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Introducing Great Malvern

Tumbling picturesquely down the slopes of the gorgeous Malvern Hills, which soar suddenly upwards from the flat plains of Worcestershire, this well-heeled Victorian spa town still seems to exude health and wellbeing courtesy of its lush hill views, wide tree-lined avenues, rosy-cheeked inhabitants, booted hikers and its pure spring waters that bubble up in unexpected places. Today the medicinal waters that first attracted overindulgent Victorians are harnessed for a thriving bottled-water business.

The tourist office (892289; www.malvernhills.gov.uk; 21 Church St; 10am-5pm) is brimming with walking and cycling information. Guided tours of the town (£3, 1½ hours) leave here at 10.30am on weekends. The Library (566553; Graham Rd; 9.30am-5.30pm Mon, Fri-Sat & 9.30am-8pm Tue-Thu) has free internet access: bring ID.

In June the town goes music mad in the bi-annual Elgar Festival (892277; www.elgar-festival.com) to celebrate the life and works of the composer who lived nearby at Malvern Link.