Alcester

A “hidden gem" only 8 miles from world famous Stratford Upon Avon, Alcester is a charming market town that offers something for everyone – history, culture, shopping, accommodation, food and drink – all mixed in with a good measure of flowers, festivals and fun!

Meander through its ancient streets, a mix of half-timbered Tudor merchants' houses - some that seem to almost touch across the cobbles - splendid Georgian houses and cosy Victorian workers cottages. In the summer these are festooned with thousands of flowers thanks to Britain in Bloom volunteers.

Alcester Town Criers
Alcester Town Criers competition

Marvel at architectural wonders such as the magnificent St Nicholas Church with its 14th century tower standing proudly looking down the High Street, its clock set at a strange angle for all to see. The nearby 17th century Town Hall, built as a colonnade of 18 pillars of Cotswold stone by the Lord of the Manor as an open market.

Step back even further in time and check out Alcester's Roman roots at fascinating The Roman Heritage Centre (www.romanalcester.org).

Take a break from your journey through time by popping into one of the many welcoming shops, public houses, cafés or restaurants. Hunt out the “secret" gardens of many in the summer and the log fires in the winter.

Venture to the outskirts Alcester and discover two of the regions' top tourist attractions – Ragley Hall (www.ragleyhall.com ) and Coughton Court (www.coughtoncourt.com). Ragley, a magnificent Palladian House surrounded by 400 acres of grounds, provides a perfect family day out with tours, adventure wood, lake, picnic area, woodland walk, carriage collection and sculpture park.

Coughton Court, a jewel in the National Trust crown is an exquisite Elizabethan property - with links to some of the major events in British history, including the Gun Powder Plot – and breathtaking gardens. The Trust's 14th century Dovecote at nearby Kinwarton is another delight.

Alcester Food Festival
Alcester food festival

But visiting Alcester is not just about looking at history – it is about experiencing it. At the heart of the town is the Court Leet (www.alcestercourtleet.co.uk). One of the few places in the country to continue the ancient tradition of a manorial court, on selected dates, ceremonial clad gentlemen re-enact ancient traditions such as ale tasting, bread weighing, fish and flesh tasting (May, June, July and October).

The Court Leet is also responsible for many fairs, festivals and events in the town including the annual Mop (October), pancake races (February), Street Market (June). Other events include: The St Nicholas Night Festival (December); Alcester Duck Race (June/July); Alcester Garden Walkabout (June); Alcester and Arden Folk Festival (June); Alcester and Forest of Arden Food Festival (May); May Day Morris Dancing (May); Heart of England Town Criers Competition (Easter).

If you want to know more about this thriving market town visit the Alcester town council website or the Town Website

and more... local interest

Coughton Court - 5 mins, 2.1 miles

Ragley Hall - 4 mins, 1.4 miles