Getting to Malvern

Originally for visitors to MalvernTrail’s home, this page has gradually been tweaked to be of wider use.


Cycling to Malvern

MalvernTrail encourages using the train, see info in next section. There are of course places which are in cycling distance – which can vary on your level of experience/fitness!

Cycling Worcester to Malvern is a popular search term, so a few pointers:

  • The most direct route is via the new Hams Way bridge (near Powick) and straight down the A road, ending up at Malvern Link near the retail park. However this option is not particularly pleasant, with fast traffic for large chunks of the way, and is only advised for cyclists experienced in tackling such roads.
  • Many local cyclists will choose to take one or two quieter options. The B road to Upton from Powick isn’t too bad outside of busy times, taking you to the end of Jennet Street Lane, which is generally quite quiet (maybe not in rush hour). At the end of that lane you can go right and join the end of the A road near the retail park, or go left and immediately right to come in to Townsend Way (B4208) half way between Malvern Link and Barnards Green.
  • If heading to/from Barnards Green, some bike users might explore the bridleways around Callow End and go in to/out of Malvern on Guarlford Road. Not for skinny tyres!

Do it by Rail

Ironwork sample at train station

Malvern has two train stations – on the same line. 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. Malvern Link (on Worcester Road, next to the fire station) had a recent revamp (2014), still quite basic, but is close to shops, Link Common and where we are based.

Local tourist information centres may still have a users guide to the Cotswolds and Malverns line covering key attractions from Oxford through to Hereford, published April 2008 (useful map with basic bus route details, but no specific information for cyclists).

Also see Cotswold Line Promotion Group, and active pressure group Rail and Bus for Herefordshire.

Where from

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 Great Western. The Cotswold Line Promotion Group often carries updates on current services and future engineering alterations. These London trains are largely InterCity Express Trains (5 and 9 coach versions – ‘bullet nosed’ built by Hitachi) replacing the old 125s and ‘Thames Turbos’. The line from Oxford to Worcester has largely become dual track (after many years as single which could compound delays).

There are also trains from Birmingham (and beyond) to Hereford via Worcester, now run by West Midlands Railway (from Dec. 2017). Hereford in turn connects with services to Newport (and on to Wales) and Shrewsbury (and further north), run by Transport for Wales.

The Great Western service from Great Malvern to Cheltenham and Gloucester, Monday to Saturday, via Worcester, goes beyond Bristol into Wiltshire (and beyond?). 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.

Bicycle facilities

Bike reservations are only available on the train services run by Great Western Railways (GWR). Generally there is enough space on other trains via Malvern, with the only restrictions around peak times at Paddington and for tandems or trikes.

To/from London

Bicycle compartment in GWR IET train. Reservations show above the door space (electronic) or jammed on the hooks (printed)!

For the GWR IETs (round nosed, sliding door), as of May 2023 it seems that cycle reservations are no longer compulsory, but “is strongly recommended and we cannot guarantee storage without one”.

There are no cycle logos on the outside of the trains to indicate where to board with a bike, so check if your booking ticket shows the coach letter (ignore if it shows a spurious coach ‘Z)’. So far we have found it at coach F or K (9 car), but the official line is coach B (5 car trains) or B and J (9 car).  You need to hang your bicycle up by front or back wheel – see pic – there is a separator for the maximum of 2 bikes per compartment (there may be more than one compartment, especially on 9 car trains. For the longer trains, not all coaches will fit on short platforms, so check boarding arrangements (includes Ledbury, Colwall, Malvern).

There aren’t any facilities for tandems or other ‘non-standard’ bikes, but e-bikes are allowed (seemingly at the discretion of train staff, who may be concerned about the safety of those which are using conversion kits).

Check the GWR Taking Bikes by Train guide. The leaflet download link (pdf, 421KB, May 2023) is also useful.

Note purely for reference: the 125/HST (wedge nosed) trains are no longer on from this service – they had (more) bicycle spaces next to the Train Manager’s office, accessible only from the platform.

The Birmingham trains generally have an area of tip-up seats, but it is often easiest to use the door area. Some of the rolling stock has a shared area near the toilet, with tip-up seats, for both wheelchairs and bicycles, while new carriage sets have separate areas.

Cheltenham/Bristol line trains have improved. Taking cycles onboard will usually be OK, but there is no guarantee.

Also see Rail, Bus & Ferry Zone web pages from A to B magazine for further info.

Connections

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).

By Bus

Route 44B, a summer Sunday bus service , goes via British Camp, and Wyche Cutting too. The service runs between Ledbury and Worcester, which connects with buses from Bromsgrove and Birmingham direction, and also goes by Great Malvern rail station.

Malvern Hills AONB has a map of bus services within this ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. See its ‘Getting Here‘ page.

New April 2023 is the Daffodil Line, service 232 replacing and improving a closed bus route. Connecting Ledbury, Newent, Ross on Wye, taking in Much Marcle and Dymock, amongst others, on the way. Excellent for walks in those areas. Background info and news or see timetable on bustimes.org

Timetables for the Worcestershire county area are now available via Traveline website (cookies required).

The official Herefordshire Public Transport site has more info on bus and train services for that county.

Maps

See our Outdoor Links for online and printed maps. We have various GPX (GPS exchange) files for walkers and cyclists.