Are you looking for the best things to do in Worcester? You’ve come to the right place!
I grew up in Worcester (England, not Massachusetts) and know the city like the back of my hand. Today, I’m excited to share with you my pick of the best things to do in Worcester.
Worcester is a fascinating, ancient city steeped in centuries of history. Located in the heart of scenic Worcestershire, in the West Midlands, Worcester isn’t a particularly big city – but it has a lot to offer.
A 1000-year-old cathedral, rich Civil War history, parks, gardens, museums, the picturesque River Severn, and even one of the most attractive county cricket grounds in the country…
There’s a lot to see and do in Worcester.
Top Things to See and Do in Worcester
Here’s my pick of the top Worcester attractions. I’ve also included a few local hidden gems to help make your time in Worcester even better.
The magnificent Worcester Cathedral is a must-visit attraction in the city. This historic building, dating back to 1084, boasts stunning Gothic architecture and houses some of England’s most significant medieval relics.
Worcester Cathedral is one of the most architecturally significant cathedrals in the country. It showcases a unique blend of English architectural styles, from Norman to Perpendicular Gothic.
As you enter the cathedral, you will be greeted by its grandeur and the awe-inspiring vaulted ceilings. The intricate details of the stained glass windows and the ornate stone carvings are a sight to behold.
Inside, you’ll find many chapels and tombs that tell the stories of the city’s past. One notable feature is the tomb of (“Bad”) King John. King John was an unpopular monarch and one of the villains of Robin Hood legends.
You can take a guided tour of the cathedral or simply wander around and admire its grandeur. Don’t forget to climb the 235 steps to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city.
Worcester Cathedral also enjoys a picturesque location on the banks of the River Severn, in the heart of the city.
Another fascinating historical site is the Commandery. Originally built as a medieval hospital in the 13th century, it later served as a command post during the English Civil War.
During the Civil War, King Charles II lived here and used it as his battle headquarters. Today, the Commandery houses a museum that tells the story of Worcester’s role in the Civil War.
You can explore the various rooms and exhibitions that showcase weapons, uniforms, and other artifacts from this turbulent period in English history. You’ll also learn about the Battle of Worcester – one of the most significant battles of the Civil War.
I’ve visited the Commandery several times, both as a child and as an adult. It’s a really excellent museum and does a great job of bringing the city’s history to life in a way that’s engaging and accessible to people of all ages.
Take a boat trip along the River Severn
The River Severn is the longest river in the UK and runs through the centre of Worcester. Several companies offer boat trips of varying lengths, from short 30-minute rides to longer tours that take you further down the river.
Taking a boat trip along the Severn is a great way to enjoy scenic views of the city and its surroundings. You’ll also get to see some of Worcester’s iconic landmarks, such as the cathedral, from a different perspective.
I have fond childhood memories of taking boat trips along the River Severn. It’s a really peaceful and relaxing way to spend an afternoon in the city, especially when the sun is shining.
Check out Severn Leisure Cruises’ website for more information on boat trips in Worcester.
Museum of Royal Worcester Porcelain Works
Worcester has a rich industrial heritage, including the manufacture of high-quality porcelain and chinaware.
From 1751-2008, the Royal Worcester Porcelain Works produced some of the finest porcelain and bone china in the world.
Sadly, Royal Worcester Porcelain is no longer made in the city. However, you can still visit the Museum of Royal Worcester, which holds the world’s largest collection of Worcester porcelain.
This is a great way to learn about the people, techniques, and processes involved in creating these masterpieces. You’ll also learn about the famous personalities who enjoyed using them.
One of my favourite pieces on display is Admiral Nelson’s prized breakfast teapot!
You can even try your hand at painting your own piece of pottery in the interactive studio. The museum is very family-friendly and hosts various pottery painting classes for children of all ages.
Visit the Tudor House Museum
Step back in time to the 16th century and discover the daily life of Worcester’s Tudor residents. The Tudor House Museum is located inside a beautifully restored timber-framed house that dates back to 1520.
This great museum showcases a range of period artifacts, including furniture, clothing, and household items from the Tudor era.
There are also interactive displays, exhibitions, and workshops that bring the city’s history to life for visitors of all ages. I remember coming here on a school trip and loving it!
