Stratford-upon-Avon and the Heart of England: Places to Explore

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Great Malvern

Great Malvern feels a bit like a seaside resort, though instead of the ocean your eyes plunge into an expanse of green meadows rolling away into the Vale of Evesham. Off the A449, this attractive Victorian spa town's architecture has changed little since the mid-1800s. Its Winter Gardens complex with a theater, cinema, and gardens makes Great Malvern a good base for walks in the surrounding Malvern Hills. These hills, with their long, low, purple profiles rising from the surrounding plain, inspired much of the music of Sir Edward Elgar (1857–1934), who composed "Pomp and Circumstance." They also inspired his remark that "there is music in the air, music all around us."

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