Worcestershire is a county of rolling hills, save for the flat Vale of Evesham in the east and the prominent spine of the Malverns in the west. Nearly all of the land is worked in some way; arable farming predominates – oilseed rape, cereals and potatoes – but there are concentrated areas of specific land uses, such as market gardening and plum growing.
Worcester is the county town, and home to Worcestershire County Cricket Club, which has what some regard as the most attractive grounds in the country, in a delightful setting with views of Worcester Cathedral. The Malverns, Great and Little, set on the slopes of the Malvern Hills, are renowned for their refinement. Great Malvern, terraced on its hillside site, came to prominence as a genteel spa for well-to-do Victorians, rivalling the likes of Bath, Buxton and Cheltenham with its glorious surroundings.
Sir Edward Elgar was a Worcester man, and his statue stands on the High Street, facing the cathedral. The cottage where he was born is now a museum and he is commemorated on the £20 note. Other notable Worcestershire figures include poet A E Housman, chocolate magnate George Cadbury; and Lea and Perrins, inventors of Worcestershire sauce.