The building itself also has a rich history, serving as the Cross Key Tavern in the 1790s and later as a Victorian coffeehouse. During WW2, the house served as a warden’s office during the air raids.
It’s a perfect place for history enthusiasts and curious minds of all ages. There’s always something new to uncover.
The museum is also located on Friar Street, a narrow and atmospheric lane full of Tudor-style black wood frame buildings.
Walk Along the River Severn
The River Severn (the longest river in the UK) runs through the centre of Worcester. There’s a scenic footpath that follows the river and passes some of Worcester’s most attractive sights.
You can walk in either direction and there’s a footpath on both sides of the river. But, if you have a couple of hours, I recommend doing my favourite loop which takes you along both banks of the river.
- Start at Worcester Bridge.
- Facing the cathedral, walk south along the east bank of the river (i.e. on the side with the cathedral, towards the cathedral).
- Continue past the cathedral, Diglis Basin, and Dislis Island.
- Cross the river at Diglis Bridge.
- Walk back towards the city centre, past (or through) Chapter Meadows.
- Keep going past Worcester Bridge (where you started) until you get to Sabrina Bridge.
- Cross the river again, then continue walking back to Worcester Bridge.
For long-distance hikers, this forms part of the Severn Way – a 210-mile (337-kilometre) trail that runs from the river’s source in mid-Wales to the Bristol Channel estuary.
Worcester Woods Country Park
Worcester Woods County Park is a large (110-hectare) nature reserve on the eastern edge of Worcester.
The park is made up of ancient woodlands and open meadows, with several picturesque walking and cycling trails. It’s a wonderful green escape from city life and a perfect place for families of all ages to get some fresh air and exercise.
The Countryside Centre inside the park has a cafe and an adventure playground. My friend used to be the chef here – the food is great!
Whether you’re into birdwatching or just looking for a serene environment to unwind, Worcester Woods Country Park is worth checking out. I’ve spent many afternoons here, it’s a great spot.
Greyfriars’ House and Gardens
Greyfriars’ House and Gardens is a local hidden gem in Worcester’s city centre.
Located on Friar Street (near the Tudor House Museum), this 15th-century timber-framed building was first used as a merchant’s home, then later served as an inn.
The house has a fascinating history, including being used as a makeshift hospital during the Civil War.
Today, Greyfriars’ House and Gardens is a National Trust property that welcomes visitors to explore its beautifully restored interiors and tranquil walled gardens.
You can take guided tours of the house and learn about its various occupants throughout the centuries.
The gardens are also a treat to wander through, with flower beds, fruit trees, and a peaceful courtyard area. It’s a perfect spot to relax and enjoy one of Worcester’s hidden corners.
In the summer, the garden cafe serves delicious homemade cakes and refreshments.
Worcester Guildhall is a beautifully preserved Grade I listed building in the heart of the city. Its opulent Queen Anne façade is striking, and it’s one of the city’s most photographed landmarks.
Built in 1721, this historic structure has served as a council chamber, courthouse, civic ceremony hall, and even a prison. Today, it hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year.
I’ve always loved the Guildhall’s lavish Assembly Room and its collection of portraits illustrating Worcester’s rich history.
One of my favourite things to do here is to browse through the regular antique and collectors’ fairs that are held in the main hall. You can find all sorts of treasures here, from vintage clothing to rare coins and stamps.
If you’re lucky, you may even catch one of the free guided tours that take you through the building’s elegant rooms.
Gheluvelt Park is a serene public memorial park located just north of Pitchcroft Racecourse.
It has well-manicured lawns, colourful flower beds, picnic areas, and a serene duck pond. There’s also a children’s area with a splash pad.
Take a leisurely stroll through the park, enjoying the tranquil atmosphere. You’ll notice various memorials dedicated to those who fought and lost their lives during the war.
Gheluvelt Park is a popular place with locals of all ages. Growing up in Worcester, it was one of my favourite places to come to with friends.
I love bringing a picnic and relaxing on the grass here during the long summer days. You can also enjoy a game of tennis at one of the new tennis courts (advance bookings required).
Take a stroll along the Worcester Canal
The Worcester Canal runs for 30 miles (48 kilometres), connecting the city to Birmingham and other towns along its route.
