When we set out to visit all the towns in England that end in cester I have to admit that I didn’t envisage us spending a day in Alcester as I had never heard of it. Despite the fact it lies just off the M40 and so therefore we have driven past it hundreds, if not thousands of times.
Alcester is a market town that has been around since Roman times, and how do we know this? Because there is a Roman museum in the town that is free to visit (there is a car park opposite that if you are also shopping in Waitrose will allow you to park for free for 90 minutes) and sets out the history of the town whilst displaying lots of artefacts found around the town. Its a room within the library so wont take long but it is thoughtfully laid out and there is a volunteer on hand to explain or answer questions. Donations are, of course, gratefully received at the exit.
It was chatting to the volunteer here that confirmed that the name of the town is pronounced “Allstur” by the way, and not Allsester which is how I have been saying it in my head. Oops.
It was also thanks to somebody that we found a bit of a hidden gem in a back street. We were looking for the well and peering at Google Maps on our phones on the corner of a road just along from the museum when a passerby spotted us. She pointed us in the direction of a turning up a head and suggested that if we were to wander along it, turning left by “the big White House” we will come into a lane of Tudor cottages with pretty front gardens. Which we duly did and it didn’t disappoint.
Malt Mill Lane is actually an area of sheltered housing but the residents are more than happy for people to come along and admire their front gardens. There is even a small visitor centre selling hand made cards and seedlings.
There is a bustling high street with lots of independent shops and plenty of places to stop for a cup of tea and a bite to eat.
It probably wont be high on your list of places to head to on a specific day out but if you ever find yourselves on the outskirts of Stratford upon Avon and want to find somewhere a little less touristy then it is well worth a detour.
It is also very close to the Shakespeare Distillery which is worth a visit too. We stupidly didnt book so the tour that was about to start was fully booked but their gin is fabulous so do go and buy some!