Near the Welsh border is Worcester, an ancient cathedral city on the Severn River best-known as the home of Worchestershire sauce. Although the historic centre was woefully redeveloped in the 1960s, there are still pockets of lovely medieval atmosphere here such as Friar Street. The Worchester Cathedral is the star attraction here, although the town itself has enough amenities to make it a useful home base for driving excursions around the West Midlands. This is one city where a car will be a vital tool if you want to have a pleasant travel experience.
Who to Book With
Worchester is home to a handful of large car hire chains, including Avis and Thrifty, as well as local companies. Most offices are located well outside of the town centre along Airport Drive or Grove Street. There are also rental offices at the Shrub Hill train station, and Birmingham Airport isn’t far away for travellers who prefer to fly in. Worcester is a very popular town for driving excursions, so be sure and arrange your car rental online as early as possible for any trip during the summer months.
Best Time to Go
The weather around Worcester is like that in the rest of central England: wet and mild. Winters aren’t too cold here, although the majority of rain typically falls between October and April. Fortunately, summers are relatively dry and pleasantly warm, with long daylight hours in which to enjoy the city and the surrounding countryside.
Need to Know Essentials
The rental office will want to see these documents:
- A valid UK or EU driving license or an International Driving Permit
- Photo ID
- A credit card
- Printed confirmation
For more info read our FAQ's.
Getting to Worchester is easy thanks to the M5 motorway that sits just east of the city. The M40 and M42 motorways are other options for driving south towards London. A ring road partially circles the city, providing convenient movement in all directions. Driving around the centre of Worcester isn’t too heavy-going except during rush hours. There are parking garages and lots on each side of the city, as well as Pay and Display street-side spaces.
An easy way to avoid downtown traffic congestion and parking headaches is by using the free Park and Ride facility at Perdiswell or Sixways Stadium. They are open 07:00 to 19:00 Monday to Saturday and use a dedicated bus route to reach the city centre. Buses leave every 10 minutes and cost around £2.20 for a one-way journey.
See our guide to the UK for more information on driving here.
The main form of public transportation in Worchester is the bus network operated by First Midlands. It’s useful enough for travellers that don’t have a car, but taxis are probably more convenient. Worchester is the kind of town where a car will prove very useful, although the city has good rail and coach connections to the rest of the UK, and Birmingham Airport is just 27 miles away.
Although Worcester is not on the main rail line between Birmingham and Bristol, it still enjoys good connections with London Paddington and Reading, as well as with many regional destinations. There are two rail stations in Worcester; Foregate Street station is closer to the centre of town, but does not allow for any car parking, so travellers who want to rent a vehicle should try and arrive at the Shrub Hill station.
First Midlands operates the local buses in and around Worcester. The main bus station is located at CrownGate Shopping Centre right in the heart of town. Single-fare tickets are available, but for those who plan to use the bus a lot in a single day, the FirstDay pass is a good deal at £3.70.
The most convenient way to move around Worcester is by taxi. There are several local companies to choose from, including City Taxis and Cathedral Cars. They are almost impossible to find cruising around town, but often wait at the Shrub Hill train station for arriving trains. The easiest thing to do is call in for a pick up.
The West Midlands is one of England’s prettiest regions, with loads of historic market towns, thriving cities and lovely areas of countryside ripe for day drives. With a car, there are endless possibilities for getting out of Worcester and into the country, where highlights such as the Malvern Hills, Harvington Hall and even Wales are right on the doorstep.
Brecon Beacons National Park - This is a stunning landscape of windswept moors, hills and lakes just to the west of Worchester in Wales. A-class roads make it easy to drive from Worcester for the day. Take a break at one of the charming little Welsh towns on its borders or lace up the shoes and go for a walk.
Harvington Hall - This is a classic medieval Elizabethan Manor, set just 11 miles south of Worchester. Visitors can explore both inside the manor and outside in the surrounding gardens. It’s a great excursion that involves miles of scenic country driving as well.
Malvern Hills - This is one of the most dramatic mountain ranges in the West Midlands. It begins just eight miles southwest of Worchester and offers as little or as much driving fun as you want. Stop for a walk through the hills or just keep cruising around. On a clear day you, can see right into Wales and the Cotswolds.