Construction on the canal began in 1791 and was completed in 1815. For more than 100 years, it was an important transportation route for goods such as coal, iron, and cloth.
Today, the canal is a popular spot for leisure activities such as walking, cycling, and boating. Lined with trees, flowers, and historic buildings, it’s a really tranquil place.
Starting from Worcester city centre, I recommend taking a stroll along the canal towpath and exploring some of its sights.
One highlight is the picturesque Diglis Basin. This was once a busy hub for trading boats, and is now home to a colourful collection of narrowboats.
Along the canal, you’ll also find plenty of picturesque spots to stop for a picnic. Keep an eye out for kingfishers, herons, swans, and ducks along the way.
For a unique experience, you can even hire your own narrowboat and take it for a cruise along the Worcester Canal.
Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum
From local history to contemporary art, the Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum offers a broad range of exhibits. It’s also free to visit, making this one of the best free things to do in Worcester.
This is one of my go-to spots for a dose of culture in Worcester. The museum does an excellent job of curating engaging exhibitions that showcase the city’s art scene.
The museum also has a fantastic collection of ceramics, given Worcester’s pottery heritage. From delicate teapots to colourful vases, there are lots of beautiful pieces on display.
One of the most notable exhibit is the Worcestershire Soldier Gallery. This explores the county’s military history from medieval times to the present day.
Another must-see is the Victorian Gallery, featuring rooms decorated as they would have been in the 19th century, giving visitors a glimpse into life during that period.
The art gallery also regularly hosts workshops and events for both children and adults. Keep an eye on their website for upcoming activities.
See the Elgar Statue
No visit to Worcester is complete without seeing the iconic Elgar Statue located in front of the Cathedral.
Arguably England’s most important composer, Sir Edward Elgar was born near Worcester and spent most of his life in Worcestershire.
This bronze statue sits proudly on a stone plinth at the end of the High Street, near the spot where Elgar’s father had his own music shop.
The statue was created by the sculptor Kenneth Potts and was unveiled in 1981 by (the then) Prince Charles.
You can often find musicians playing beneath the statue, adding an extra touch of ambiance. Take a moment to sit on one of the benches and admire the statue’s intricate details.
The Firs: Elgar’s Birthplace Museum
If you’re feeling inspired, you can also visit the Elgar Birthplace Museum. It’s housed inside a house called The Firs, where Elgar was born, in the village of Broadheath.
The museum gives you an intimate look at the composer’s early life. It contains many of his personal belongings, including the piano on which he composed some of his masterpieces.
I’ve visited The Firs several times. Each visit feels like a journey into the creative mind of this musical genius. It’s only a short drive from Worcester and is a great place to learn about Elgar’s life and work.
Worcestershire County Cricket Club
For cricket lovers, catching a match at the Worcestershire County Cricket Club is one of the best things to do in Worcester.
Located next to the River Severn, and offering wonderful views of Worcester Cathedral, this is one of the most picturesque county grounds in England. It’s also one of the oldest, dating back to 1865.
You can watch matches from the stands or bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic on the grassy banks. The club also offers guided tours of the ground for those who want to learn more about its history and behind-the-scenes workings.
Aside from cricket, there are plenty of other events held at the club, such as concerts and exhibitions. Check the club’s website to see what events will be on when you’re in town.
The Infirmary Museum
The Infirmary Museum offers a unique and intriguing look into the history of medicine and healthcare.
Originally built as a hospital in 1771, it now serves as a museum that showcases medical equipment, surgical techniques, and treatments throughout the ages.
Therea are various exhibits, including a recreated Victorian pharmacy and a replica of an 18th-century operating theatre. You can also learn about notable medical figures from Worcester, such as Sir Charles Hastings and Dr John Wall.
Catch a Performance at the Swan Theatre
The Swan Theatre is a vibrant hub for performing arts in Worcester. With its intimate setting and excellent acoustics, it’s a really great little venue (even though the exterior is hideous).
The 350-seat theatre was built in 1965 and puts on a wide range of different performances, from comedies and stand-up performances to ballet and classical music concerts.
Whether you’re a fan of Shakespearean classics, contemporary dramas, or musical performances, the Swan Theatre offers a diverse range of shows catering to all tastes.
