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 – 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.
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.
Also see Cotswold Line Promotion Group, and active rail pressure group Rail for Herefordshire.
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 (from 2019) InterCity Express Trains (5 and 9 coach versions – ‘bullet nosed’ built by Hitachi) replacing the old 125s. Some trains may still be ‘Thames Turbos’, usually three carriages – if longer than 3 check whether they divide at Oxford. 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. West Midlands Railway has taken over these services 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 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.
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 and the only restrictions are around peak times at Paddington and for tandems or trikes.
To/from London The GWR 125/HST (wedge nosed) trains are now fully withdrawn from this service (had bicycle spaces next to the Train Manager’s office at the end of Coach A, accesible only from the platform).
For the newer GWR IETs (round nosed, sliding door), note that cycle reservations are compulsory.
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 – at autumn 2018 it may only show the spurious coach ‘Z’. So far we have found it at coach F (9 car) – the link below however says coach B (5 car), B and J (9 car) or B and H (10 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. For the longer 9/10 coach trains not all will fit on short platforms, so check boarding arrangements (includes Ledbury, Colwall, Malvern).
There may be the odd service still run with GWR Thames Turbos, usually with open bike spaces by doors in the middle of a carriage, clearly marked.
Not sure that there are any facilities now (2019) for tandems.
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 Birmingham line do have a wheelchair/bicycles area near the toilet, with tip-up seats. Usually OK to use door area instead. Note: some changes in rolling stock taking place from 2019.
Cheltenham/Bristol line trains have improved, 2018. 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.
If you prefer to use a real person, try the independent and 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).
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. More details (and links) on the AONB site.
Service 388, Ledbury to Cheltenham, goes via Eastnor and Hollybush (good place to start an ‘end to end’ walk). At 2015, Saturday only.
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).
The official Herefordshire Public Transport site has more info on bus and train services for 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.
Rail Maps for planning your route: try this link on National Rail.
Please use the contact form if you’ve lost the address!
Willow Grove from Malvern Link station
Note: the gravel surface of the Link Common bridleway isn’t too bad, but has eroded in places and gets one or two big puddles 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).
The 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.