The Vale of Evesham
September is surely one of the best times to see the Vale of Evesham. Given that the area is often dubbed ‘England’s fruit basket’ it seems logical to be there when the apple orchards and the plum trees are bearing fruit, and the farm shops, markets and eateries in the vale are offering those simple delights for all to savour. And with September so often providing the warm and gentle weather that makes touring more of a pleasure than a trial why not visit now?
It seems almost out of place thinking about things to do in the Vale of Evesham: this is somewhere to drink in the scenery and greenery, along with the cider and the ale; somewhere just to enjoy a slower pace of life for a time. But for those who want activities there is wonderful boating on the Avon, an alternative way to see the place (and to see places those bound to the road network will miss); there are golf courses like that at Broadway; and top notch fishing in the river and dedicated fisheries. The rich history of the area – including the Battle of Evesham at which Simon de Montfort was killed - can be explored at the heritage centre in Evesham itself, housed in the 14th century Almoner’s House. The town even has a hand-pulled foot-passenger ferry at the appropriately named Boat Lane, the last such ferry in the country; and Evesham’s Abbey Gardens with the church and tower of the once great foundation all that remain after Henry VIII’s Dissolution. And of course there are breath-taking walks in the countryside.
The National Trust has a plethora of properties in and around the vale, including Hidcote Manor Garden and Snowshill Manor, but the absolute must-see NT property in the vale is The Fleece Inn, built about 1400 in the village of Bretforton. Not only is it a beautifully preserved historic building, full of atmosphere and with a notable collection of pewter, but it is also a proper pub with good beer and food in one of the loveliest settings you will ever encounter.
The villages of the vale by their very names paint a picture of this characterful rural survival: Offenham; Sedgeberrow; Middle Littleton; and Pershore among many others. All over the area pubs, B&Bs and hotels large and small provide accommodation in keeping with their setting, a little island of exquisitely English countryside, yet just a short drive from Gloucester, Worcester, and Birmingham. Or a relaxing train trip from London.
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Previous destinations of the month:
Starry Starry Night, Look You – Dark Skies Tourism, South Wales | Mills and Hills in Central Lancashire, Lancashire | Get Fit on the North York Moors, North Yorkshire | A West Country Christmas – Dorset in December, Dorset | Nottinghamshire – Rural and Urban, Nottinghamshire | The Test Valley, Hampshire | Ashdown Forest, Sussex | The Rugged Northumberland Coast , Northumberland | The Resorts of North Devon, Devon | The Queen's London, London | Denbighshire , North Wales | York and Its Surrounds, North Yorkshire | The High Weald of Kent, Kent | Leisure, Luxury and Retail Heaven in Leeds , West Yorkshire | Rejuvenate Yourself in Rejuvenated Belfast , Belfast | Seasonal Fun in Brum, West Midlands | Autumn in the Southern Chilterns, Buckinghamshire | Cheshire Peaks and Plains, Cheshire | Essex’s Colne Valley, Essex | Cardigan Bay, West Wales | South Wales Valleys, South Wales | Highland Perthshire, Perthshire | South Downs National Park, Sussex | Royal Wedding London, London | Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire | The Oxfordshire Cotswolds, Oxfordshire | Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire | Edinburgh at Christmas, Edinburgh and the Lothians | Marvellous Manchester, Greater Manchester | The National Forest, Derbyshire | East Lothian, Edinburgh and the Lothians | Regency Brighton and Hove, Sussex | Isle of Purbeck, Dorset | The Somerset Levels, Somerset | Llandudno, North Wales | Hereford, Herefordshire | Cheltenham, Gloucestershire | Bristol, the Great West City, Bristol | Weardale, County Durham | Festive London, London | Islay, Isle of Islay | Blackpool and the Lancashire Coast, Lancashire | The Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire | Land of the Prince Bishops, County Durham | The North Cornwall Coast, Cornwall | Torbay, Devon | Dumfries & Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway | West Highland Way, Argyll | Caithness and Sutherland, Highlands | Harrogate & its Surrounds, North Yorkshire | Sheffield, South Yorkshire