Fun fact: The actor Imelda Staunton is the current Patron of the Swan Theatre, and she had her professional debut here.
Fort Royal Park/Fort Royal Hill
Fort Royal Park sits atop Fort Royal Hill and offers some of the best views of Worcester and its surroundings. It’s a fairly small park but is definitely worth checking out.
From the top, you get an amazing perspective of Worcester Cathedral and the Malvern Hills beyond. And in the springtime, the park bursts into life with a colourful array of flowers and plants.
Fort Royal Hill was also the site of a key battle in the English Civil War in 1651.
You can still see the ruins of the Civil War fortifications, including several cannons. The park contains a few information boards about this significant event in English history.
It’s a great spot for a picnic, or to watch the sunset over the city. Growing up, I enjoyed many sunsets from up here (with a tin of beer or three ).
Find the Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce Factory
Whenever I tell people I’m from Worcestershire, the response is usually either (i) Where’s that? or (ii) You mean, like Worcestershire Sauce?
It’s true, Lea & Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce is one of the city’s most famous exports. While you can’t tour the actual factory, you can often smell the stuff in the air.
It’s an interesting pitstop to appreciate an everyday item with deep local roots. The factory has been in Worcester since 1837, and its enduring presence is a nod to the city’s industrial heritage.
And if you’re curious, the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret. But there’s no denying its unique and delicious taste that’s made it a staple in kitchens around the world.
Relax in St Andrew’s Garden of Remembrance
This peaceful garden near the cathedral is the perfect place to pause and reflect. It’s a memorial garden dedicated to those who lost their lives in WWI and WWII.
The beautifully kept flower beds and tranquil atmosphere make it a perfect spot for quiet contemplation.
Take a stroll through the garden and admire the beautiful flowers and monuments dedicated to different regiments. You can also find a memorial for Elgar, who was a frequent visitor to this peaceful spot.
The gardens are also home to St. Andrew’s Spire, one of Worcester’s most prominent landmarks. Also known as “The Glover’s Needle” due to its sharp point, it’s all that remains of the Church of St Andrew, which was demolished in 1948.
See the Edgar Tower
No visit to Worcester is complete without seeing the iconic Edgar Tower. This imposing medieval gatehouse is one of the most famous landmarks in Worcester and has stood tall since the 14th century.
The Edgar Tower was built as a defensive structure and serves as a gateway to Worcester Cathedral and the College Green.
It stands at the location where the entrance to Worcester Castle once stood. The rest of Worcester Castle was destroyed and the site levelled in the early 1800s.
The tower’s architecture is a stunning example of medieval craftsmanship. A walk through this ancient gate feels like stepping back in time.
St Swithun’s Church, Worcester
St Swithun’s is another architectural gem, known for its elegant Georgian interior. This historic church dates back to 1734 and has some striking architectural features.
The ornately carved wooden pulpit, attractive gallery, and gilded organ (made in 1795) are particularly noteworthy.
I’ve played a few classical concerts here, and the acoustics are wonderful. It’s a lesser-known spot in the city, but I think it deserves more attention.
Another great spot for live music, Huntingdon Hall has been a popular entertainment spot since the 18th century.
Located in a converted Methodist chapel, Huntingdon Hall is one of Worcester’s premier live music venues. The space is intimate, and the acoustics are excellent.
You can catch concerts of all genres, comedy shows, theatre performances, and more at this great little venue.
Whether it’s folk music, jazz, or classical, you’re sure to have a top-notch musical experience here. I’ve always enjoyed the eclectic lineup of artists that grace its stage.
Huntingdon Hall also offers various workshops and events, including dance classes, storytelling sessions, and comedy workshops. There’s always something fun happening at this lively venue.
Take a scenic walk in the Worcestershire countryside
Worcestershire offers some of England’s most beautiful and untouched countryside. A lot of it is accessible just a short drive from Worcester.
With its rolling hills, picturesque villages, and stunning landscapes, this corner of England offers an abundance of natural beauty to explore.
There’s nothing quite like taking a scenic walk in the Worcestershire countryside to rejuvenate the soul. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve gone out to clear my head and found inspiration in the rolling hills and meandering rivers.
Other Great Things to Do in Worcester
If you’re looking for even more things to do in Worcester, England, you’re in luck.
