Top places to live in Worcestershire Hanley Swan
Seeking a winning combo of the great outdoors with a historic spa town at your beck and call? Hanley Swan near Malvern, at the foot of the spectacular Malvern Hills, is a des res postcode. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
A small, pretty village on the lush green doorstep of the spectacular Malvern Hills, yet just minutes from the boutiques and restaurants of Great Malvern. Located on the edge of some of the most stunning scenery in the South West, Hanley Swan won the 2009 Calor Herefordshire and Worcestershire Village of the Year, and was the inspiration and setting for the novel Black Swan Green by David Mitchell.
Rural-dream seekers will love it here, being so near to the nine mile stretch of AONB hills (locals affectionately call them the Midlands Alps). But it’s USP is its proximity to fun. There’s a dynamic cultural scene to dip into in Malvern with renowned theatres and year-round events, from the RHS Malvern Festival in May, to the Royal Three Counties Showground which just happens to be down the road. Together with the nearby village of Hanley Castle, its population is small (around 1500) but that gives it an appealing community feel. With a village store (gold dust these days), a duck pond and village green, it’s a postcard-pretty place to live.
Not many small villages can boldly fly the flag that says ‘Worcestershire’s best gastro pub’ but The Swan Inn here does so, and for good reason – it also made it to the finals of the Muddy Stiletto Awards 2021 for Best Destination pub. A bit further afield you’ll find The Inn at Welland, which is highly popular (and recommended) with its award-winning restaurant and views over the Malvern Hills. The Cottage in the Wood Restaurant is a hidden gem just minutes away too, listed in the Michelin Food Guide 2021, this restored Georgian house has cool, nature-themed wallpaper by Timorous Beasties and two AA Rosettes for Mark Redwood’s inventive menu. Drop into the cool 1919 Restaurant and Bar here for a glass of local Elgar wine from Lovells vineyard. Want something more spicy? The Birmingham-level Anupam dishes up incredible Indian fine dining.
Head into nearby Malvern for shopping – it’s boutique heaven (sprinkled amongst the usual high street names). Ethical luxury homewares and lifestyle boutique Rhubarb has three floors of beautiful interior buys – from reclaimed wooden tables to bags, rugs and cushions sourced from around the world. The Malvern Bookshop is a great little treasure trove with five rooms of pre-loved books to explore and the Iapetus Gallery shop is the place for locally-made arts and crafts.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
Properties in Hanley Swan had an overall average price of £417,033 in 2021. The majority of sales were detached properties, selling for an average price of £492,500. Flats sold for an average of £175,000, with semi-detached properties fetching £273,000.
Hanley Castle High School is a former Grammar school turned secondary (thought to be one of the oldest schools in the UK) and rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. Hanley Swan St Garbriels with St Marys is the primary here, also rated ‘Good. Want to go independent? For ages 3 to 13 The Downs is a dynamic day and boarding school set in an impressive 55 acre campus on the side of the Malvern Hills with its own working steam railway. For the 13 to 18 age group opt for the acclaimed Malvern College, a leading co-ed day and boarding school set in a beautiful 250-acre campus with incredible facilities.
There’s good reason a number of the UK’s top mountain bikers live in, or around Malvern – the epic Malvern Hills. Hundreds of miles of beautiful walking, cycling and riding bridleways await you. Hugely popular with walkers, ramblers, dog lovers and families (plus, pretty amazing for a run). Head up to the Beacon for breathtaking views and memorable selfies. For a culture fix head to the Malvern Theatres complex in the Winter Gardens. A brilliant, state-of-the-art venue for theatre, music and film. Priory Park is great for families too with a children’s playground and gardens to explore. Want to discover more? Nip into the Malvern Tourist Centre for marked trail guides.
BEST KEPT SECRET
One of the best places in the county (or country) for a totally jaw-dropping sunset. Walk up to the peak of Midsummer Hill, located along the Worcestershire and Herefordshire border in the Malverns, for one of the most stunning vistas stretching over to Eastnor Castle in the West and as far as Wales.
It takes 25 minutes to get to Worcester by car and to the M5 and M50, and 40 minutes to get to Hereford. Just a ten minute trip away is Great Malvern Railway Station which will zip you into London in under three hours.
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