Getting to Malvern
Originally for visitors to MalvernTrail's home, this page has gradually been tweaked to be of wider use.
- Rail, including the main destinations/starting points, bicycle facilities, timetables, connections.
- Travel By Bus around Malvern.
- Our place.
Do it by Rail
Malvern has two train stations. Great Malvern (near Malvern St James girls school, on Avenue Road) is an attractive station retaining many original features including cast iron columns holding up the roof, finished off with well maintained and unique flower designs around the top of each one. Also a good cafe serving light meals at lunchtime. In contrast Malvern Link (on Worcester Road, next to the fire station) is basic, but is close to shops, Link Common and where we are based.
A users guide to the Cotswolds and Malverns line covering key attractions from Oxford through to Hereford was published April 2008. Includes information on both Cotswolds and Malvern Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), useful map with basic bus route details, but no specific information for cyclists. Available from local tourist information centres.
Both railway stations are on the Hereford to Worcester line.
Some through trains from London Paddington (via the Cotswolds line) terminate at Great Malvern, some at Worcester, rather than going all the way to Hereford. Run by First Great Western. The Cotswold Line Promotion Group often carries updates on current services (engineering closures info on CLPG site). These London trains are back to being a mixture of Adelante stock and refurbished HST 125s. Some trains are still 'Thames Turbos', usually three carriages (make sure if longer that they don't divide at Oxford). The line from Oxford to Worcester has now largely become dual track, after many yaars as single, which could cause delays.
There are also trains from Birmingham (and beyond) to Hereford via Worcester. London Midland, part of Govia, has taken over these services from Central Trains. Hereford in turn connects with services to Newport (and on to Wales) and Shrewsbury (and further north), run by Arriva Trains Wales.
The First Great Western service from Great Malvern to Cheltenham and Gloucester, Monday to Saturday, via Worcester, goes beyond Bristol as far as Weymouth and even Brighton! Some start/terminate at Worcester Shrub Hill (rather than Malvern).
Worcester (Foregate Street), one stop and 8 miles from Link, is amazingly on the boundary for the Network Card area on the line from London/Oxford, so such a card and careful planning may get you a good discount.
Dudley Mall describes facilities at train stations in the area. Includes wheelchair access notes - a colour coded 2 digits for the different platforms (e.g. W - towards Worcester, H - Hereford bound).
Bike reservations are only available on the high speed train services run by First Great Western. Generally there is enough space on other trains via Malvern and the only restrictions are around peak times at Paddington and for tandems or trikes.
To/from London On the FGW 125/HST (pointy nose) trains, bicycle spaces (up to 6) are next to the Train Manager's office at the end of Coach A. However there are new arrangements (from Dec 07) for getting on and off at stations without 'full platforms', which includes both Great Malvern and Malvern Link - please download the FGW Cycling by Train guide. On the Adelante trains (reintroduced 2012 - these details may ahve changed), three bike spaces are available in each of the luggage compartments behind the driver's cabs. Check restrictions on tandems - these generally can only be carried on High Speed Trains (ie not Turbos). For HST and Adelante, you can only access the bike space from the platform - there's no access from the carriages, so be prepared to dash to the compartment when the train stops! Turbos don't have guards vans, and may or may not have a specific space for bicycle storage in the middle of a carriage.
The Birmingham commuter trains may have a tip-up seats area but it is often easiest to use the door area. The longer distance trains on the Brimingham line do have a wheelchair/bicycles area near the toilet, with tip-up seats. Usually OK to use door area instead.
Cheltenham/Bristol line trains are of variable stock, even single carriage at times, and although taking cycles onboard will often be OK, there is no guarantee. The picture may have changed from December 07.
Also see Bike/Rail web site from A to B magazine for further info.
If you prefer to use a real person, try the independent but local Ledbury station ticket office, but you'll need to plan ahead and send a cheque.
Taxis from rail stations: web database, Traintaxi, is designed to bridge "those final few miles".
PlusBus is an addition for rail tickets which gives you unlimited bus travel at either end of a train journey. Seems good value. Available for use from Great Malvern or Malvern Link stations (look under Midlands).
The integrated travel site TransportDirect, showing bus, train and other options, is now properly live. A government initiative to give practical transport options, unfortunately it is yet to include any reference to cycling, although cycle routes are due to be added at some stage. Xephos is an alternative independent provider of transport information, but you need to register to access the useful stuff, for a fee.
The Hills Hopper unfortunately stopped running from 2009 (unlikely to return) - service 244 ran on a circular route around the Hills, taking in Malvern Link, Great Malvern station, British Camp, Three Counties Showground, Hanley Swan, Upton, Castlemorton, Eastnor, Ledbury on weekends and Bank Holidays Easter to autumn. This was an initiative of the Malvern Hills AONB - see their transport page for latest news. We've captured and optimised for the web their 2008 version of connected walks (A3 size).
A summer Sunday bus service from First, route 44b, connects with British Camp. This comes from Worcester, connecting with buses from Bromsgrove and Birmingham direction and goes via Great Malvern rail station. More details (and links) on the AONB site.
The official Herefordshire Public Transport site aims to give comprehensive integrated bus, coach and train information for the whole of the county.
Worcestershire Council has bus timetable info online. The route timetables are pdf files. To get a printed timetable or bus map posted to you, phone Worcestershire Hub on 01905 765765.
Also see Transport Direct or Xephos mentioned just above this section.
Rail Maps for planning your route: try this link at UKRailways on the net.
Our Placeif you've lost the address!
Willow Grove from Malvern Link station
Note: the gravel surface of the Link Common bridleway (new Feb 04) isn't too bad, but has started to erode in places and gets a big puddle in one place if it has been wet recently!
Exit from the ticket office side, turn right and take the steps up to Worcester Road (right hand corner). Cross road towards corner of bridge but don't cross the railway. Take the signed Bridleway going left across the common (heading south east). This has got a gravel surface - picture to right is from before this was put down. (There is a bit of a short cut - and no steps - via the other exit on to Worcester Road but the above is easier to describe!) Follow the track through the trees.
On the other side of the trees, branch off right from the gravel path before you get to the road. Head towards the tree circled by metal seating (NOT the one near the fire station).
short cut of a gap between the houses on the other side of the common is
back. It's just to the right of the obvious green railings (back of new housing).
Revised pic to come eventually. Otherwise tack to Pickersleigh Road, then
Cedar Avenue and to the top of Meadow Road - turn right, and Willow Grove
is first left.
Walking alternative if muddy...
Follow the above, but after emerging from trees follow track to the road (Pickersleigh Road). This runs along one side of the common. It is easiest and safest NOT to cross the road but go along the grass to the right a little way until a footpath appears. Follow to first turning - right (Cedar Avenue, which is on a blind left hand bend), first turn - right (Meadow Rd), first turn - left.
Exit from the ticket office side, turn right and take a diagonal across car park to road. Cycle down hill (left) but be ready to take first right alongside edge of common. At (blind) left hand bend, take the right turn into Cedar Avenue (do be careful here). Immediately right (Meadow Road) on another left bend, then first left at bottom.
Coming South West along Worcester Road (A449): Malvern Link starts at roundabout near retail park. Continue along towards Great Malvern. At crossroads traffic lights (mural/chemists far left) turn left into Pickersleigh Ave, then right at the Morgan factory into Pickersleigh Road, first left, first right, first left.