My Favourite Pubs in Worcester
After a day of exploring, you’ll probably want to relax and grab a drink. Happily, Worcester has some really excellent pubs, and there’s a strong real ale scene here.
Here are four of my favourite pubs in Worcester.
- The King Charles House: 29 New St, Worcester WR1 2DP
- The Paul Pry: 6 The Butts, Worcester WR1 3PA
- The Mug House: Claines Ln, Claines, Worcester WR3 7RN
- Farriers Arms: 9 Fish St, Worcester WR1 2HN
Best Curry Houses in Worcester
Worcester is also known for its fantastic Indian cuisine, so make sure to try out one of the best curry houses in the city.
Two of my favourite curry houses in Worcester are:
- Anarkali Indian Restaurant: 47 The Tything, Worcester WR1 1JT (their vegan curries are amazing)
- Massalla Lounge: 33-35 Broad St, Worcester WR1 3NH
Cafes in Worcester
There are lots of good cafes in Worcester these days – far more than when I was growing up there.
But, I’m pleased to note that one of my old favourites is still there and going strong: Caffe Bolero (on St Nicholas St). Check it out – they do great coffee and light bites.
There’s a traditional outdoor market in Angel Place every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (9am–3.30pm).
Here, you can indulge in the flavours of Worcestershire, as local farmers and producers showcase their finest goods.
It’s a great place to buy fresh food and a range of local products, from artisanal goods to clothes, homeware, and even plants.
Do some shopping in Worcester City Centre
Worcester has a good range of shops, including lots of independent stores. Worcester High Street is a bustling hub of activity, with a vibrant atmosphere and a diverse selection of shops.
The Worcester Food & Craft Market is held on the first Saturday of every month, on the High Street.
For a more intimate shopping experience, Reindeer Court is a picturesque shopping arcade home to a variety of independent boutiques, perfect for finding unique souvenirs and gifts.
The Annual Worcester Festival
Every August, the city comes alive with the Worcester Festival. This annual 2-week celebration features live music, theatre performances, food and drink events, and lots more.
It’s a great opportunity to experience the city’s vibrant culture.
Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre
For a festive treat, visit the Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre in December.
This traditional market boasts over 200 stalls selling unique gifts, delicious food and drink, and even a Santa’s Grotto. A perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit!
FAQs on the Best Places to Visit in Worcester, England
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the top things to do in Worcester.
Is Worcester, England worth visiting?
Yes, Worcester is worth visiting for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and scenic river views. Highlights include the stunning Worcester Cathedral, several museums, and a variety of shopping and dining options.
How do I spend a day in Worcester?
Start with a visit to Worcester Cathedral, then explore the Tudor House Museum and the Commandery. Enjoy a walk along the River Severn, and then head up to Fort Royal Park Hill.
Visit one or two of the city’s traditional pubs, then finish your day with a meal in one of Worcester’s excellent curry houses.
Is Worcestershire sauce really from Worcester?
Yes, Worcestershire sauce is from Worcester. It was first created in the early 19th century by two pharmacists – John Lea and William Perrins – and is still produced in the city today.
What is Worcester, UK known for?
Worcester is known for its stunning cathedral, its role in the English Civil War, and as the birthplace of Worcestershire sauce. It also has a rich cultural scene with museums, art galleries, and theatres.
What are the best areas in Worcester?
The Cathedral Quarter is known for its historic landmarks, while Friar Street offers charming shops and eateries. The area around the River Severn is also very tranquil and picturesque.
What shops are there in Worcester?
Worcester offers a mix of retail options, from High Street chains to independent boutiques.
CrownGate Shopping Centre houses a range of stores. Friar Street, New Street, and Reindeer Court all offer more unique, independent shops.
Final Thoughts: Top Worcester Attractions
Worcester may be a small city, but it’s filled with rich history, culture, and natural beauty. From exploring museums and historical sites to catching a performance or taking in scenic views, there’s a lot to see and do in Worcester.
So if you’re planning a day trip to Worcester, or just want to know what (else) to do in the city, be sure to add these must-see Worcester attractions to your list. I hope you enjoy your time in Worcester!
Are you from Worcester too? What’s your favourite thing to do in Worcester? Let me know below!