One of Malvern’s great claims to fame is its abundance of natural springs and the ‘healing’ benefits that water apparently brings. It’s what saw Malvern grow from a sleepy hamlet to a thriving town in the 19th century.
As I’ve mentioned previously, there are wells scattered all over town and residents and visitors are free to go and fill bottles whenever they wish. One of the most famous wells, is Holywell – what’s believed to be the world’s oldest water bottling plant in the world!
Holywell isn’t too far from where Adam and I live, so I decided to base one of my ‘summer wanderings’ on a visit to the well…
Let me just start by saying it was a bloody steep walk! According to my phone’s pedometer it was the equivalent of walking up 40 flights of stairs. There is an upside to the ascent however – I passed through some wonderful woodland scenery, so stopping for a breather was rather pleasant.
The well is housed in a beautiful Grade II listed building, established in 1843. Today it’s owned by the Holywell Water Company, the only remaining commercial bottlers of Malvern spring water.
The general public are able to still visit the well, but there are signs up warning that any water collected should be boiled first due to recent failed bacteria tests.
Inside, the well is really quite small but it looks rather lovely surrounded by marble and tiles.
There is also a little waiting room, where you can sit and read a number of plaques about the well and Malvern water (and possibly recover from the journey up the hill!)
I had the well all to myself when I visited and it was blissfully peaceful, with the sound of birdsong and running water combining to create an aural feast.
I continued my walk by climbing higher into the hills (yes, I’m possibly a little daft), via an overgrown path, picking up what felt like 30, 000 grass seeds on my legs.
The extra climb was worth it though, and I was rewarded with a magical view out over the Severn Valley and the distant Cotswold escarpment.
This was by far, my most physical walk so far, but I think it was well worth it, don’t you?!