led to the restaurant winning ‘Taste of Worcestershire Award’.
In the bar you can choose from craft beers and ales, fine wines by the glass, or bottle and cocktails.
It is a perfect place to relax all year round with it’s real log fire in winter and refreshing cocktails in the summer. It is truly an escape away from the typical British tourist hotspots.

Malvern itself, is a Victorian Spa and market town. Edgar Elgar was born in Malvern and he composed some of his greatest music while walking in the hills surrounding the hotel. ‘The Elgar Route’ is a 40 mile circular driving route through Worcester and Gt Malvern. This gives opportunities to visit Elgar’s house, places where he taught and see where he and his wife is buried.

C S Lewis, Elgar and J R R Tolkien were all inspired by visits to this part of the country. It is rumoured that C S Lewis‘ open chapter of the ‘Lion, Witch and Wardrobe’ was inspired by by an experience where he stepped out of a Malvern pub (The Unicorn) in winter and set eyes on a gas lamp shining through the snow and said “that would make a very nice opening line to a book.” Interestingly, there are 109 Victorian gas lamps around Gt Malvern.

There are plenty of local vineyards. Grapes for Elgar Wine are grown at Lovells and Tiltridge Vineyards, which sit between the Malvern Hills and the riverside town of Upton upon Severn. The wines are clean, crisp and fruity.

Walking and cycling in the steep woodland are popular daytime activities. Horse lovers can enjoy riding. You can even have fun with a Land Rover experience in the grounds of Eastnor Castle, tackling mud slopes, ruts and water with an expert on hand to guide you.

Much to see and do. This is a great area to visit but would plan on going in a rather warmer month when everything can be really appreciated.

Our stay itself was very comfortable and the food could not be faulted so would certainly recommend.

Caroline Hutchings

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