Welcome to Worcester
The historic cathedral city of Worcester spans the River Severn and is located off junction 6 of the M5 (to the north) and junction 7 (to the south), two junctions south of the M42, 55 miles north of the M4, 118 miles (188km) or so from London, 35 miles (56km) from Birmingham, 25 miles (40km) from Cheltenham and just 12 miles (20km) from Malvern where, for those "Top Gear" enthusiasts out there, iconic Morgan motorcars have been hand-crafted for over a century.
Mention Worcester around the world (you may need to clarify that you mean Worcester UK and not it's larger American namesake in Massachusetts) and it will often lead to conversations about Royal Worcester Porcelain, the glove making industry, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, Sir Edward Elgar, Kays Catalogue, Worcester Bosch boilers, Worcester Warriors rugby team, Worcestershire County Cricket Club or Pitchcroft Racecourse; all part of the city's rich heritage.
Known as "The Faithful City" for it's loyalty to the Royalists during the English Civil War in 1642, Worcester's fascinating history runs to the advent of industry and manufacturing during the 18th and 19th centuries through to the modern day; each period leaving it's mark on the city's architecture and skyline.
Here you can drink in a pub once occupied by King Charles II as he escaped his enemies after the Battle of Worcester in 1651; read what is thought to be the oldest continuously published newspaper in THE WORLD! - the Berrows Worcester Journal which traces its descent from a news-sheet that started publication in 1690; marvel at the splendour of The Guildhall (a Grade 1 Listed Queen Anne style building rebuilt in 1721 and referred to by Pevsner as "a splendid town hall, as splendid as any of C18 England"); visit the Worcester Porcelain Museum that tracks the history of what is thought to be the oldest (or second oldest) remaining English porcelain brand in existence; make use of the city's new award-winning joint public and university library and archive centre, The Hive, heralded as the first of it's kind in Europe or simply take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the sights and sounds along the River Severn.
Worcester is small by city standards with a population of around 101,000 people but nonetheless it boasts a 12th century cathedral, a university, a racecourse, two theatres, three covered shopping centres, a street market, three retail parks, Sixways Stadium (home of the Worcester Warriors rugby team), an in-door karting racetrack and one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the country (home to Worcestershire County Cricket Club) where Sir Elton John performed to 20,000 fans in June 2006.
Add to this an eclectic mix of high street names, independent retailers and small boutiques, an excellent selection of cafes pubs, wine bars and restaurants plus a vibrant programme of festivals and events throughout the year and it all makes Worcester a wonderful and varied place to live and work.
What can you get for your money when buying in Worcester?
The city has a variety of different house styles including fine Georgian properties, traditional Victorian terraces and more modern builds with several of Worcesters historic manufacturing buildings having been converted into contemporary apartments.
As with all towns and cities, prices vary from area to area, road to road but generally a sizable proportion of available properties are in the following brackets:
1 bed flats and apartments (non-retirement) - approx. £100k to £135k
2 bed flats and apartments (non-retirement) - approx. £125k to £175k
2 bed houses - approx. £130k to £180k
3 bed houses - approx. £150k to £250k
4+ bed houses - approx. £225k to £1m
The average sale price paid over the last 12 months was £257,042, a rise of 3.51% (Source: Zoopla).
Over the last 10 years or so, initial yields on rental property investment purchases have been around 4% to 6%, excluding student properties.
What can you get for your money when renting in Worcester?
As with property purchase prices, rental levels can vary from area to area, road to road but the lions share of available properties, excluding student accommodation, are within the following brackets:
1 bed flats/apartments/houses (non-retirement) - approx. £450pcm to £575pcm
2 bed flats/apartments/houses (non-retirement) - approx. £500pcm to £675k
3 bed houses - approx. £650pcm to £875pcm
4+ bed houses - approx. £850pcm to £2,500pcm
Eduction in Worcester
With all the benefits of a city but with the friendly atmosphere of a small town, Worcester is a great place to live and learn.
The University is set out over four campus sites in the city and offers courses to nearly 10,000 students.
Two colleges, Worcester Sixth Form College and the Heart of Worcestershire College offer A-level and vocational courses.
Secondary schools include Bishop Perowne CofE College, Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College, Christopher Whitehead Language College, Tudor Grange Academy, Nunnery Wood High School, New College Worcester which caters for blind and partially sighted pupils from the ages of 11 to 18 and The Chantry School nearby in Martley.
New College Worcester is a national residential school and college for young people aged 11 to 19 who are blind or visually impaired and offers GCSEs and AS/A-Level courses with places normally funded by the students Local Authority though with some privately funded.
Worcester also has four independent schools; The King's School (Kings) and The Royal Grammar School (RGS) taking students through to A-levels and two smaller independent schools, Bowbrook House School in Peopleton and The River School in Fernhill Heath with students up to Year 11 (GCSEs).
Getting to and around Worcester
The city has excellent cycle links with other districts in the region as well as the National Cycle Network. The historic city is ideal for travel by bike and a stunning bridge over the River Severn at Diglis creates a picturesque circular route around the riverside whether you are commuting to work or spending some quality time with friends and family.
Worcester is located between junctions 6 of the M5 (from the north) leading in via the A449 and junction 7 (from the south) via the A38. It is just two junctions south of the M42 (which leads to the M6, M40 and M1) and 55 miles north of the M4.
There is plenty of car parking dotted around the city centre including blue badge parking, some free-of-charge 45-minute bays, street parking, surface car parks and four multi-storey car parks.
Be careful as most parking in Worcester is pay-and-display so dont forget some coins. Quite a few of the car parks do also have a Ring Go app payment facility however.
For more information including SatNav postcodes and Ring Go location codes, visit www.Worcester.gov.uk/parking-sites
There is a regular and frequent service to Birmingham (via Birmingham International Airport and the Birmingham NEC). Worcester to London Paddington takes just over 2 hours. The city centre has two train stations:
- Foregate Street Station (located 0.3 miles from the city centre)
- Shrub Hill Station (located 0.6 miles from the city centre)
By Bus or Coach
First Bus Worcestershire has over 30 bus routes serving the city centre, the surrounding residential areas and beyond. The main bus terminus is located under the Crowngate Shopping Centre in the city centre.Information and tickets are available from the Tourist Information Centre at the Guildhall on the High Street or from the Travel Shop at Foregate Street railway station.
The city is also served by National Express Coaches. For more information, visit their website at www.nationalexpress.com
Birmingham International Airport and the Eurohub, with direct flights to the USA and 28 European cities, are within a 1-hour drive via the M42 and M5 motorways. Taxis and train connections are available within the Airport.
The airports at Bristol and Cardiff are also within easy reach.